Frequently Asked Questions about the Neighborhood Partnering Program

Looking for assistance with a project through the Neighborhood Partnering Program? To learn about what you'll need to develop a proposal and what to expect after you submit your completed proposal, visit the Neighborhood Partnering Program Proposal Instructions

What kinds of projects does NPP partner on?

As long as the eligibility requirements are met, NPP will consider any small to medium-sized project and work with your group to determine if the project is a good fit for the program. Projects must comply with all City codes and regulations. Some projects may require approval from multiple City departments. Submit a Project Interest Form and let us know about how you’d like to partner.

I have an idea for my neighborhood. Do I need others to join in?

NPP is all about community and these projects can really bring together a neighborhood or community. We are happy to discuss your ideas, but keep in mind the proposal must come from a community group, neighborhood association, or nonprofit organization. Multiple groups can submit together or sign on as additional partners.  

If you are not already representing such a group, you will need to look for one who is interested in partnering.

How long does it take to complete a project proposal and get selected?

Completion of the project proposal takes time. The NPP team will work with you to answer your questions and guide you through the process.  

Proposals are reviewed by the NPP team to ensure they are complete and eligible for selection.

Neighborhood Cost Share proposals usually take a few or more months to complete. The NPP Board meets twice annually to consider eligible proposals. Once you begin working with the NPP team, you will be advised about the timeframe for board consideration.

Adopt-A-Median and Grant Assistance Program proposals are reviewed and considered as they are received. Selection time depends on the complexity of the project and the availability of City staff to confirm and review proposals. 

How do I know if the land is City-Owned or in the Right of Way (ROW)? 

The Travis Central Appraisal District Website and the City of Austin’s Property Profile Tool are two tools you can use to determine property ownership. You can search by address or use the map search to find the area you’re considering. Contact NPP if you are having trouble determining if a space is eligible for the program.

Projects can also take place in the right of way (ROW). The “right of way” generally refers to streets, sidewalks, alleys, utilities, and other strips of land designated for public use. The right of way typically extends ten feet back from the edge of a street, but this can vary widely across the city. Projects can also occur on other City-owned land, like retaining walls, easements, and underpasses. 

I need help with my proposal. Will you provide assistance?

Yes, based on availability, we can help you work through the proposal. You may not always know or be able to determine the answers for each section of the proposal. In some cases, the NPP team may need to assist you to determine budgets or discuss maintenance. If you have questions, or if you are struggling with any sections of the proposal, contact NPP and let us know how we can help. 

We can also present more information about NPP to your group or organization. 

Can I propose a project in a City Park?

Yes! To apply for projects in city parks, recreation centers, or other park properties visit the Community Activated Parks Project (CAPP) website. Any project in City parkland must obtain approval through CAPP, which streamlines the proposal process for neighbors and community groups.

My project idea does not fit with the NPP. What other resources can I look to for help with my local project? 

Transportation and Public Works Department

Austin Parks Foundation – ACL Music Festival Grants Program 

Cultural Arts Division – Funding Opportunities for Creative Industries 

Development Services Department – Urban Forest Grant 

Economic Development Department - Heritage Grant 

Keep Austin Beautiful – Beautification Resources 

Texas Parks and Wildlife – Recreational Trails Grants 

FAQ about the Neighborhood Cost-Sharing Program 

How long does it take to complete a project?

Every project is different and timelines depend on the scale of the project and type of work. NPP aims to complete projects within 6 to 18 months after they’re selected.

What must be included in my Neighborhood Cost Share Program proposal? 

Visit Neighborhood Partnering Proposal Instructions to learn about the proposal process. 

Who maintains the project once it's built? 

The City will maintain most infrastructure improvements, such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and some major park improvements. In most other cases, the City does not have the ability to conduct ongoing maintenance and your organization will need to assume responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep for the life of the project. 

Are community gardens eligible for the Neighborhood Cost Share Program? 

Yes, community gardens are great projects for the Neighborhood Cost Share Program and are eligible for funding. Community gardens have special permitting and review requirements and will also need to go through the City’s Community Gardens Program. We recommend that you consult the Community Gardens Program to learn about the process and available resources before submitting a Project Interest Form with NPP.

What projects are not eligible?

Projects not suitable for NPP include: 

  • Speed and traffic control installations including speed bumps, speed displays and intersection changes. You can find more information on the Transportation Engineering Division and Speed Management Program pages. 
  • Projects with a goal of displacing unhoused neighbors
  • Large-scale improvement projects over $350,000
  • Changes to recently built facilities or installations

FAQ about Adopt-A-Spot and Grant Assistance Programs 

What is the Adopt-A-Spot program?

‘’Spots’’ are City-owned land, like roadway medians or right of way (ROW). Medians are the strip of land that are often located between two directional traffic. In the past, residents have beautified medians with landscaping, birdhouses, murals, and more.  The “right of way” generally refers to streets, sidewalks, alleys, utilities, and other strips of land designated for public use. The right of way typically extends ten feet back from the edge of a street, but this can vary widely across the city. Projects can also occur on other City-owned land, like retaining walls, easements, and underpasses.

Projects that do not require City-funding and that are intended to improve medians, right of ways or other City-owned land qualify for the adopt-a-spot program.  

The Travis Central Appraisal District Website and the City of Austin’s Property Profile Tool are two tools you can use to determine property ownership. You can search by address, or use the map search to find the area you’re considering. Contact NPP if you are having trouble determining if a space is eligible for the program.

Below are links to help determine where the right-of-way space is located:

What is the maximum amount NPP will award in the Grant Assistance Program? 

The program can help fund up to 50% of the local match requirement for a separate grant. The applicant must be responsible for fundraising or otherwise providing the remaining portion. 

What types of grants qualify for the Grant Assistance Program? 

We will consider most types of grants that come from entities other than the City of Austin. The grant must be used for projects on public spaces to create a long-lasting benefit for local communities.