Municipal Corner

Municipal Grant Opportunities

There are many opportunities for Chester County municipalities and organizations to apply for grants throughout the year. This one-stop resource provides descriptions, deadlines, and past awards for grants in several topic areas, including community development, community planning, historic preservation, open space and the environment, transportation, and utilities and infrastructure.

Looking for some tips on how to apply for a grant? First, determine the funding source that fits your project and then talk to a representative at the administrating agency to identify project qualifications. Next, clearly and concisely convey the following points in the grant application: the results of your planning efforts, the relevance of the project with regional plans, and the public need and urgency for the project. Throughout the grant process, it's important to gather public input, build a team, and involve all planning resources.

Community Development | Community Planning | Historic Preservation | Open Space and Environment | Transportation | Utilities and Infrastructure

lettersGrant Support Letter Requests

Do you need a grant support letter from the Chester County Planning Commission? If so, please send your request to ccplanning@cheso.org with the following information:

  1. Name of the grant program with a link to the grant program website.
  2. A brief description of the project and, if applicable, any specific information requirements for the grant letter.
  3. Provide any attachments, such as sample letters, that are relevant to your request.
  4. Date by which you need the support letter.
  5. Deadline for grant application.
  6. Contact information for person requesting the letter.

The Chester County Planning Commission is pleased to provide support letters for projects that are consistent with and advance the goals of the Chester County Comprehensive Plan Landscapes3 or other policy documents such as the Chester County Climate Action Plan.

 

deadlineUpcoming Grant Deadlines

Don't miss these grant opportunities which are closing soon!

HBFF Matching Grant Program

The Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania's matching grant program serves to assist barn owners in the retention and preservation of this rich agrarian building heritage. To be eligible for the program, buildings must be at least 50 years old, have originally served an agricultural use, and retain a significant degree of historic character and materials. Applications are due by December 1, 2022.

Boating Facility Grant Program

This program provides grants for the planning, acquisition, development, expansion, and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth. The goal of the program is to ensure Pennsylvania's recreational boaters have the highest quality boating facilities. The deadline for grant applications is December 30, 2022.

Community Development

Grant Name Administrating Agency Description Application Period Past Awards Website
Entitlement Application (CDBG, HOME, ESG) Chester County Department of Community Development The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds can be used for a variety of infrastructure activities, public facility and park improvements, housing rehabilitation, public services, and economic development for income qualifying areas and households.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding is targeted to developing new affordable housing units in Chester County and providing first-time homebuyer assistance.
The 2023-2024 Entitlement Application Round has closed. The Chester County Commissioners award approximately $2 million in CDBG grants annually to municipalities, nonprofit organizations, social service providers, and housing organizations.…[+] chesco.org/ccdcd
Community Revitalization Program (CRP) Chester County Department of Community Development Urban center municipalities, which include Chester County's 15 boroughs and the City of Coatesville, may apply for CRP funding. CRP awards support infrastructure improvements, streetscaping activities, economic development opportunities, and other projects that promote the revitalization of Chester County's urban centers. Check back for more information. In 2021, the Chester County Commissioners awarded $2.4 million in funding to five municipalities across the county. chesco.org/ccdcd
Community Revitalization Fund Program PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) This grant program provides financing for the construction or rehabilitation of mixed-use developments providing affordable housing in commercial corridors across the Commonwealth. Priority will be given to projects in third-class cities and smaller communities, but communities across the commonwealth are encouraged to apply. The deadline for proposal submission is 2 p.m. on Friday, November 4, 2022. To date, the Agency has sold five rounds of tax credits, awarded four rounds of grants, and funded 22 projects. phfa.org/mhp
Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in Pennsylvania United States Department of Agriculture This program provides affordable funding (loans and/or grants) to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. This funding can go toward the development of health care and public facilities; local food systems; and the following services: community support, public safety, educational, and utility. Eligible applicants include public bodies and community-based nonprofit corporations. Applications are accepted year-round. There is no county specific information regarding funding. rd.usda.gov
Keystone Communities Program Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development This program is a flexible tool for use in community and economic development for a variety of uses including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and development grants. Eligible applicants include government entities; redevelopment and/or housing authorities; nonprofit organizations, economic development organizations, housing corporations, etc.; community development corporations; business improvement districts; neighborhood improvement districts; downtown improvement districts; and similar organizations incorporated as authorities. Designation applications are accepted at all times. Competitive funding applications are accepted July 1 through August 31. There is no county specific information regarding funding. dced.pa.gov
AARP Community Challenge American Association of Retired Persons This program provides small grants to improve housing, transportation, public space, and other community elements that support great places for people of all ages. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. The 2022 application period is now closed. There is no county specific information regarding funding, however, Philadaelphia was the recipient of two grants in 2021. aarp.org

