Mattapan is a neighborhood of Boston. Historically, a neighboring section of Dorchester, Mattapan became part of Boston in Dorchester and was annexed in 1870. In the 2000 census this area had a population of 28,145. Like other neighborhoods of the late 19th and early 20th century, Mattapan developed, residential and commercial, such as railroads and streetcars and made downtown Boston increasingly more accessible.
Predominately residential, Mattapan is a mix of public housing, small apartment buildings, houses, and two and three family houses (known locally as "Three Deckers"). Blue Hill Avenue and Mattapan Square, where Blue Hill Avenue, River Street and Cummins Highway meet, is the commercial heart of the neighborhood, home to banks, law offices, restaurants and shops. The new Mattapan branch of the Boston Public Library opened in 2009 at a cost of over $4 million.
In the 1960s and 70s Mattapan underwent a major change in the composition of its population. It went from a predominantly Jewish neighborhood to one that is now largely African American and Caribbean America and has a population of 37,486 and more than 77% African American and Caribbean American.
The years between 1968 and 1970 constituted the most dramatic period of transition ethnic Mattapan. According to Levine and Harmon in his book Death of an American Jewish community, to comment on the area, this successful and fear in residents of the neighborhood created by real estate agents selling panic occurred and the flight of whites. The banking consortium Boston Banks Urban Renewal Group (B-BURG) allegedly led to the Jewish community in Mattapan and are claimed to assume partial responsibility for the deterioration of the neighborhood, especially along the Blue Hill Avenue corridor. This widespread belief has been disputed, with differences between Catholics and the life of the Jewish community in Boston is the largest contributing factor.
Again, according to Levine and Harmon, the reason behind this attack on the community was at the lowest levels of the market to buy property, sell the property with federally guaranteed loans at inflated prices to black families do not could pay, and white for the community to buy property owned by banks in the suburbs.
Today Mattapan is seeing another shift in the larger population, but again nature of housing, as a large number of immigrants from Haiti and other Caribbean countries continue to move in. Mattapan now has the largest Haitian community, in Massachusetts, and is also largely of African Americans and immigrants from other Caribbean countries.
The streetcar line of the MBTA Mattapan Ashmont Mattapan serves and several bus lines. Fairmount Line MBTA Commuter Rail also serves on Morton Street Mattapan, providing service to downtown Boston and its suburbs. The convenient public transportation makes the area accessible and efficient for those Bostonians wanting to leave their vehicles parked at home and take advantage of the rail and bus services.