somervillelogo“Working Cities Challenge” Grant Could Bring $700,000 to Somerville for Programs, Development

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development invite all interested residents to submit their ideas for the city’s application to the “Working Cities Challenge,” a competition hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The City of Somerville is eligible to compete for up to $700,000 – over the course of three years – to create cross-sector, system-level change that will improve the economic health and well-being of Somerville’s lower-income residents.  Somerville is one of 20 smaller cities throughout Massachusetts eligible to participate in the program.

The goals of the Working Cities Challenge include:

• Supporting bold, promising approaches that have the potential to transform the lives of low-income residents and the communities in which they live; • Building resilient, cross-sector (public-private-nonprofit), civic infrastructure that can tackle complex challenges facing smaller industrial cities; • Moving beyond individual programs and projects to create a  network of people, groups and institutions who either haven’t worked together, or are working together in some new way, to solve a problem or deliver a service across multiple systems and issues;
• Driving private markets to work on behalf of low-income residents by blending public, private, and philanthropic capital and deploying it in catalytic investments; • Accelerating and learning from promising work already underway; and
• Creating a successful model for New England and beyond.

As the city prepares to apply for this grant, and in accordance with the program guidelines, we invite residents and business owners to share their ideas with our team. How can we best improve the economic well being and quality of life in our community, especially for lower income residents?  What unique models, or partnerships, should we explore?

Please submit any of your ideas by April 10, 2013, even in draft form, to:

Amanda Maher Economic Development Specialist Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development

617-625-6600 x2528

For more information about the grant or the application process, feel free to contact Amanda directly.



6 Responses to “City seeking input for grant application to support lower-income residents”

  1. A.Moore says:

    “Somerville is one of 20 smaller cities throughout Massachusetts eligible to participate in the program.” Why are we eligable? Do we have more poor people here than other cities?

  2. Joseph says:

    I think the grant should go to the city so that they will begin to “support lower-income residents”.

  3. Mary says:

    Maybe they could begin by not encouraging condos be built that rent for $2000. per month. Or by not driving out affordable businesses like Olive Garden, Ocean State Job Lot, or Walmart Market.

  4. A. Moore says:

    Mary, that should be $2000 and up. One problem is that many of the older people are still very proud and will not ask for a handout. About 25% of people who qualify won’t ask for it, they would rather do without. Some of these need it more than the ones getting it. How do we help the ones who need help the most? But certainly $700,000 is really not going to do anything at all. The problem is just too big. Plus at the rate this city is going we won’t have a low income problem. We will all have been driven out. We have already lost many and more to come. And I am not far behind.

  5. Ben says:

    How about the local government do something to incentivize landlords into accepting section 8 housing vouchers so we actually have lower income residents instead of letting them all get priced out? Seriously try looking for section 8 housing on craigslist – everything is in Dorchester, Brockton, or Lynn because that’s where a low income family can afford to live. Even Winter Hill, East Somerville and Brickbottom – the three “low rent” areas of the city are becoming unaffordable for people earning less than 40k a year wanting to live without roommates and start families. Younger people are “roommating it” for longer and not starting families or buying property because it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to do so. Landlords have no problem raising rents year after year on a bunch of unmarried yuppies which is part of the problem.

  6. Bob says:

    All we’ll get with $700,000 is one or more new crony jobs and money for a connected company to do a few studies. And even more offensive…the money comes from the Federal Reserve Bank, a private bank supported by our tax dollars which is doing a great job of ruining our economy.

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