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Cambridge Community Foundation;
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 homes and 9 percent of condominiums are affordable for a family earning $75,000 a year total.
Closely related to the housing situation is a growing income gap as the city moves toward a divide between rich and poor with those in the middle squeezed out. One consequence: the number of low- and middle- income residents in the city has declined in recent years while high–income residents have dramatically increased as a proportion of the whole.
The report, titled Boomtown/Hometown: What the Numbers Say about Income, Housing and Education in Cambridge Today, was developed with data contributions from the city and from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. It identifies a serious threat to a tradition of cohesiveness and inclusivity, signatures of this small city with its long history as a global education center, immigrant destination and creative industrial sparkplug.
Following passage of health care reform in Massachusetts, the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a public safety-net health system, began to establish an accountable care organization in an effort to continue its mission and remain financially solvent. In examining how CHA undertook its delivery system transformation, this case study explores the organization's four major strategies: establishing patient-centered medical homes, entering alternative payment arrangements with managed care organizations, launching complex care management, and establishing a partnership with a tertiary care institution. Workforce education and culture change were also core principles. Within two years, CHA had already received National Committee for Quality Assurance patient-centered medical home recognition for six of its primary care sites, and quality metrics demonstrate improvements in these sites compared with others. Moreover, utilization in one managed care organization is trending downward. Challenges persist, however, due in part to fiscal pressures created by state health care reform.
Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings;
As the United States slowly emerges from the great recession, a remarkable shify is occurring in the spatial geogrpahy of innovation. For the past 50 years, the landscape of innovation has been dominated by places like Silicon Valley - suburban corridors of spatially isolated corporate campuses, accessible only by car, with little emphasis on the quality of life or on integrating work, housing, and recreation.
A new complementary urban model is now emerging, giving rise to what we and others are calling "innovation districts." These districts, by our definition, are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators. They are also physically compact, transit-accessible, and technically
Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago;
* 58 percent of Chicago arts-school alumni took up residence in the city within 5 years of the date of their last attendance. Of the regions compared in this report, only New York City has a greater portion of its arts-school alumni taking up residence in the city within 5 years, at 66 percent.
* 51 percent of Chicago arts-school alumni were out-of-state applicants who came to Chicago and were still living in the city within five years of their last date of attendance. This is the second highest portion of out-of-state applicants taking up residence in the city of their alma mater. New York City's rate was highest at 54 percent.
* Of arts-school alumni who searched for work, 38 percent of those attending school in Chicago obtained work prior to leaving their institution; 85 percent obtained work within a year. Alumni from other regions had similar experiences.
*50 percent of Chicago's alumni reported that their first job or work experience was "closely related" to their arts-school training. However, alumni from institutions in Los Angeles County, Cleveland/Columbus and New York City reported higher rates of their first work experience being closely related to their arts training.
Boston Foundation, The;
Estimates how much Eastern Massachusetts municipalities would save in employee health insurance costs by joining the state's Group Insurance Commission. Recommendations include aligning state and local health benefits and authority to change plan designs.
Mixed-Income rental properties that include extremely low-income households (below 30 percent of AMI) are a valuable strategy for community health. They simultaneously address two critical challenges: housing for those most in need and desegregating poverty. Understanding how to operate mixed-income apartments profitably is important to increase the development and underwriting of these properties.
With the generous support of the Ford Foundation, NeighborWorks America undertook this study of management and marketing practices of successful mixed-income properties that have served extremely low-income families while maintaining positive cash flow for at least five years.
This report describes seven strategies used by these properties to stabilize and maintain high occupancy rates with healthy operating budgets. For each strategy, we provide concrete implementation examples.
Auburn Court is a 137-unit mixed-income, mixed-race property in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The property is nearly evenly divided between market-rate (34%) and moderate-rate (16%) units and low-income (50%) units. The surrounding community is an increasingly gentrifying mixed-use neighborhood with housing, offices, MIT research facilities, a hotel, and retail shopping. The property was completed in two phases because of the slow housing market in the mid-1990s. The first phase was completed in 1996 (77 units) and the second phase was completed in 2000 (60 units).