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Community Planning

Grant Name Administrating Agency Description Application Period Past Awards Website
Chester County Vision Partnership Program Chester County Planning Commission This program provides funds or technical assistance to municipalities for comprehensive plans, ordinance updates, or planning studies to implement Landscapes3, Chester County's comprehensive plan and consists of two sides: Cash Grant and County Consulting/Technical. The application period is now closed. The VPP awarded three cash grants during the first round of the 2020 program. ChescoPlanning.org
Local Climate Action Program (LCAP) PA Department of Environmental Protection This program provides free technical and personnel assistance to local governments that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Teams are trained by a DEP contractor to develop greenhouse inventories and climate action plans for their communities. Training begins in September and concludes in May, however DEP also offers a flexible subscription option. In its first three years, LCAP has trained 53 cities, townships, boroughs, counties and regional organizations representing approximately 380 municipalities across PA. dep.pa.gov
Our Town Grants National Endowment for the Arts Through project-based funding, this program supports activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities. Our Town projects advance local economic, physical, or social outcomes in communities, ultimately laying the groundwork for systems change and centering equity. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. The application period is now closed. N/A arts.gov

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Historic Preservation

Grant Name Administrating Agency Description Application Period Past Awards Website
Keystone Historic Preservation Construction Grants Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission This grant supports projects that rehabilitate, restore, or preserve historic resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Funding is available to nonprofit organizations and local governments for small construction projects for publicly accessible historic resources. The 2022 application period is now closed. Between 2013 and 2017, three grants were received for projects within Chester County, ranging from $16,000 - $80,000. phmc.pa.gov
Keystone Historic Preservation Planning Grants Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission This grant supports projects that identify, preserve, promote and protect publicly accessible historic and archaeological resources of Pennsylvania for both the benefit of the public and the revitalization of communities. Funding is available to nonprofit organizations and local governments for the planning and development for publicly accessible historic resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The 2022 application period is now closed. In 2015, $5,000 was received for work in the West Chester Historic Zoning District. phmc.pa.gov
Certified Local Government Grant Program (CLG) Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission This program provides financial support to participating communities to develop the tools, products, programs, and services they need to administer their local preservation programs effectively and in accordance with the CLG Guidelines and Procedures. Grant funds may be used to create standalone products or be leveraged to contribute to larger efforts such as a community's comprehensive planning process or Main Street program. Funding under this program is limited to Certified Local Governments. The 2022 application period is now closed. There is no county specific information regarding funding. phmc.pa.gov

