A hospital-led initiative in Boston has received a $5 million grant from JP Morgan Chase to improve employment opportunities and housing in historically under-invested Boston neighborhoods, including Black and Latinx communities.
The AdvancingCities Challenge will be led by Boston Medical Center (BMC), joined by Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Health Resources in Action, all of which will team up with the City of Boston and four community partners: the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, BlueHub Loan Fund, Action for Equity, and JVS to form the BOS Collaborative.
That collaborative will deploy below-market-rate capital to create affordable and permanent housing, adopt new hiring and retention policies that connect residents to better-paying jobs at the anchor institutions, and promote state and federal policies that help residents, such as increased state rental vouchers for tenants of acquired properties, or expanded Medicaid funding.
Chase said the program will “help strengthen recovery efforts in Boston and address the needs of Black and Latinx communities, which have suffered disproportionately both from the COVID-19 pandemic and generations of disinvestment.”
The groundwork for the new effort had already been laid by the hospital community. In 2019, BMC, Boston Children’s, and the Brigham formed the Innovative Stable Housing Initiative (ISHI) – a $3 million effort to increase access to and maintain stable housing in Boston. The BOS Collaborative will leverage ISHI’s strong efforts, which were detailed in this MHA community benefits publication.
Chase said the collaborative will create 100 affordable housing units and preserve 150 more beginning in 2021. The collaborative’s efforts will be concentrated in Boston’s neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.
Over the course of the three-year philanthropic commitment, the collaborative will invest in training 1,100 individuals, and place at least 500 of those individuals into full-time employment at living wages in the healthcare, tech, and biotech industries.
“At Boston Medical Center, we see the consequences of unstable housing and a lack of economic opportunity reflected in the health of our patients on a daily basis,” said BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh. “The COVID-19 pandemic is only making these disparities worse. Through this collaboration between JPMorgan Chase, the City of Boston and community partners, we can bring new vitality to neighborhoods that have suffered through generations of inequity and disinvestment.”