Outcome Area:

Higher Opportunity Neighborhoods

As part of our efforts to dismantle structural racism and advance equity in social and economic mobility in Greater Hartford's Black and Latine communities, the Hartford Foundation seeks to increase the number of Hartford residents living in higher opportunity neighborhoods.

Our desired outcomes

  • Increased investment in Hartford neighborhoods
  • Increased social strength and connectedness of Hartford neighborhoods
  • Increased availability of quality, affordable housing in Hartford and the region
  • Increased housing stability for Hartford renters
  • Increased stability and growth of BIPOC-owned small businesses


The Foundation seeks to increase the number of Hartford residents living in higher opportunity neighborhoods, both by increasing investments in Hartford neighborhoods and by enhancing the ability of Hartford residents to choose to move to other higher opportunity areas in Greater Hartford.

Higher opportunity neighborhoods are defined by a variety of factors including low unemployment, better performing schools, lower crime and greater availability of quality, affordable housing stock. Children growing up in higher opportunity neighborhoods generally have better opportunities for upward economic mobility, as well as better health outcomes and higher educational attainment.

In Hartford, low-income residents and people of color disproportionately face the challenges of living in low opportunity neighborhoods. This contributes to negative long-term educational, economic and health outcomes.

What does the data tell us?

  • Connecticut children born in wealthy towns can expect to live 6 years longer than those born in cities. Life expectancy in one part of Northeast Hartford is 19 years lower than life expectancy in Avon.
  • Connecticut has the second-largest gap in the U.S. for homeownership rates between white and Latinx residents and the 15th largest gap between Black and white residents.
  • In Hartford, just 24% of homes are occupied by a homeowner, compared to 67% statewide, with only 16% of Hartford’s Latinx residents and 28% of Black residents owning a home.
  • Nearly 2/3 of Black and Latinx renters are housing cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing, as compared to 1/3 of all Greater Hartford households.
  • 43% of the evictions in our region occurred Hartford, according to 2016 data.
  • Only 46% of Hartford residents say they feel safe walking around their neighborhood at night. In the inner ring suburbs, that number is 69%, and in the outer ring suburbs, it’s 81%.

What we're doing

Current or recent activities that support this outcome area:

Love Your Block Grant Program: The Foundation and the City of Hartford partner each year to provide grants for neighborhood beautification projects to clean, green and beautify Hartford’s neighborhoods. In 2022, we committed more than $225,000, funding 21 projects in 15 different neighborhoods through the Love Your Block program.

Hartford Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Foundation, partnering with the City of Hartford, nonprofits and corporate partners, launched a $1.375M Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program to provide more than 150 Hartford businesses with up to $10K, specifically targeted toward businesses owned by women and people of color.

Housing Policy and Advocacy: In 2021, the Hartford Foundation offered a competitive grant opportunity focused on supporting housing policy and advocacy activities. In January 2022, we awarded seven $25,000 grants to support a broad range of state and local public policy and advocacy work. This marks the first time that the Foundation has offered its support for legislative advocacy by nonprofits and community members.

Engaging, Educating and Organizing Residents on Housing Segregation and Inclusive Housing Development: Four, 1-year grants totaling $70K were awarded to promote resident education and organizing and to bring the expertise of the Regional Plan Association and Sustainable CT, Inc. directly to residents. 

LISC CT Community Development Efforts: To support the community development sector in Greater Hartford, the Hartford Foundation awarded a three-year, $1.29 million grant to LISC Connecticut to provide a system of supports to entities engaged in development work including lending, capacity building, technical assistance, planning, advocacy and convening.

See more of our Higher Opportunity Neighborhoods work

Who will benefit?

Hartford residents, Hartford renters and homeowners, children and families, residents returning from incarceration, Black and Latine small business owners and entrepreneurs.