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Open Space and Environment

Grant Name Administrating Agency Description Application Period Past Awards Website
Preservation Partnership Program Chester County Department of Parks and Preservation This program is open to municipalities and land conservancies to preserve land or to build or improve municipal parks and trails. The 2022 application period is now closed. In 2021, the Chester County Commissioners awarded $1.4 million in grants to land conservancies and $2.7 million to municipalities. chesco.org/parks-preservation
Brandywine Headwaters Preservation Program Chester County Department of Parks and Preservation This program help conservancies and municipalities advance the complementary goals of water quality improvement and land preservation by focusing on high priority areas and partnerships. The program is limited to land in or adjacent to Priority Preservation Areas delineated in the City of Wilmington (Delaware) Source Water Protection Plan. Letters of Intent are due on 11/1 of each year for the following year's applications. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. To date, 8 grant projects have been awarded, totaling over $366,000 in County funds. chesco.org/parks-preservation
Northern Conservation Initiative Chester County Department of Parks and Preservation This program help conservancies and municipalities advance the complementary goals of water quality improvement and land preservation by focusing on high priority areas and partnerships. The program is limited to land in the following northern Chester County municipalities: North, South, and East Coventry; East and West Nantmeal; East and West Pikeland; East and West Vincent; and Warwick Townships, as well as Elverson and Spring City Boroughs. Letters of Intent are due on 11/1 of each year for the following year's applications. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. To date, 9 grant projects have been awarded, totaling over $405,000 in County funds chesco.org/parks-preservation
Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape Mini-Grant Program Natural Lands This program will provide mini-grants in the amount of $1,000 to $15,000 for projects that support and advance the goals and objectives of the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape. Mini grant applications should connect residents and visitors to the outdoors; encourage sustainable regional development; protect natural and cultural resources; and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore the Schuylkill Highlands. The 2022 application due date has been extended to May 27. In 2019, the Schuylkill Highlands Mini-Grant Program helped fund the Iron & Steel Heritage Driving Tour Brochure for a match grant of $1,500. schuylkillhighlands.org
Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources This grant provides funds for the planning, acquisition, and development of public parks, recreation areas, motorized and non-motorized trails, river conservation and access, and the conservation of open space. Eligible applicants include municipalities, counties, nonprofit organizations, and State Heritage Areas. The 2022 application period is now closed. In 2021, 17 projects in Chester County received this grant, totaling over $8 million. dcnr.pa.gov
Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund Grants Commonwealth Financing Authority These grants provide for the distribution of unconventional gas well impact fees to counties, municipalities and commonwealth agencies. The grants support improvements to municipalities' water systems and for public services and environmental protection projects. …[+] Applications are accepted annually between February 1 and May 31. In 2019, five Chester County entities — including municipalities and nonprofit organizations — received Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund Grants, totaling $769,159. …[+] dced.pa.gov
Growing Greener Plus Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection The purpose of this program is to restore impaired waters or protect degraded waters within the Commonwealth. Three grant programs are offered: Growing Greener Watershed Restoration and Protection, Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Bond Forfeiture, and Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) Set-Aside grants. The 2022 application period is now open through June 24, 2022. All program applicants should contact the appropriate DEP staff no later than June 3, 2022, as well as their County Conservation District Watershed Specialist. Approximately $18.2 million has been awarded to fund 65 projects to clean up waters in PA, with 5 projects in Chester County in 2021. dep.pa.gov
PECO Green Region Open Space Program Natural Lands The PECO program awards grants for southeastern Pennsylvania municipal efforts to preserve, protect, and improve open spaces. Eligible applicants include municipalities and regional recreational authorities within PECO's service territory in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or York counties. The application period is now closed. Check back for updates! The fund has distributed $1.75 million to municipalities and nonprofit organizations for over 230 open space projects in the region since 2004. Over the last 10 years, 48 awardees in Chester County received this type of grant, totaling $400,000. natlands.org
Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area The fund provides grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects that improve the quality and quantity of water in the river and its tributaries. The grants focus on three major sources of pollution: stormwater runoff, agricultural pollution and abandoned mine drainage. In addition, Land Transaction Assistance grants are also available to cover transaction costs for permanent land protection projects. The 2022 application period is now closed. In 2021, a total of $337,500 was distributed to seven projects. schuylkillriver.org
Boating Facility Grant Program Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission This program provide grants for the planning, acquisition, development, expansion and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth. The goal of the program is to ensure Pennsylvania's recreational boaters have the highest quality boating facilities. The application period is now closed. There is no county specific information regarding funding. fishandboat.com
Conservation Easement Assistance Program Pennsylvania Land Trust Association A reimbursement grant program for organizations that complete conservation easements, trail and fishing access easements; amend or restate older easement documents; update baseline documentation; and install signs on eased land. Grants are accepted without a specific time frame, but are dependent on funding availability to qualified organizations. There is no county specific information regarding funding. conservationtools.org
Emergency Watershed Protection United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service-Pennsylvania The purpose of this program is to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, to prevent runoff and soil erosion in order to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and erosion on any watershed whenever natural occurrence(s) cause a sudden impairment of the watershed. Eligible applicants include municipalities, counties, and conservation districts. All applications must be submitted within 10 days of the disaster. For non-emergency situations, all applications must be submitted within 60 days of the disaster. There is no county specific information regarding funding. nrcs.usda.gov

