Community Safety Works: Business District Improvements


Community Safety Works: Business District Improvements



The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers two separate grant opportunities for community safety work – one for FACILITY UPGRADES and one for BUSINESS NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTS. community. The funding will encourage the implementation of crime prevention strategies through improvements in physical design as well as community vigilance and maintenance.

This NOFA from Community Safety Works is about funding for BUSINESS NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTS and provides an overview of the application which is expected to be available online Friday January 7 at 12:00 PM.

A separate NOFA for
Community safety work:Facility improvements is also available from DHCD:

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvements Grant Eligibility Criteria:


To be eligible, a candidate must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Must be an IRS-determined not-for-profit organization or the local government sponsor of one of the 33 designated communities of the State of Main Street Maryland
  • Must be an IRS-determined nonprofit from one of 8 designated Baltimore City Main Street neighborhoods
  • Must be an IRS-determined non-profit organization whose mission and work contributes substantially to the economic development of the local business district and whose programs and activities support small businesses in the district

To be able to apply, a nonprofit candidate must also meet these two criteria:

  • Must be registered and in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT).
  • Must be based in Maryland and serve the communities and people of Maryland


Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvement Grant funding criteria:

Grant applications for community / district security applications can reach a maximum of $ 100,000.

  • Only applications fully complete at the time of submission will be considered for funding.
  • Eligible applications will be for projects and activities that implement their business district plan to make public and private spaces safer and more defensible. These can include, but are not limited to:
    • Improvements in car and pedestrian traffic, slow down traffic so that the streets are passable and pedestrian friendly. The expansion of restaurants to exterior sidewalks and pavement is an example of how business districts have improved exterior spaces for customers and pedestrians. The gated alley is another example of how communities separate what is public from what is private.
    • Improve opportunities for “eyes in the street”, removal of barriers at site boundaries, opening of closed spaces, renovation of public spaces / play areas to attract regular visitors and family activities. These are just a few examples of projects that attract more “eyes” to public spaces and contribute to community safety.
    • Strengthening community ownership, solidarity and pride, through clean and beautified streets, sidewalks, signage and parks. Remove burn and burn signals (waste) and replace them with well-maintained ‘markers’ of community pride and ownership, such as neighborhood signs, gardens, plantations and parks.
    • Official monitoring tools such as lighting, cameras, “dog walker” patrols organized by local residents or staffed security patrols. Community policing initiatives organized and in consultation with local law enforcement.
  • Funding requests will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, it is advantageous for the applicant to submit an application as early as possible due to the limited funds available.
  • Individual grant amounts may be reduced relative to requests, if the request exceeds the available funding.
  • Applicants must be ready to use the funding in a timely manner and no later than December 31, 2022

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvement Grant application process:

  • NOFA outing: Friday December 17th
  • A sample application will be published by Wednesday, December 22.
  • Online application portal scheduled to open by 12:00 p.m., Friday January 7

  • Closing of the application portal: 5:00 p.m., Wednesday February 9

    at the latest; the portal can close earlier if or when grant requests exceed the available funding
  • Funding decisions will be made as we go.
  • Dates may be subject to change; check the website regularly for updates

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Business District Improvement Grant application conditions:

In addition to the basic information about the applicant, such as the applicant’s official mission and main activities, etc., it is expected that the following information and attachments will be required in the online application. Space to respond will be limited; Applicants are recommended to prepare responses and gather required attachments before the online application opens on January 7.

1. Organizational summary: A brief description of (a) the candidate’s recent accomplishments over the past year, (b) their current financial situation and ability to continue in business, and (c) how your mission and programs specifically support the local business district and neighborhood small businesses.

2. Community safety: A brief summary of (a) the need to deter crime and promote community safety by citing specific problems and / or incidents in the business district and (b) how the applicant would use any rewards for the business district or businesses to improve the safety of residents and visitors and maintain these efforts in the future. The summary should include the specific dollar amounts / costs for the items and activities as well as a schedule for the implementation of the proposed project activities and the use of the allocated funds within the prescribed timeframes.

3. Budget / Use of funds: A simple budget form will be provided in the online application in which the applicant will individually list each proposed use of the requested funds.


HaveMaryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Attachments required for the Business District Improvement Grant application:

The following attachments will be required in the online application for a claim

of a non-profit organization
to be considered complete:

  • IRS Tax Exempt Status Determination Letter
  • Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation Online Status Check
  • Signed and dated IRS W-9 Request for tax identification number and certification


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