Current Projects

Southcoast Health’s  2019 Community Health Needs Assessment
The PPC will conduct Southcoast Health’s Community Health Needs Assessment for 2019. The analysis will document the major demographic, socioeconomic, and health trends among Southcoast residents, with a focus on health access, environmental health, substance abuse disorder, wellness and chronic disease, and health disparities. The analysis will be enhanced by qualitative data gathered through focus groups, key informant interviews, and surveys of the region’s residents, service providers, and key community members. Data from the CNA will also be used to provide a baseline for the development of an Impact Evaluation in three years.

Transforming Quincy: A Holistic Assessment of the Economic Contributions of the Quincy Center Urban Revitalization District Project
The PPC is working with the City of Quincy to present a comprehensive analysis of the individual and collective, local and regional economic benefits of the projects being developed in the Quincy Center, including spillover effects into adjacent neighborhoods. The report will include an analysis of the construction impacts of the projects as well as the resulting sustained economic impacts. However, effectively telling the story of the evolution of Quincy Center and “connecting the dots” between the numerous projects will require more than simply an econometric assessment. To place these projects and their economic impacts in their appropriate context, our report will document and describe the history, key milestones, and the local and strategic context for the ways in which these projects have and will shape Quincy. Ultimately, our work is intended to help the city’s leaders and key stakeholders to better understand the goals and trade-offs that have been associated with the decisions made to date, and the role that the redevelopment plays in the city’s larger vision for the downtown area and the city as a whole

EDA Economic Adjustment Program: Southeastern Massachusetts Marine Science and Technology Corridor
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded UMass Dartmouth a grant to facilitate the development of a “Blue Economy Corridor” in our region. The PPC will be engaging with stakeholders in the traditional maritime industries and the emerging marine technology sector to understand obstacles to success and identify opportunities for growth. We also will assess how government organizations, firms, and higher education and research institutions do and can collaborate to attract new companies, talent, and funding to the region. The basis of our analysis will be informed by exploring connections between the SouthCoast and our neighbors in Rhode Island and Cape Cod. Our preliminary work will lay the foundation for the second phase of this project, which will focus on developing a strategy to both capitalize on the existing momentum in the regional blue economy and explore new areas for growth in the sector.

Providing Technical Assistance and an Evaluation to the New Bedford Housing Authority in their Implementation of the “A Better Life” Program
The New Bedford Housing Authority was one of four housing authorities in Massachusetts to receive a planning grant for the “A Better Life” or ABL program from the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. ABL is a pilot program designed to assist residents of state-funded housing developments in accessing services related to job training, education, and career advancement. The eventual goal of the ABL program is help households exit public housing and secure their own homes. The program planned by the New Bedford Housing Authority provides wrap-around services provided by community partners to facilitate achievements in education, at work, and in personal finances. The PPC is providing technical assistance as the housing authority applies for the next round of grant funding. We will also be assisting in monitoring program outcomes and conducting an evaluation once the ABL program as been fully implemented.

Identifying the Needs of Metrowest Suburban Edge Communities
The 495/Metrowest Partnership has engaged the PPC to build on our previous work for the region. Our new volume of research will focus on assessing the regional infrastructure and development needs; surveying local government, public, and private sector leaders on their policy priorities; and further developing a library of “community snapshots” featuring economic and demographic indicators relevant the policy discussions affecting the region.

Exploring Mechanisms of Encouraging of New Housing Development
For many years, Massachusetts has faced unaffordable housing costs and an undersupply of new housing development, driven in large part by municipal resistance arising from concerns about potential negative local fiscal impacts. Informed by the PPC’s previous work on this topic, the PPC will identify and evaluate practical policy options for the development of a funding mechanism to defray municipal costs associated with new development. In support of this task, the PPC will explore the predictors of housing construction permitting and will estimate the net new state revenues by project type for each region of Massachusetts.

Adding New Content to Southcoast Urban Indicators Project (SCUIP)
Like other indicators projects from cities around the United States, SCUIP is designed to meet the information needs of citizens and leaders of Fall River and New Bedford. This project and website are ever-evolving; we will be adding to and updating content on a regular basis based on input and suggestions from the community. Please let us know if you have suggestions for new indicators.