For Immediate Release - February 25, 2013

Attleboro and Peabody Have Gateway City Status After Review of Data

BOSTON – February 25, 2013 – The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development announced today that Attleboro and Peabody are now Gateway Cities, after reviewing five years’ worth of applicable data.

The two cities join 24 others that meet the statutory requirements to become a Gateway City: Have a population greater than 35,000 and less than 250,000, have a median household income below the state average and have a rate of educational attainment of a bachelor’s degree or above that is below the state average.

Both Peabody and Attleboro met the requirements after their median household income fell below the state average of $65,981. The Office of Housing and Economic Development reviews the last five years’ worth of data on an annual basis to determine eligibility for the Gateway Cities program. Peabody and Attleboro are the first changes since the original 24 Gateway Cities were named following the creation of the program in the 2010 economic development legislation.

The Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to investing in education, innovation and infrastructure as a means to grow the Commonwealth and create new job creation and economic development in every part of the state. Through the Gateway Cities program, member communities have access to specific programs targeting those cities, or have preference in broader, state-wide programs.

“Our Gateway Cities possess tremendous potential and opportunities and the Patrick-Murray Administration’s emphasis on these communities is designed to help unlock that potential,” said Greg Bialecki, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “By continuing to invest in innovation, infrastructure and education in these communities we are creating new opportunities for growth in the future.”

Last month, as part of the Administration’s support of Gateway Cities, the Executive Office of Education announced $3.4 million in grants to support targeted English language instruction and early career education for students. The funding provides support to students and families in Gateway Cities and furthers the Administration’s efforts to build a 21st Century public education system that prepares all students for academic, career and lifelong success.

Gateway Cities have access to programs such as the Gateway Cities Parks Program, which develops and restores parks in urban neighborhoods; the Housing Development Incentive Program, which provides Gateway Cities with a development tool to increase market-rate housing stock and support economic development; and Housing Planning Grants and Gateway Plus Action Grants, which support revitalization and economic development opportunities. Through entities like the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and the Brownfields program, Gateway Cities have preference on funding on projects that create economic development and housing opportunities in communities throughout the state.

Patrick-Murray Administration has supported Gateway Cities with $3.9 billion in Chapter 70 education aid for the 2012-13 school year, $1 billion in active construction contracts through MassDOT, more than $109 million since 2007 for public safety grants, over $20 million Gateway City Park grants, $1.14 billion in bonds financed, grants or loans from MassDevelopment, and other support.