Publications - Community Development Resources
Investing in America’s Workforce seeks to strengthen our nation’s economic potential through reframing and reimagining workforce development efforts, taking a broader view of them as investments, rather than as a limiting view centered on the delivery of social services. This initiative will connect businesses, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners to rethink policy and investments, attract new resources, and improve economic mobility for workers.
Building on the concept of creative placemaking, this paper from the San Francisco Fed presents an idea for a Community Development Financial Institution organized around art: CultureBank. Housed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, this nonprofit bank will specialize in unleashing asset value in art collections and focus on artists as borrowers, or Artist-Entrepreneurs.
In 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco held a series of roundtable discussions across the Western states to examine drivers of the recent rise in involuntary part-time employment and the impact it has on lower-income households. This paper summarizes existing research on the topic of underemployment, discusses themes that surfaced during the locally focused meetings, and proposes ways to address the underlying causes through solutions that build on the interrelated nature of housing, jobs, transportation, and child care.
The third issue of Community Scope 2016 will offer a broad overview of the challenges faced by today’s watermen that may be precipitating their declining numbers and will discuss alternative and supplemental employment options that may be available to them.
The second issue of Community Scope 2016 examines the patterns in geographic service provision by respondent CDFIs in urban, rural, low- and moderate-income (LMI), underserved and distressed markets and areas.
Community Development Financial Institutions in the Southeast: Surveying the Social Investment Landscape
Volume 4, Issue 1 2016 of Community Scope uses the results of the 2015 survey to present timely key findings on CDFI activity in the Southeast, including capitalization, demand, capacity, non-lending programs and services, and impact investing.
Nonprofits play a variety of roles in our daily lives; from providing higher education and medical care to supporting the arts. This issue of the Fifth District Spotlight looks at the nonprofit sector in the U.S. and within the Fifth District.
In this issue of In the Balance, economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis further explore the paradox of how higher education has become an unintentional engine of economic disparity for blacks and Hispanics, rather than an engine of economic equality.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Winter 2016-2017 issue include: Indianola Promise Community: Improving Academic Outcomes in the Delta; Working Together to Address the Wealth Gap; Community and Economic Development: Around the Globe and Back to the Mississippi Delta Region; 12 Steps to Financial Success: Empowering At-Risk Adults; Memorial Community Development Corporation: Putting Faith to Work; and more.
How often does the character of a neighborhood change, and what are the most common types of neighborhood change? A Cleveland Fed researcher has attempted to shed light on those two questions by looking at four cities (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh) over a 40-year period (1970-2010).
How accessible is high-speed internet across the Fourth District states of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia? Two Cleveland Fed researchers examine through analysis and maps what's being considered a new form of infrastructure.
The nation continues to add jobs as the economic recovery continues, but employment growth is slowing, and even reversing, in some states, including those in the Fourth Federal Reserve District. How will this impact the District’s unemployment rate? In this January 2017 feature, a Cleveland Fed researcher examines five employment growth scenarios to find out.
In this third issue of the Quarterly Debt Monitor, which focuses on the third quarter of 2016, the St. Louis Fed finds consumer debt growth stalling in the four largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the St. Louis Fed's District (St. Louis, Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky, and Memphis, Tenn.) and across the United States. Additionally, a special section is included in the issue that focuses on consumer debt trends in some of the smaller MSAs in the District, including Evansville, Ind.-Ky.; Fayettevillle-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo.; Jackson, Tenn.; and Springfield, Mo.
According to the 2016 Illinois Poverty Report, poverty rates are two to three times higher for Illinoisans of color. Black children in Illinois are nearly four times more likely to live below the poverty line than white children. In this 2016 article from the Chicago Fed's Profitwise News and Views, the author examines how a universal Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program has the potential to provide such a ladder out of poverty and toward long-term financial security–especially in communities of color.
In this second issue of the Quarterly Debt Monitor, covering the second quarter of 2016, the St. Louis Fed gives a detailed report on consumer debt nationally compared with the four largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the St. Louis Fed's District (St. Louis, Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn.) and finds consumer debt grew across the United States, as well as all of the MSAs in the Eighth Federal Reserve District.
