On the occasion of the launch of our new research report, local speakers shared insights that can inform follow-on conversations and help move us to collective action.
A new research report by the Foundation confirms Cambridge is a leader among the nation’s innovation cities, and through a decade of data, tells the story of how the city’s unprecedented prosperity has benefitted some residents, while others, primarily Black and low-income residents, are being left behind.
We're soon launching a report entitled Equity and Innovation Cities: The Case of Cambridge. All community members are invited to join us in a conversation on its findings, April 7, 8:30am.
Between 2010 and 2013, mitigation funds were pledged to the City of Cambridge through zoning amendments and agreements with developers. To put these Community Benefits funds to effective use, the City Council suggested the idea that the City partner with the nonprofit community to expand services that benefit Cambridge residents and help address residents’ unmet needs. Since the idea’s conception, the City worked with the Cambridge Community Foundation, a charitable organization focused on serving Cambridge residents, and representatives of the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition to discuss collaboration on the development of a transparent and inclusive framework for understanding the community’s needs. The first step in developing a plan to distribute Community Benefits funds was to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. To undertake the needs assessment, the City released a Request for Proposals and subsequently hired TDC. In September 2015, the City Manager created the Needs Assessment Advisory Committee to support and guide TDC. The Advisory Committee was composed of City staff from multiple departments and representatives of both the Cambridge Community Foundation and the local nonprofit community. The Advisory Committee helped TDC to refine the research plan strategy and an inclusive community engagement process. The Cambridge Community [...]
Read the Report Can Cambridge retain its culture of diversity and opportunity in a dynamic innovation economy? Foundation calls for an agenda for ‘Shared Prosperity’ March 1 2017 A new report by Cambridge Community Foundation charts the impact of trends in housing, education and income disparity that threaten the city’s prized culture of diversity and inclusion, even as its enviable role in a regional innovation economy drives soaring levels of prosperity. A review of relevant data raises questions about whether this growth actually benefits city residents–or whether a growing financial disconnect means many residents can no longer afford the city they live in. Fully 78 percent of current low-income households in Cambridge are “cost burdened,” spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Over half spend over 50 percent of total income on housing. They qualify as “severely cost burdened.” In 2015, Just 4 percent of the city’s rental housing stock was affordable for a family with two workers earning $75,000 a year in total – in a community with a median annual household income of just over $79,000. The cost of buying a home is inevitably further out of reach: just 2 percent of single-family [...]