Newton Community Needs Assessment

The City of Newton, MA, engaged CGR to conduct a Community Needs Assessment to inform its plans for investing its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation. Designed to gather feedback from those most impacted by the COVID pandemic, CGR sought input via a multi-lingual survey, targeted focus groups with lower-resourced, traditionally marginalized communities, and meetings with non-profit leaders, elected officials, and direct service City staff. CGR found that the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on people of color in Newton, led to substantial challenges with income and managing household expenses, and negatively affected people’s mental health and well-being. The report includes findings broken out by participant income, principal language spoken, family status, age, and racial/ethnic categories. The rank order of these needs varied slightly by demographic category but generally the most pressing challenges faced by lower-resourced Newton community members are housing costs and financial hardship/loss of income, followed by child care and health & wellness. CGR recommendations include balancing short-term immediate support to individuals with piloting new programs aimed at long-term stability for households, adapting approaches for specific populations such as immigrants and those who speak English as a second language, and continuing to engage with under-resourced Newton residents.

Report Date: Feb 2022
Author(s): Alice Carle , Kieran Bezila , Erika Rosenberg
Subject(s): Surveys & Analysis
Location: Middlesex, Massachusetts

You Might Also Like