Boston Fed Announces The Working Cities Challenge

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, in partnership with national philanthropic collaborative Living Cities, is launching a bold new program. The Working Cities Challenge will support collaborative cross-sector initiatives that will result in measurable improvements to the quality of life and economic opportunity in Massachusetts smaller cities, especially for lower income people.  Multi-year grant funding and technical assistance will be available in early 2014 to winning city teams in the Working Cities Challenge, and the Fed will work with teams to access below market debt for qualified projects. Additional partners include: Boston Community Capital, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, The Life Initiative, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, Mass Inc., and the Alliance for Business Leadership.  

The Working Cities Challenge will provide multi-year support to promising initiatives that advance cross-sector collaboration among the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and among organizations within these sectors.  In particular,the Fed is seeking to catalyze and accelerate initiatives that will create new and/or stronger working relationships between key institutions, agencies, organizations, and businesses within these cities.

The following twenty cities are eligible to participate in the Working Cities Challenge:











New Bedford






Fall River





To be eligible for the competition, cities must have a population of between 35,000 and 250,000 as well as below-median family income and above-median poverty in relation to peer cities in Massachusetts. See for detailed information on city eligibility).

Cross-sector teams - with representation from the public, private and non-profit sectors - from these cities are eligible to apply. Teams wishing to participate must submit letters of interest by the third week of April 2013 (to be confirmed). Initial applications will be due in summer 2013.

The Boston Fed will be holding three regional briefings to provide more information about the Working Cities Challenge and answer questions about the process for submitting an application.  If you are interested in learning more, please join us for one of the following sessions:

  1. New Bedford: Thursday, February 28, 10:30 a.m, Fairfield Inn & Suites/Waypoint Event Center, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford MA 02740
  2. Springfield: Monday, March 4, 10:30 a.m., Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress Street, Floor 1, Springfield MA 01104
  3. Lowell:  Friday, March 8, 10 a.m., Middlesex Community College, 33 Kearney Square, Lowell MA 01852

Space is limited. Please register at to confirm your attendance. If you have questions about the competition, please contact: Tamar Kotelchuck at or (617) 973-2982. More information about the competition can be found at