About the Community Preservation Act

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) helps cities and towns create affordable housing, preserve open space and historic sites, and develop outdoor recreational facilities. CPA allows communities to invest in local projects and helps both state and local economies by creating construction jobs and driving tourism through preservation of our historic and natural resources.

CPA was established in 2000 and allows cities and towns in Massachusetts to adopt the program through a popular referendum. CPA communities raise money locally by creating a surcharge of up to 3% of the tax levy against real property. The statewide CPA Trust Fund then matches local money to increase the amount that communities can invest in their future - all of this funding is controlled at the local level and is entirely dedicated to investments in affordable housing, open space & recreation sites, and historic preservation.

6 facts about community preservation

  • 175 cities and towns have adopted CPA and over 60% of the state population live in a CPA community.

  • Over $2.1 billion has been raised for community preservation statewide.

  • More than 10,900 projects have been approved in communities across the state, including:

    • 14,850 affordable housing units created or supported

    • 29,289 acres of open space preserved

    • 2,200 outdoor recreation projects

    • 5,100 historic preservation projects