A change to the state’s assessment of need in two Vineyard towns will affect future eligibility for community development funding.

West Tisbury, a town which has only qualified for housing rehabilitation and child care funds every three years, is now eligible every year.

At the same time, neighboring Chilmark took a hit to its needs score, so residents there will only be eligible for the grants every three years.

The funds in question are Community Development Block Grants, hundreds of thousands of dollars which meet child care and housing rehabilitation needs in the Vineyard community each year.

Island towns have been applying for the federal grants for at least 15 years, and have been successful nearly each year, despite an overall decline in the funds available to Massachusetts communities. If awarded in full, as they typically are on the Vineyard, the grants will pay for home improvements to some 42 housing units and for child care vouchers for as many as 110 children Islandwide next fiscal year.

Each winter, Oak Bluffs applies for the funds in a joint application with Tisbury, and Edgartown files paperwork with the up-Island towns. Towns apply for the grants together to save on administrative costs and to increase their competitiveness; communities receive bonus points for submitting regional applications.

This year, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury are eligible to receive up to a combined $900,000, while the remaining four towns can receive up to $1.1 million.

For about six years, West Tisbury has received a low community-wide needs score, which is calculated annually in a complex analysis based on factors including population demographics and overall economic conditions.

But this year, the state raised the score to a 26.

Now, it’s the town of Chilmark that has the lowest score on the Island.

People in need still live in Chilmark, they just won’t qualify for funding in the two years following this funding round, said

Alice Boyd, whose firm, Bailey Boyd Associates, applies for the grants on behalf of the towns. “That’s what always breaks our hearts, because we know there are families that need the help,” she said. Bailey Boyd distributes some of money to low-income families who need help paying for child care. The funds also finance loans to homeowners with limited financial resources who demonstrate a need for essential home repairs.

Ms. Boyd applies for the grants in mid-February, and the awards are typically announced in July or August.

For more information about childcare subsidies, visit www.baileyboyd.com.

For information about forgivable housing rehabilitation loans, visit www.theresource.org or call 508-696-3285.