Press Releases

October 08, 2020

Boston Receives $5 Million in JPMorgan Chase's AdvancingCities Challenge

A collaborative of eight organizations will provide job training, create and preserve affordable housing, and adopt new policies to connect residents to better-paying jobs in historically underinvested Boston neighborhoods

BOSTON, October 8, 2020 — JPMorgan Chase today announced Boston is one of seven winning cities in its AdvancingCities Challenge, part of the firm’s $500 million, five-year initiative to advance inclusive recovery and help create greater economic opportunity in cities. The Boston Opportunity System (BOS) Collaborative will receive a $5 million philanthropic investment to establish neighborhood-based training strategies for 1,100 residents of color, and fund 250 new and preserved affordable housing units in historically underinvested Boston neighborhoods, including Black and Latinx communities.

Today’s announcement builds on JPMorgan Chase’s new $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity ( address key drivers of the racial wealth divide and provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities.

The AdvancingCities Challenge supports collaborative and holistic solutions that tackle pressing needs and systemic challenges to help create more access to capital and opportunity. This year, the competition attracted more than 150 proposals from 78 communities across 35 states and territories.

“For too long people of color in Boston communities have suffered from lack of employment and affordable housing, key socioeconomic factors that impact their health and well-being,” said Wanda McClain, Vice President of Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham Health. “The Brigham is honored to partner with our colleagues on this cross-sector collaborative to turn the tide and advance equity and investments in Boston’s Fairmount Corridor.”

Boston Medical Center (BMC), the lead organization, joined partners Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Health Resources in Action in 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) to 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.

With the support from JPMorgan Chase, the BOS Collaborative will shift how cross-sector anchor institutions approach place-based hiring, purchasing, and investing, to create enduring opportunities for Boston’s Black and Latinx communities. The collaborative will deploy below-market rate capital to create affordable and permanent supportive 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 for onsite supportive 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, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We’re proud to support the Boston Opportunity System Collaborative to help Boston’s underserved communities, particularly Black and Latinx residents, access affordable housing and get better-paying jobs as part of our commitment to drive an inclusive economic recovery and advance racial equity. Collaboration among business, local government, anchor institutions and community leaders is critical to break down barriers of economic mobility and create more opportunity for more people.”

In August 2019, BMC, Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital formed the Innovative Stable Housing Initiative (ISHI), a separate $3 million housing initiative to increase access to and maintain stable housing in Boston. The BOS Collaborative will leverage ISHI’s robust efforts to engage more than 100 housing advocates, health care providers and local residents to help ensure that their efforts align to community needs and vision. Housing construction and rehabilitation is expected to begin in 2021.

The collaborative’s efforts will be concentrated in Boston’s neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.

“I’m proud Boston is one of the cities being recognized as we work to champion equity across our neighborhoods,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. 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."

Over the course of this 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. In affordable housing, the collaborative will create 100 affordable housing units and preserve 150 affordable units. To help achieve these outcomes, the collaborative expects to engage with 500 community residents and work with four city agencies.

“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 Kate Walsh, President and CEO of Boston Medical Center Health System. “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.”

About AdvancingCities
AdvancingCities is a $500 million initiative that combines the firm’s lending capital, philanthropic capital and expertise to invest in cities. The program consists of two key features, the AdvancingCities Challenge and large-scale investments in cities.

AdvancingCities Challenge proposals were required to focus on the strategic drivers of inclusive growth within JPMorgan Chase’s Model for Impact: jobs and skills, small business, neighborhood development and financial health, and build on the firm’s 7 Traits for AdvancingCities.

The 2020 AdvancingCities Challenge leveraged lessons learned from six years of hosting the PRO Neighborhoods competition and the first year of the AdvancingCities Challenge, continuing to emphasize the importance of collaboration, strong leadership, and bold and innovative approaches to help ensure that access to capital and opportunity is more widely shared by diverse communities. This year’s combined challenge sourced solutions that embodied three key factors:

• A powerful vision for the future shaped by deep community engagement and a shared understanding of goals and priorities to ensure alignment across partners;
• Strong leadership and collaboration among a diverse set of actors with unique authority and resources to drive sustainable change; and
• Innovative approaches that are data-driven and evidence-based and that move beyond “business as usual” to change the trajectory of communities that are currently being left behind.

The winning AdvancingCities Challenge initiatives will have access to a wide array of JPMorgan Chase resources, including data and research, employee expertise, and global network.

To learn more about AdvancingCities visit