Boston Foundation pledges $10 million investment in Fairmount Corridor

July 18, 2013

Foundation continues commitment to housing, jobs, economic and cultural investments to Fairmount neighborhoods

Boston – Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, today announced the Foundation would commit $10 million or more over the next four years to projects along the Fairmount Corridor – a nine-mile stretch of neighborhoods along the MBTA’s Fairmount rail line, providing empowering support to neighborhoods and organizations working to bring jobs, housing, and economic investments to the community while uplifting the cultural identities of those groups living along the rail line.

“The opening of new transit stations and the continued development along the Fairmount line underscores the power community funders can have when they invest in neighborhoods for the long term,” said Grogan. “We are honored to have been there from the early days of this effort to bring transit equity to the Fairmount Corridor, and we remain committed to ensuring that increased transit service in not an end in itself, but a step in the strengthening of these neighborhoods for all their residents.”

Grogan made his announcement at the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the MBTA’s new Four Corners/Geneva station at 200 Washington St. in Dorchester, one of three new stations opened along the line in the past year. Since 2009, the Boston Foundation has invested an estimated $8.75 million in housing, community building, transit equity, community economic development, cultural life and family asset development directly targeting the Fairmount Line and its surrounding environs in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, specific to leverage the MBTA’s $200 million infrastructure investment in revitalizing the Fairmount Line.

Grogan’s announcement moves the Boston Foundation into a second phase of investment, as the focus of work shifts from the development of equitable transit options for residents along the line to realizing the economic and cultural development potential that affordable transit access provides. Investments along the Fairmount Line will be supplemented by millions of dollars in co-located investments in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan targeting the areas of highest need and addressing disparities in education, community safety, income, health and other measures of success.

The Foundation’s investments in the revitalization of the Fairmount Line began in the mid-1990s with support for community groups working to return rail service to the diverse neighborhoods the commuter line passed through. The Foundation has also played a convening role, bringing together funders, community leaders and local, state and federal officials to create partnerships that could attract and contribute greater resources to address transit and other needs along the corridor.

Some examples of recent investments include:

  • A $1,000,000, five-year grant to the Fairmount/Indigo CDC Collaborative, a collaboration of community development corporations in the Fairmount Corridor, to provide a range of coordinated community development activities along the 9-mile Corridor, specifically targeting housing production and economic development.

  • A $500,000, five-year grant to the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership to support their work to provide housing stability and economic self-sufficiency through asset development for 300 families along the Fairmount Line through the expansion of HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

  • A $225,000, three-year grant to the Family Independence Initiative, a national center for innovating and testing approaches to economic and social mobility that strengthen social networks, respond to initiative and respect low-income families’ ability to lead their own lives for support of the continued expansion of their Boston program, which is working with 400 families.

  • A $100,000 grant to the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation to complete needed funding for the Bornstein and Pearl Small Business Center, which will turn the former Pearl Meats facility on Quincy Street into a renovates small business incubator targeting food-related businesses, and providing needed space for the city’s growing number of food trucks.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of more than $900 million.  In 2012, the Foundation and its donors made $88 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of close to $60 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  

The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.  The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements custom philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. Through its consulting and field-advancing efforts, TPI has influenced billions of dollars in giving worldwide.  For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.