Bank award will invest $5 million in Fairmount corridor

By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service
A Boston-based collaborative has snagged a $5 million award from JPMorgan Chase to create affordable housing in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan and train and connect at least 500 Black and Latinx residents with full-time jobs in the health care, technology and biotech industries.

The funds stem from the company's AdvancingCities Challenge, which drew more than 150 proposals from 79 communities across 35 states. Only seven cities won awards, which the bank says are part of its $500 million, five-year initiative to advance an "inclusive recovery" and economic opportunities in cities.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) is the lead entity in the eight-organization Boston Opportunity System Collaborative. The collaborative "can bring new vitality to neighborhoods that have suffered through generations of inequity and disinvestment," said BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh.

"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," Walsh said. "The COVID-19 pandemic is only making these disparities worse."

According to JPMorgan Chase, the collaborative over three years will train 1,100 individuals with plans to place at least 500 in full-time jobs, while also creating 100 affordable housing units and preserving another 150 affordable units. Housing construction and rehabilitation is expected to begin in 2021.

The other collaborative partners are Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Health Resources in Action, teaming up with the City of Boston and four community partners - the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, BlueHub Loan Fund, Action for Equity, and Jewish Vocational Services.

"Safe, affordable housing and access to well-paying jobs are foundational to thriving communities, yet both are out of reach for many Bostonians,” said Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase, predicting the collaborative will make a difference in the underserved communities.

"I'm proud Boston is one of the cities being recognized as we work to champion equity across our neighborhoods," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. "The BOS Collaborative receiving this grant from JPMorgan Chase will support the City's work in advancing opportunities and creating resources for those who live and work along the Fairmount Corridor."

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