This report from the Dallas Fed and the Center for Public Policy Priorities draws upon survey results from Texas' 28 workforce boards to demonstrate how integrated regional workforce development systems are strengthening the middle class by building talent pipelines that help advance lower-skilled workers and job seekers.
In this inaugural edition covering the first quarter of 2016, the St. Louis Fed reports on consumer debt nationally compared with the four largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. These quarterly reports will examine changes in total consumer debt and in specific types of liabilities: mortgages, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), automobile and student loans, and credit card balances.
Community engagement is not an easy task. This is especially true in communities with historically underrepresented and underserved populations who do not feel connected to the planning process. This 2016 article, featured in the Chicago Fed's ProfitWise News and Views, shows how some municipalities across the country are finding success through the use of participatory budgeting.
Corporate Landlords, Institutional Investors, and Displacement: Eviction Rates in Single-Family Rentals
Institutional investors purchased thousands of homes across the country to rent them after the real estate and financial crisis. In this December 2016 Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper from the Atlanta Fed, authors examine how the rise of the large corporate landlord in the single-family rental market affected housing stability in Atlanta.
Workforce development contributes to a strong economy by equipping workers to succeed in the labor market and supplying employers with quality talent. This framework, from the Dallas and Kansas City Feds, is designed to give banks—and organizations interested in partnering with them—tools and information to engage in workforce development activities in ways that may help them fulfill their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act.
This 2016 article, from the Chicago Fed's ProfitWise News and Views, provides an in-depth look at The Center for Economic Progress (CEP), a local and national leader in providing free tax and financial services for low-income families, with a front-line presence in 15 Chicago area communities, and central Illinois. CEP’s mission comes to life through its three core service areas: tax preparation, tax legal clinic and asset building program.
While the preventive effect of loan modifications on mortgage default has been well-documented, evidence on the broad consequences of modifications has been fairly limited. Based on two unique loan-level data sets with borrower credit profiles, the study Borrower Credit Access and Credit Performance After Loan Modifications reports novel empirical evidence on how homeowners manage their credit before and after receiving modifications.
Philadelphia has experienced increased rental housing affordability challenges in recent years, especially in neighborhoods that have undergone gentrification. This report explores one aspect of gentrification’s impact on housing costs by examining its association with changes in Philadelphia’s stock of units that rent for less than $750 per month.
Consumer debt grew rapidly in the years leading up to the Great Recession and contracted sharply in its immediate aftermath.This credit cycle played out unevenly among households with different financial means and in different parts of the country. While much attention has been paid to mortgages, other debt categories, such as automobile and student, play an important role in household finances. In this 2006 article, featured in ProfitWise News and Views, the Chicago Fed analyzes changes in the pattern of consumer credit during the period of the Great Recession by income group and loan category in Cook County overall, and compared to the nation.
This article from a 2016 Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Profitwise News and Views publication provides an in depth look at the Cara Program. Since 1991, Cara has helped men and women affected by poverty to get and keep good jobs, and more importantly rebuild hope, self-esteem, and opportunity for themselves and their families in the process. Cara produces hundreds of jobs each year, at retention rates over 20 percentage points higher than national averages, and with over 80 percent of employed participants moving onto permanent housing in which their families can thrive.
This publication includes papers originally presented at the ninth biennial Federal Reserve System’s Community Development Research Conference. The authors of the essays in this volume explore a range of issues and concepts central to understanding how—and how well—people are able to move economically.
This article, featured in ProfitWise News and Views from the Chicago Fed, summarizes a 2015 conference co-hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville on building healthy and sustainable rural communities. The event provided an opportunity to explore what is working to build health, prosperity, and resilience in rural communities.
Why, if so much has improved in recent years relating to small business, are there fewer startup firms, comparatively? A Cleveland Fed writer explores what’s improved, what hasn’t, and what’s possibly to come for Main Street firms.
A Cleveland Fed analyst examines the demographic challenges eastern Kentucky faces as it tries to attract and retain a more diverse mix of jobs.
