The vision for Gateway Cities is that they actively participate in, and contribute to, the Commonwealth’s overall economic success by taking advantage of their distinctive ability to be desirable locations for innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses and places where people with choices choose to live.  As this vision is achieved, our Gateway Cities will not only prosper, they will provide a distinctive competitive advantage for the Commonwealth as a whole.  Our work to achieve this vision has four guiding principles:

  1. A successful strategy for our Gateway Cities will be fundamentally based on an economic development agenda for the Commonwealth as a whole:  making long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, with special attention to the growth potential of our entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  2. A successful strategy for our Gateway Cities will take full advantage of their distinctive assets, including their educational, medical and cultural institutions, and their historic buildings and neighborhoods.
  3. Although our Gateway Cities will be centers of economic activity, they will not succeed in isolation and must be well connected to other centers of economic activity, within the Commonwealth and beyond.
  4. Success requires a true city-state partnership, with each party accepting and executing its respective responsibilities.

What is a Gateway City?

Under M.G.L. c. 23A section 3A, a Gateway City is defined as a municipality with:

  • Population greater than 35,000 and less than 250,000
  • Median household income below the state average
  • Rate of educational attainment of a bachelor’s degree or above that is below the state average.

The following are Massachusetts Gateway Cities: 

AttleboroHolyokePittsfield
BarnstableLawrenceQuincy
BrocktonLeominsterRevere
ChelseaLowellSalem
ChicopeeLynnSpringfield
EverettMaldenTaunton
Fall RiverMethuenWestfield
FitchburgNew BedfordWorcester
HaverhillPeabody 

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Programs and Initiatives

Housing Development Incentive Program

The Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) , established as M.G.L., Chapter 40V, provides Gateway Cities with a development tool to increase residential growth, expand diversity of housing stock, support economic development, and promote neighborhood stabilization in designated geographic target areas. The program provides two tax incentives to developers to undertake substantial rehabilitation of properties for lease or sale as multi-unit market rate housing:  (1) a local-option real estate tax exemption on all or part of the increased property value resulting from improvements (the increment); and (2) state tax credits for Qualified Substantial Rehabilitation Expenditures that are awarded through a rolling application process.

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