Yale’s Ties to New Haven

The Yale-New Haven relationship is older than America itself, stretching more than three centuries, 23 university presidents, and 51 mayors. As neighbors, the city and the university haven’t always seen eye to eye. But over the past three decades, the two have forged a strong and steadfast bond, with Yale making historic investments to create jobs, increase tax revenues, attract new businesses, and help reshape the city’s public image.

Yale now provides more in voluntary payments to New Haven than any other university to a single city, thanks to President Salovey pledging an unprecedented $140 million to the city of New Haven over a six-year period. This pledge includes $135 million in voluntary payments and $5 million for a new Center for Inclusive Growth to foster economic development.

Yale’s Financial Commitment to New Haven

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, left, and Yale President Peter Salovey during an event announcing Yale’s new six-year commitment to increase its annual voluntary financial contribution to the city.

Yale has launched initiatives to revitalize neighborhoods like Winchester and Dixwell, while helping its employees buy homes across the city. And through programs like Yale Pathways, New Haven Promise, and the recently announced James W.C. Pennington Fellowship, a scholarship for New Haven public school students who choose to attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Yale has helped create a culture of college readiness throughout the community.

Yale is also a powerful economic engine for New Haven. As the city’s largest employer, Yale provides jobs to nearly 14,000 people, including nearly 6,000 New Haven residents. The university also pays more than $5 million annually in taxes, making it the city’s third-largest taxpayer.

Small businesses have greatly benefited from the ever-growing partnership between Yale and New Haven, too. Through its Community Investment Program, Yale redevelops nearby property and has focused on recruiting minority-owned and female-owned businesses to its retail districts. The university does not just lease these spaces; it works closely with tenants to help them succeed, hosting merchant association meetings, organizing events to draw visitors, overseeing advertising and promotion efforts, and investing in property improvements.

Working with Yale University Properties

Working with Yale University Properties, Neville Wisdom, owner of Neville Wisdom Fashion Design Studio, was able to combine his retail storefront and manufacturing operations at one downtown location at 27 Broadway.

The results of this vital partnership have garnered national attention. New Haven is quickly becoming a destination location, with more than 3 million visitors to downtown annually. In fact, in 2023, the New York Times named New Haven one of the top 52 places to visit in the world. 

This New Haven “renaissance,” as many have dubbed it, didn’t happen overnight. Nor was it inevitable. It was decades in the making, and Yale’s partnership with New Haven has played a critical role.

There is still much work to do. But the university and the city, once at odds more often than at each other’s side, now count on one another like never before. “Yale and New Haven have a bond that has been tested by time and strengthened by shared purpose,” said Yale President Peter Salovey in 2021. “As a New Haven anchor institution and the city’s largest employer, the university is proud to do its part in building a community that creates sustained inclusive growth across every neighborhood in the city.”

Learn more about Yale and New Haven’s partnership.