One way a household might handle financial distress is to relocate to another area that offers greater income opportunities. A trio of Cleveland Fed researchers examines the impact of geographic mobility on consumer finances by focusing on the residents of “boom towns”—areas that saw a surge of growth in oil-drilling activity around 2010 and a bust thereafter. They find that residents who move after the bust experience stronger consumer financial health than residents who stay put.
Two Cleveland Fed analysts examine how organizations such as Kentucky Homeplace have been working in eastern Kentucky to reduce health disparities and build a healthier and more productive population and a stronger regional economy.
Ohio law has been amended to allow for speedier foreclosures of so-called zombie properties, and this article asks Cleveland Fed community development experts if the new option will benefit neighborhoods.
Recent revisions to regulatory guidance do not strip the bank branch of its importance for achieving compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. A Cleveland Fed writer examines the interaction between regulators and bankers as financial institutions are serving communities in increasingly digital ways.
Contact information for CDFIs in the Southeast region of the U.S. (Maryland, District of Columbia, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky), updated in partnership with The Support Center in North Carolina and CDFI Fund.
How do small businesses that apply to online alternative lenders compare to those that apply to traditional financial institutions only? And in what ways do their experiences with lenders differ? This analysis from Cleveland Fed and Board of Governor analysts draws from data in the Federal Reserve’s 2015 Small Business Credit Survey to examine these questions.
The fall 2016 issue leads off with the necessity of teachers of color in public school systems and also reports on local educators' reactions to Common Core implementation. Other topics include the high prevalence of young adults receiving Social Security Disability benefits in northern New England, an overview of the region's addiction epidemic, a look at unemployment and the popularity of lotteries in Maine, and the relationship between homelessness and subsidized housing. More articles cover the Capital & Collaboration initiative's examination of community investment in Massachusetts Working Cities, how mobile payments help streamline commuting, a collaboration between Starbucks and a nonprofit group of CDFIs to create jobs, and data on childhood food insecurity in New England.
This Dallas Fed article provides an overview of the latest in Texas' payday lending field, highlighting impact on low-income communities, recent changes to local ordinances, the CFPB's proposed federal regulations and low-cost alternatives in the state and across the U.S.
In this first issue of its new Community Outlook Series, the Dallas Fed analyzes results from a poll of 52 affordable housing developers in over 24 Texas counties, and includes qualitative interviews that address housing challenges for providers and low- and moderate-income families across the state. Key findings include: A third of all Texans are housing cost-burdened and developers face issues from rising costs, insufficient funding, strict regulations and community opposition. Learn more.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Summer 2016 issue include: All Low- and Moderate-Income Areas Are Not Created Equal; Moving First-Time Buyers Off the Fence: Solving the Millennial Homebuyer Puzzle with Proven Online Solutions and Partnerships; Innovative Partnership Brings Hope to Small Towns; Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Fueled by Students and Faculty; Impacting Homelessness in Missouri; and more.
A Minneapolis Fed analysis shows that during and after the housing market crash, the bulk of bank-owned homes in some neighborhoods were purchased with cash—likely by investors. From Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Interested in exploring how grant capital to support community and economic development is distributed across metropolitan areas in the United States? Check out this new data tool: Following the Money. Based on data provided by the Foundation Center that captures all grants of at least $10,000 made by the 1,000 largest foundations between 2008 and 2013, the Following the Money data tool and infographic report provide a comprehensive look at the data from more than 366 U.S. metropolitan areas. Interactive data and results from the analysis are provided by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia.
In this issue of 5th District Spotlight, the Richmond Fed looks at social and economic conditions that may directly or indirectly affect health outcomes. Research shows that factors such as a quality education, stable employment, safe surroundings, access to healthy food, transportation options, internet connectivity, and preventative and support services may contribute to individual physical health, as well as to overall health-related quality of life for a community.
This volume from the San Francisco Fed is about a type of American neighborhood that has been largely absent in the long-standing discussion about America’s neighborhoods—those neighborhoods in America’s cities and suburbs that are not in deep distress, but are not thriving either. The authors hope to reinvigorate a discussion about improving middle neighborhoods in America’s cities and suburbs as a complement to the discussion underway nationally and in many local settings about improving distressed neighborhoods or coping with gentrification.
