WHALE and Community Economic Development Center Partner With Eyes for Acushnet Ave

October 31, 2017

After a competitive round, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Boston (LISC) has awarded WHALE and the Community Economic Development Corporation $50,000 of Section 4 funding to increase operational capacity of the two community development corporations based in New Bedford.

For the Near North End Restoration Partnership, WHALE and CEDC will combine resources to engage residents while surveying the historic neighborhood for opportunities in affordable housing, cultural venues and economic development services.

Partners and participants will focus on the entrance of Acushnet Avenue, a walkable 1.9-mile street, known as a historic gateway to a vibrant array of diverse shops, markets and ethnic restaurants. Home to many immigrants, their culture has become a birthplace of the grandest festivals and ceremonies to take place on “the Ave”. The cultural hub is still challenged by service gaps as many residents face language barriers in accessing legal, public safety, health and financial services. Over 32% Near North End residents live below the poverty line and many feel isolated from the many development initiatives in other New Bedford districts.

In this Near North End Neighborhood Restoration Partnership the three mutual goals include:

  1. Strengthening the capacity of the “Love the Ave” Collaborative. This collaboration of over 30 local businesses, residents and community initiatives are dedicated to the revitalization of Acushnet Ave.
  2. Finding ways to expand programming/ space use within the neighborhood for needs in health care, recreation, job training and adult education.
  3. To continue to engage residents through the Neighborhood Restoration Program by surveying vacant historic sites along the street for adaptive reuse.