Technical Assistance Articles

The Coalition's newsletter, CPA Update, often includes technical articles that help communities understand CPA, or describe best practices for implementing it. Below is a selection of our most popular, most important articles, organized by category.

You can also access all back issues of CPA Update, organized by date.

Administrative Issues
Project Eligibility
Financial Issues
Historic Preservation
Open Space


Administrative Issues

How to Draft a CPA Land Purchase Warrant Article (March 2012)

An Alternate Path to Town Meeting Approval (February 2011)

State Laws and CPA (June 2015)

Open Meeting Law -- 2010 Changes for CPCs (September 2010) 

Tackling Complex Financing Issues on the Path to Rehabilitation (July/August 2009) 

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest on Your CPC (May/June 2009)

DOR Announces Mandatory CPA Project Reporting Guidelines (August 2008)

Building a Better CPA Application Process (May 2008)

The Role of Grant Agreements in Funding Private Projects (October 2014)

Using CPA Funds to Hire Administrative Staff (October 2013)

Promoting CPA on Signs at Local Project Sites (December 2007)

What Constitutes a Majority on CPC Votes? (December 2007)

Project Eligibility 

Can CPA Fund Private Projects? (June 2014)

Do the State’s Procurement Laws Apply to CPA Projects? (November 2014)

Shedding Light on the Meaning of “Create” (January 2009)

Financial Issues

CPA Finances Demystified: Breaking Down the CPA Budget Process (February 2018)

Understanding the Formula for Distributions from the Statewide CPA Trust Fund (March 2013)

How to Increase Funding for Your CPA Program: Raising Your CPA Surcharge is an Option (June 2010)

Bonding CPA Projects (February 2015)

Educating Your Community on CPA Exemptions (April 2008)

Leveraging CPA Funds (March 2008)

Appropriating CPA Funds to Housing Trusts and Conservation Funds (December 2008)

Historic Preservation

Which Historic Projects Qualify for CPA Funding? (August 2012)

Your First Step In Determining Eligibility For CPA Historic Preservation Funds (January 2016)

Free Assistance for CPA Historic Projects (Preservation Massachusetts Circuit Rider Program) (June 2015)

CPA Grants to Private Historic Homes (July 2011)

Preserving Historic Burying Grounds Without Breaking the Bank (February 2010)

Preserving Barns and Rural Landscapes (July/August 2009)

Preserving Historic Windows (January 2013)

Documents are Historic Resources, Too (January 2018)

Religious Buildings and Artifacts of Historic Significance: Model Projects (November 2013) and Technical Assistance on CPA for Religious Buildings (December 2012)

Placing Preservation Restrictions on Historic Resources (February 2007)


When CPA Funds a Housing Trust, A Grant Agreement is a Must! (October 2014)

How to Run CPA Rental Assistance Programs: Lessons from the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority and the Eastham Affordable Housing Trust  (July 2014)

Can CPA Fund Work on Existing Affordable Housing? (May 2013)

Housing Coordinators: Making Waves Across the Commonwealth (March 2012)

The Most Important Rule for CPA Housing Projects: Income limits apply to all CPA housing expenditures (April 2014)

Free Assistance for CPA Housing Projects (CPA Affordable Housing Circuit Rider Program) (May 2016)

Need Help with Housing? (CPA Affordable Housing Guidebook) (March 2016)

Adaptive Reuse: Using CPA Funds to Convert Vacant Buildings to Housing (July 2015)

Housing Buy-Down Programs: Creating Affordable Housing Without New Construction (December 2009)

Open Space

Protecting Farmland with the Community Preservation Act: There's a State Program that Can Pay Much of the Cost! (April 2013)

Drafting CPA Land Purchase Warrant Articles (March 2012)

Conservation Restrictions 101: The Rules on Conservation Restrictions on CPA Acquired Land (July 2012)

BioMap2: An Important Resource to Guide CPA Projects for the Protection of Birds, Fish and Wildlife (October 2011)

CPA Preserves Water Resources (January 2008)

Negotiating CPA Open Space Acquisitions (August 2013)


CPA Recreation Projects: Why Can't CPA Funds be Spent on Stadiums and Structures? (June 2014)

CPA Recreation Projects: Why Can't CPA Funds be Spent on Sidewalks? (December 2015)