In continued response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program has been paused until further notice.

What is the Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program?

The Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program provides small matching grants to qualified neighborhood organizations as an incentive to encourage neighborhood residents to take on projects that will improve the neighborhood and community at large. Up to $5,000 is available for qualified projects.

The goals of the Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program are to improve the health of Cary’s neighborhoods by addressing needs through the active involvement of the neighborhood residents themselves. Specific goals include:

  • Improving neighborhood organization and pride by encouraging more resident involvement in addressing neighborhood issues and needs
  • Leveraging both Town and neighborhood resources towards addressing neighborhood issues
  • Improving community aesthetics by encouraging physical improvements in Cary’s neighborhoods such as beautification programs, environmental enhancements and neighborhood clean-ups
  • Maintaining or improving property values in the neighborhood.

The program is administered through the Town of Cary Planning and Development Services Department and funding is provided on a first come, first served basis.

Who can apply for funding?

An approved neighborhood group representing a specific neighborhood or community area may apply for matching funding under this program. Examples of such groups include a neighborhood association, neighborhood watch group, homeowner’s association or an organized committee of neighborhood residents.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

Neighborhood-specific projects similar to the following are eligible for funding:


  • Legal formation of neighborhood or homeowners association
  • Skills training on how to organize your neighborhood
  • Neighborhood communications such as developing a neighborhood website

Physical Improvements

  • Initial Landscaping or other beautification projects
  • Tree planting projects
  • Initial neighborhood signage
  • Playgrounds
  • Environmental Improvements such as restoration of watershed facilities, streambanks, ponds or stormwater facilities
  • Mural

Projects of Significant Impact or Benefit
Projects approved by the Town Council as having a significant impact on the physical appearance, environment, recreational or economic conditions of the neighborhood and community at large. Grant amounts and match requirements may be adjusted as needed.

Other activities as approved by the Town of Cary

What types of projects will not be funded?

Examples of ineligible activities include:

  • On-going maintenance of landscaping, signage or environmental projects
  • Food
  • Salaries or stipends
  • Expenses such as rent, phones and utilities
  • Field trips
  • Festivals

How much funding can my organization receive?

Applicants may receive up to $5,000 in Neighborhood Improvement Program Matching Grant funds. For projects of significant impact to the neighborhood or community as a whole, the Town Council may increase the maximum grant amount.

What is a Match Requirement and how does my organization meet it?

Applicants requesting funding under the Neighborhood Improvement Program must provide a 100% match ($1 in matching funds for each $1 requested in funding). The match provided must be directly related to the project being undertaken. Matching resources may include the following:

  • Cash contributions
  • Donated or Discounted Materials or Services, provided that price quotes are provided from the vendor substantiating the value of the item(s)
  • Donated land, with assessment information documenting the value of the donation
  • Donated professional services, such as architectural, engineering, construction, etc., valued at the full cost of the service provided
  • Volunteer labor, valued at $16.25 per hour

How does the application process work?

Applications are accepted by the Town of Cary Planning and Development Services Department throughout the year for this program. The application must describe the project for which funding is requested, provide a project budget and identify sources of the match requirements.

Download an application or request one from the Town of Cary Planning and Development Services Department by calling (919) 469-4029, or in person at the department office at 316 N. Academy St., first floor.

Completed applications may be delivered, mailed or faxed to:

The Town of Cary Planning and Development Services Department
316 N. Academy Street, first floor
PO Box 8005
Cary, NC 27512
Fax: (919) 388-1103

What happens after a project is selected for funding?

Work selected for a matching grant must be completed within six months of approval of the application, unless extended by the Town of Cary. The applicant is responsible for obtaining all building permits and any other required permits for the work to be done. The applicant is responsible for conformance with all applicable safety standards and conditions. The applicant also agrees to maintain the project or improvement once completed.

Grant recipients may access funds by one of several ways, including purchase orders directly to a vendor or a Town-issued check. Small purchases may be paid through a Town procurement card. This latter method will require the applicant to schedule an appointment with a Town staff person to meet at a vendor location to make the purchase.

The Town of Cary may promote an approved project including, but not limited to, displaying a sign at the site during and after construction and using photographs and descriptions of the project in Town marketing materials.


Hunter Boswell
Chief Development Compliance Officer
P.O. Box 8005
Cary, NC 27512-8005 

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