Located in the Chinatown neighborhood of downtown Boston, Tufts University School of Medicine along with Tufts-New England Medical Center (the primary teaching college for Tufts Medical students) are gobbling up land (Chinatown is only 43 acres large), driving up housing prices, and displacing Chinatown's residents from the community they helped build and have called home for decades. Among those driven out of Chinatown by the University and Medical Center's expansionism are members of Boston's Chinese immigrant community, for whom the neighborhood has been a source of support and community following their respective immigration journeys.
Professor Andrew Leong noted in a 1997 paper that Tufts University School of Medicine and the Medical Center were at that time already occupying nearly one third of the total land in Boston’s Chinatown. Tufts Professor Professor Peter Loh further recounts, “Where there used to be a YMCA for Chinatown … that is now a parking lot for New England Medical Center for Tufts. Tufts is still a major, major player in terms of the land down there ... If you keep on going on Harrison [Avenue], Tufts has built all kinds of new dorms, and it’s tucked right in next to one of the biggest affordable housing units in Chinatown, called Tai Tung [Village] ... We saw displacement as an environmental injustice issue because the communities that have stayed in city neighborhoods and fought for revitalization in periods where there was disinvestment and abandonment of those areas, these are the same folks now who are [potentially] being displaced.”
Where the University and Medical Center do not physically occupy space, they nevertheless drive up housing and living costs. Tufts student Wayne Yeh who went who spent a summer going door to door with the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) along with city employees explains, “In Chinatown there’s a problem where a lot of people are being evicted … because the landlords would rather evict the immigrants and then restructure and refurbish the entire apartment and sell it or rent it out for much higher rates to Tufts Medical students ... There are more and more young, business class, single occupancy white residents ... They’re coming in and taking those housing [units] … Presently the Asian American population is on a decline — Asian American families are on a decline.”
Tufts University School of Medicine faculty are among recipients of grants from the Binational Science Foundation (BSF), which aims to promote connections and collaborations between US and Israeli scientists.
In fiscal years 2007-2020, Combined Jewish Philanthropies funneled $3,500 from its donors to Tufts University School of Medicine.