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Through their eyes: Cambridge youth reflect on our city - Cambridge Community Foundation 2021 Annual Report

January 28, 2022

In this annual report we want to lift up the voices of our youth, the people who will one day inherit the new Cambridge. They often see inconvenient truths and have insights that can only come from the young. In some cases, they are already launching innovative solutions to the problems that they feel most deeply. In this way, they inspire us to discover and support social innovation wherever it exists, whether in our universities, our entrepreneurial culture, or in 10-year-old Aviana Dupee and other young people you will read about in this report.At our core we aspire to champion everyone who imagines a just and equitable city where we can all thrive. We fund grassroots leaders who use their lived experience to find solutions to local problems. We invest in innovative programs, like Cambridge RISE, which changes the lives of single parents and grandparents who are caring for children and struggling with everyday expenses. We form partnerships with nonprofits, civic leaders, universities, and donors to help good ideas take root.We exist to protect the qualities that make Cambridge the city you love. And, of course, we exist to create a better city for the young people who speak so eloquently on the following pages.

Making Connections: Annual Report 2017

March 5, 2018

Cambridge Community Foundation 2017 Annual Report

Boomtown/Hometown: What the Numbers Say about Income, Housing and Education in Cambridge Today

March 1, 2017

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.