Community Development

Mission Statement

To revitalize Palmer by: meeting the housing and service needs of the low- and moderate-income population; building and repairing infrastructure vital to the health and safety of the residents; and supporting business development and retention.

How the Mission is Accomplished

To accomplish this mission the Palmer Community Development Department actively seeks funding from a variety of sources. Since 1991 the Department has secured $17,898,697 in grant funds from the following sources:

  • $13,405,502 (74.1%) Community Development Block Grant Funds
  • $2,814,646 (12.5%) Ready Resource/Economic Development Fund

  • $400,000 (2.2%) Community Development Action Grant

  • $246,113 (1.4%) Get The Lead Out

  • $210,000 (1.2%) Massachusetts Turnpike Tourism

  • $200,000 (1.11%) Our Common Backyards

  • $122,413 (.7%) Home Program

  • $120,946 (.7%) Downtown Revitalization Program

  • $97,538 (.5%) USDA Home Improvement

  • $56,639 (.3%) Home Improvement Loan Program

  • $50,000 (.3%) Urban Self Help Funding

  • $40,000 (.22%) Promoting Community Development & Tourism in Western Mass

  • $35,000 (.19%) MassDevelopment Real Estate Services

  • $29,050 (.2%) Neighborhood Rehabilitation Program  

  • $28,350 (.2%) Municipal Incentive Grants

  • $25,000 (.1%) Massachusetts Land Bank

  • $16,500 (.09%) Massachusetts Downtown Initiative

  • $1,000 (.01%) Peer to Peer

 These funds have leveraged an additional $1,214,924 financial investment and $209,513 in in-kind services.  In addition $933,695 of Community Development Block Grant Funds have been utilized an additional time for a total investment in the Town of Palmer of $20,256,829 since 1991.

What Has Been Accomplished 

Utilizing the funds described above the Community Development Department has expended: 

$6,802,100 to rehabilitate 355 housing units benefiting 804 residents, provide housing workshops to 851 households in the region benefiting 2,150 people

$2,541,592 to make 37 microenterprise loans benefiting 42 residents in the region, provide technical assistance to 114 residents, to make loans to 21 small businesses creating  33 jobs in the region.

$2,494,195 to reconstruct 6,875 linear feet of sidewalks, upgrade 2 pedestrian crossing systems, replace 4,125 linear feet of sanitary sewers, replace 2,005 linear feet of  storm drainage, serving 50 homes occupied by 123 residents and reclaim and repave the streets affected by these projects.

$1,971,493 to replace/reline 14,910 linear feet of water mains, install 1 booster pump. Benefiting 164 housing units and 328 residents, conduct 1 study

$1,566,424 Program Administration

$1,211,466 to construct/rehabilitate 2 parks and rehabilitate 3 playgrounds benefiting 1,383 residents

$1,101,913 upgrade 12 facades benefiting 22 businesses, create 14 studies/plans benefiting Main Street businesses, install signs and banners in each village, and offer concerts and hayrides to bring people to the downtown business district

$1,044,474 to rehabilitate memorial hall

$776,523 to provide adult literacy to 94 residents, day care subsidies to 103 residents, parent  education classes to 3 parents, business education tuition waivers to 379 people, provide services to 306 senior citizens, 518 survivors of domestic violence, financial literacy education to 48 residents

$529,078  to construct 1 parking lot

$187,573 to purchase and market the Holbrook Site

$30,000 to create a Railroad Research Center at the Palmer Public Library





Town of Palmer's Housing Improvement Program

The Town of Palmer has a Housing Rehabilitation Program for eligible owners of residential property in Depot Village, Thorndike, Bondsville and Three Rivers.  Program eligibility is based on household income, being current with certain financial obligations (mortgage, property taxes, etc.), and the type of repairs requested.  Repairs will be made to correct building code or sanitary code violations. Examples of some of the types of eligible improvements include: roof replacement, replacement windows, heating and hot water system repairs and replacement, plumbing and electrical repairs, foundation/structural repairs, kitchen and bathroom repairs, porch repairs, ceiling and floors repairs, weatherization, and asbestos and lead paint removal.  Please call (413) 283-2614 with any questions and to see if you qualify. There is currently a lengthy waiting list for this program.

IMMEDIATE NEED - Licensed General Contractors Looking for Work

The Town of Palmer - Community Development Department (Housing Improvement Program) is accepting applications for immediate need from Licensed and Insured Contractors for all aspects of repairs and updates for homes receiving Federal Grant Funds. Projects are ongoing, and include Roofing, Siding, Heating. For more information, call (413) 283-2614, or stop by the Community Development Department, located at the Town Hall, 4417 Main St., Palmer, MA 01069.

Additional Resident Resources

Access a non-exhaustive listing of resources in Massachusetts including fuel assistance, weatherization, get the lead out program, fair housing enforcement and advocacy, affordable housing opportunities, housing education and counseling, and more!