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Transportation

Grant Name Administrating Agency Description Application Period Past Awards Website
PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund Pennsylvania Department of Transportation This program provides financial assistance to municipalities, councils of governments, businesses, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, rail freight, passenger rail, and ports to improve transportation assets that enhance communities, pedestrian safety, and transit revitalization. The FY 2022-23 Multimodal Transportation Fund is now closed. In 2021, four Chester County entities received this grant, totaling just over $6.2 million. penndot.gov
Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside) Pennsylvania Department of Transportation This program uses federal highway and transit funds for community-based "non-traditional" projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the nation's intermodal transportation system. This includes projects that build pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improve access to public transportation, create safe routes to school, preserve historic transportation structures, provide environmental mitigation, and create trail projects. …[+] The application period is now closed. $845,000 was awarded to Penn Township in 2022 to install a 5-foot-wide sidewalk along the east side of Jenners Pond Road from the intersection of Baltimore Pike to the existing sidewalk to the south, and along Route 796 from the Shoppes at Jenners Village signalized intersection to the existing sidewalk at the intersection of Route 796 and Baltimore Pike. penndot.gov
CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund Commonwealth Financing Authority This program awards funds for the development, rehabilitation, and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, including streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development. …[+] Applications are accepted from 3/1 - 7/31 each year. In 2021, five Chester County entities received this grant, totaling just under $1.9 million. dced.pa.gov
Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG) Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection The primary goals of the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program are to improve Pennsylvania's air quality and reduce consumption of imported oil through the use of homegrown alternative fuels that will help the Commonwealth's economy and environment. Through the program, DEP solicits applications for innovative, advanced fuel and vehicle technology projects resulting in cleaner advanced alternative transportation within the Commonwealth. There are two application periods; the first closes 4:00pm on August 26 and the second closes 4:00pm on December 16, 2022. There is no county specific information regarding funding. In 2021 grants were awarded to projects in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties. dep.pa.gov
Municipal Retro-Reimbursement Bridge Program Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission This program reimburses municipalities for 80 percent of costs for rehabilitation or replacement projects for locally-owned, structurally deficient bridges within Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties for bridges with existing deck span of 20 feet in length or greater. Municipalities in those counties are eligible to apply. The 2019-2022 application period is now closed. In 2018, two bridge projects in Chester County received these funds, totaling about $2 million. dvrpc.org
Green Light-Go: Pennsylvania's Municipal Signal Partnership Program Pennsylvania Department of Transportation The Green Light–Go Program provides state funds for the operation and maintenance of traffic signals along critical and designated corridors on state highways. The 2022 application period is now closed. In 2018, three municipalities in Chester County received this grant, totaling $1.1 million. dot.state.pa.us
Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) Program Pennsylvania Department of Transportation This program uses revenues from ARLE-levied fines to fund highway safety projects across the state. A very wide range of projects are eligible, with an emphasis on those that can be completed at a relatively low cost, including retiming or coordination of existing traffic-control signals, pavement restriping projects to increase capacity or improve safety, and centerline rumble strips. …[+] Applications are accepted from June 1 to July 1, annually. In 2018, three municipalities in Chester County received this grant, totaling nearly $1 million. dot.state.pa.us
Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program Commonwealth Financing Authority This program provides grants for projects which involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Eligible applicants include municipalities, for-profit businesses, councils of governments, and institutions of higher education. Applications are accepted annually between February 1 and May 31. In 2018, four projects in Chester County received these grants, totaling $550,000. dced.pa.gpv
Transportation & Community Development Initiative (TCDI) Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission TCDI is a competitive grant opportunity for local governments, transportation management associations (TMAs), and transit agencies to support smart growth planning initiatives that help implement the Connections 2050 Plan for Greater Philadelphia. TCDI focuses on linking land use and transportation planning that results in enhancing existing transportation infrastructure, encouraging more transportation choices, reinforcing town-center development, protecting the environment, and improving quality of life. The 2022 application period is now closed.

In 2021, three Chester County municipalities were awarded a total of $221,000.

dvrpc.org
Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission This program seeks to fund transportation projects that will improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in the DVRPC region, including pedestrian and bicycle projects, transit improvement programs, and funding of transportation demand management programs. …[+] No applications are being accepted at this time. In 2019, two projects in Chester County were awarded a total of $2,978,656. dvrpc.org

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Utilities and Infrastructure

Grant Name Administrating Agency Description Application Period Past Awards Website
Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment U.S. Department of Energy (via the Geothermal Technologies Office) This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will support the formation of U.S. based community coalitions that will develop, design, and install community geothermal heating and cooling systems that supply at least 25% of the heating and cooling load in communities. Eligible applications must demonstrate that switching to geothermal district heating and cooling system would result in greenhouse gas emission reductions for the community where the system is installed. The deadline for applications is October 11, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. N/A energy.gov
PA Small Water & Sewer Program Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development This grant assists municipalities and municipal authorities with the construction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply or sanitary sewer system. The last application period was from 11/15/17 - 2/28/18. Check back for next round of application dates. In 2018, 22 projects were awarded these grants in Chester County, totaling $2.6 million. dced.pa.gov
Homeowner On-Lot Sewage Disposal and Lateral Repair Loans PENNVEST This is a Pennsylvania state loan program to assist homeowners with improvement, replacement or repair of individual on-lot sewage disposal system or to connect for the first time to a public sewer system. Applications are accepted year-round. There is no county specific information regarding funding. pennvest.pa.gov
Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration This is a federal grant program that provides funding to communities for technical assistance and analyses of local pipeline safety issues, including engineering and scientific analysis related to local pipeline safety issues. Eligible applicants include parishes, counties, municipalities, similar governmental subdivisions, or consortiums of such subdivisions, and groups of individuals—not including for-profit entities. The application period is now closed. In 2018, $98,900 was awarded to the Pipeline Safety Coalition. phmsa.dot.gov
Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program United States Department of Agriculture A federal loan/grant program that provides clean and reliable drinking water, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal and stormwater drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants include most state and local governmental entities and private nonprofits. Applications are accepted year-round. There is no county specific information regarding funding. rd.usda.gov

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