Taking Stock of New Supermarkets in Food Deserts: Patterns in Development, Financing, and Health Promotion
Across the U.S., neighborhoods face disparate healthy food access, which has motivated federal, state, and local initiatives to develop supermarkets in “food deserts.” Differences in the implementation of these initiatives are evident, including the presence of health programming, yet no comprehensive inventory of projects exists to assess their impact. Using a variety of data sources, this Working Paper from the San Francisco Fed provides details on all supermarket developments under “fresh food financing” regimes in the U.S. from 2004-2015.
The strengthening labor market provides an opportunity for both employers and policymakers to reconsider the status of subgroups that face distinct barriers to the job market. One important underemployed subgroup is the formerly incarcerated. This article, featured in Issue 2, 2016, of the Chicago Fed's ProfitWise News and Views, summarizes some of the challenges preventing many former prisoners from entering the labor force, and provides an overview of two recent symposiums organized by the Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) unit to explore policy and programmatic interventions to address the issue.
The banking office landscape has shifted substantially across the United States since the financial crisis in 2008, reflecting both long-standing trends of small bank closures, as well as more recent patterns of bank branch declines. These trends are playing out in the states of the Seventh District as well, where the number of banking offices has declined in each state, and increasingly, community banks are losing their share of branches in certain markets. Low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods in a few of the District’s most populous counties are nearly devoid of community banks. This article, from the Chicago Fed's ProftWise News and Views, Issue 2, 2016, describes the changes in bank branch presence over time in the Seventh District by size of institutions and the neighborhoods they serve.
At least a dozen low-income apartment buildings exclusively for seniors in Detroit’s midtown and downtown areas could convert to market rate apartments in the next ten years, forcing hundreds of seniors to find new homes. Many of the senior apartment buildings were filled in the 1980s when few people wanted to live downtown. This article, in Chicago Fed's ProfitWise, Issue 2, 2016, explores community land trusts as a means to address affordable housing shortages and gentrification.
Addressing Employment Needs through Sector Partnerships: Case Studies from Across the Federal Reserve's Fourth District
The Cleveland Fed’s Community Development Department chose five sector-based partnerships to include in a compilation of case studies. A few important similarities across the initiatives: active and substantive employer engagement, trust building across partners, and a strong intermediary can do a lot to promote relationship and trust building.
Learning their indigenous languages from a very young age may prepare Native American children for success in school and life, with benefits spilling over to their families and communities. From Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
In this video supplement to the Minneapolis Fed's Community Dividend publication, step into the classroom at Wicoie Nandagikendan, a preschool program at the Little Earth Community in Minneapolis that immerses children in the Dakota or Ojibwe language and culture.
Spurred by provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, workforce investment board members and representatives of the Cleveland Fed gathered at a forum in June 2016 to offer their input for a collaborative, overarching plan to address persistent workforce challenges across Northeast Ohio.
Access to broadband has become an essential component of economic opportunity and financial well-being, yet there is a significant digital divide in many underserved communities.This Dallas Fed publication is a practical guide for financial institutions that shows how digital inclusion can improve the lives of low- and moderate-income individuals who have limited access to broadband infrastructure. It presents best practices and information on lending, services and investments that can help close the digital divide and contribute to an inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial economy.
In this issue of 5th District Footprint, the Richmond Fed explores changes in the net migration rates of individuals within Fifth District counties from 2011 to 2015. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates net migration rates annually by expressing the net number of individuals that moved into a county from the U.S. (domestic migration rate) and abroad (international migration rate) as a percentage of the county’s total estimated population.
In this issue of 5th District Footprint, the Richmond Fed examines the share of people living in a county’s low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. In the Fifth Federal Reserve District, the average county’s percentage of population living in LMI areas was 23 percent with a median of 18 percent. Financial institutions and regulators use the income level indicator to determine whether banking activity is taking place in targeted areas.
