This program has been consolidated into the Keystone Communities Program. Please apply under the Keystone Communities Program.
Grant funds for planning, technical assistance and physical improvements to residential and mixed use areas in proximity to central business districts.
Revitalization of residential and mixed use neighborhoods. Administration costs to support an Elm Street Program.
Up to $250,000
- redevelopment authorities
- non-profit main street organizations
- economic development organizations
neighborhood improvement districts
Administrative costs associated with hiring a full-time manager and related office expenses over a maximum five-year program term (includes one planning year and four operational years.). Minimum 10 percent local match required. If a part time manager is appropriate, a reduction in total grant and match will occur.
How to Apply
What is Elm Street?
Elm Street is a new component of the New Communities Program. Its goal is the revitalization of residential corridors that approach the downtown commercial districts. The reasoning behind the program is that our restored downtown commercial areas will be far more attractive to visitors and customers if the neighborhoods adjacent to them are just as appealing. Elm Street follows a five-point approach, similar to the Main Street four-point approach.
What is the Elm Street Approach to Neighborhood Revitalization?
Elm Street allows communities to integrate a Main Street or downtown revitalization program with a neighborhood renewal strategy. Elm Street will provide assistance and resources to residential and mixed-use areas in proximity to central business districts. This approach will further enhance the downtown area as it improves the viability of our older neighborhoods.
How does Elm Street Work?
The Elm Street Program incorporates volunteer support, the leveraging of private dollars, strategic planning, rehabilitation and reuse of existing buildings, as well as streetscape improvements. It relies on neighborhood involvement and a visible programmatic connection to an existing Main Street/Downtown revitalization program. Through the Elm Street Program, grants will be available for planning, technical assistance and physical improvements.
How can a community determine ahead of time whether it is a good candidate for the Elm Street Program?
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC), the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will offer technical assistance and training to help guide Elm Street revitalization efforts. There will be training at the DCED/PDC annual statewide conference, as well as periodic workshops sponsored through the local government associations and other groups throughout the state.
Who pays for the Elm Street program? Is it a grant?
The DCED Elm Street Program is a state grant program designed to help launch a neighborhood revitalization effort through:
- strengthening of a local organization dedicated to neighborhood revitalization.
- management of the revitalization by a full- or part-time professional coordinator.
How can Main Street and Elm Street work together?
If there is an existing Main Street program in the applicant's area, the Elm Street manager could be an assistant to the Main Street manager. Participants are required throughout the term of the project to provide an accounting of administrative services (clerical and bookkeeping support) and hard costs for the program, such as office overhead, copier machines, computer and computer hook ups. The availability of computer equipment that is Email-capable for the sole use of the Elm Street program manager is also required.
Are there other opportunities available for neighborhood revitalization?
A second component of DCED's Elm Street program is called residential reinvestment. This component uses neighborhood strategies to support projects located within the target area. All physical improvement projects eligible under this component must be supported by a plan and require the leveraging of locally provided funds. The public benefit of each activity must be clearly documented in the application. Priority activities include, but are not limited to the following: public infrastructure; structural improvements of buildings for mixed use; acquisition of properties that could have historical significance in conjunction with local financial institutions to encourage increased home-ownership and/or centralized management of rental units in the project area; façade improvements grants for exterior sidings such as painting, siding, covering, etc.; design assistance, and historically accurate improvements.
Who can apply for DCED's Elm Street funds?
Municipalities and Redevelopment Authorities are eligible to apply for the Elm Street Program. In certain cases, non-profit Main Street and economic development organizations, as well as Neighborhood and Business Improvement Districts are also eligible applicants.
How much funding is available for Elm Street Basic Grants?
Up to $225,000 is available for administrative costs associated with hiring a full-time manager and related office expenses over a maximum five-year program term that includes one planning year and four operational years. There is a minimum 10 percent local match required. If a part-time manager is more appropriate, a corresponding reduction in the total grant and match will occur.
What are the selection criteria for Elm Street?
In order to be considered for designation, municipalities or their designated agencies must accomplish all of the following:
- Target a residential or mixed-use district that is pedestrian-oriented and dominated by traditional older buildings, preferably within a local historic district or National Registered Historic District. Typically, this target area must be generally within 1/2 mile from the edge of a commercial district, which is also undergoing downtown revitalization. A programmatic connection must be shown to exist between this area and the current Main Street or downtown revitalization program.
- Demonstrate that this defined residential or mixed-use neighborhood is in need of revitalization. The level of revitalization need must be evident through the reporting of rates of crime, poverty, unemployment, deteriorated/dilapidated housing stock, blighted buildings, reduced homeownership rates, or similar criteria.
- Show that there is explicit support by the targeted neighborhood residents, community-based organizations, property owners, and municipal officials as well as relevant stakeholders who are located within the boundaries of the proposed project area.
- Show there is an organization in place (most commonly through a private, non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation) that will oversee the implementation and ongoing evaluation of the Elm Street Plan as well as the activities of the manager.
- Produce an Elm Street Plan which includes a brief mission statement, a vision for the area, and an action plan. Public input and approval must also be shown.
The Five-Point Elm Street Approach must be used within the plan.
What is the Five-Point Elm Street Approach?
This approach consists of five clearly delineated focal points for Elm Street efforts. These areas are organization; promotion; design; clean, green and safe activities; and neighborhood restructuring.
How does a community apply?
Contact your DCED Regional Office or DCED’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-379-7448. Applicants may apply for DCED grant assistance using the Department's single application form. Additional required program documentation is listed in the program guidelines. Copies of the single application form and current guidelines may be obtained by contacting DCED at (voice) 1-866-GO newPA (voice 1-866-466-3972) or by contacting your DCED regional office for further information.
Purpose of Funding
- Community Development
- Land & Building