A conversation with Marcus Owens, president of NEON, who is working to expand opportunities for low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs and help them build wealth. From Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Spring 2016 issue include: Arkansas Communities Focus on Action, Reap Results; What Happens When the Least of These Gives the Most?; From Restaurant to Kitchen Incubator: Chef Space; Bioscience as a Foundation for Transforming St. Louis; The Information You Need for the Impact You Want: Two New Websites Link Data with Donor Action; and more.
In the summer 2016 issue of the Boston Fed's Communities & Banking magazine, the feature story reveals how shorter life expectancy of poorer people means that federal benefits for the elderly disproportionately help the well-off. Other articles look at expulsion of children from early education settings, using mobile technology to boost children’s savings accounts, innovative high school internships, Connecticut programs that help youth and older workers pursue higher education and better jobs, and more.
The rapid growth of asset poverty in the United States is a troublesome sign that millions of families nationwide lack the resources necessary to secure a more stable financial future. The findings in this report, published by the San Francisco Fed, from the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey reveal major disparities in wealth accumulation across various racial and ethnic groups in Los Angeles.
The San Francisco Fed, in partnership with Housing California, surveyed California’s affordable housing developers in October 2015 to learn how they are faring three years after the dissolution of redevelopment agencies (RDAs); how their development pipelines have been affected by the loss of RDA funds; and how new legislation, local regulation, or funding strategies have impacted affordable housing development over the past three years. This report is an analysis of current conditions and challenges expressed in the survey responses of 71 affordable housing development organizations across California.
Boosting the Power of Youth Paychecks: Integrating Financial Capability into Youth Employment Programs
This working paper from the San Francisco Fed summarizes the results of the first-ever quasi-experimental design study of a youth financial capability initiative seamlessly integrated into a youth workforce development program.
This San Francisco Fed working paper utilizes data culled from presale reports from the first wave of rental-backed securities to analyze and describe the emerging trend of single-family home rental (SFR) securitization. Authors provide a basic overview of the market, showing the number and market value of single-family homes involved in these new financial products.
When addressing complex problems, evidence suggests common learning mechanisms are not effective. Learning communities provide an opportunity to learn and network but with a more deliberate focus on knowledge exchange, team building, and innovation. A recent study published by the San Francisco Fed shares insight on the design of learning communities and reveals best practices for building team cohesion, strengthening the capacity of the stakeholders involved in the work, and sparking new and creative thinking.
Understanding the Crowd, Following the Community: The Need for Better Data in Community Development Crowdfunding
In the past half-decade crowdfunding has emerged as a popular way to raise money online for a wide range of projects. As the reach of crowdfunding has expanded, the field of community development has the potential to benefit from the practice, both as a straight fundraising mechanism and as a way to give greater voice to community members. This San Francisco Fed working paper makes the case that in order for community development crowdfunding to reach its potential scale, and to involve the full range of potential stakeholders, better standards of data reporting and collection need to be established.
The Low- and Moderate-income Conditions Survey:A Summary of Seventh Fed District Community Development Practitioner Responses
Increased employment hasn’t translated into greater financial well-being, according to findings from the LMI ((low- and moderate-income) survey published by the Chicago Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) Division. While surprising on its face, Seventh District respondents offer three broad reasons for this seeming contradiction.
The net assets of investment funds pursuing an impact investment strategy have grown from $12 billion in 1995 to $4.3 trillion in 2014 – that’s growth by a multitude of nearly 360 in less than 20 years. This 5th District Spotlight presents context to impact investing’s meteoric rise through facts, figures and analysis.
Given changing regulatory and market factors in mortgage finance, the time is ripe for innovation, and it behooves policymakers, business leaders, and communities to consider potential alternatives to traditional mortgages. In this 2016 ProfitWise New and Views article, the Chicago Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) Division explores five innovative products in the residential mortgage marketplace – some already in place, others in progress.
Maintaining a supply of affordable rental housing is an increasingly important goal for cities. The nature of affordable housing loss varies from city to city, and successful mitigation strategies will have to take the unique dynamics of individual markets into account.This paper demonstrates that eight major cities in the Southeast have lost significant numbers of affordable housing units while simultaneously gaining large numbers of luxury-priced rentals. Read about research that highlights how southeastern renters, from Nashville to Miami, are feeling the pinch of an increasingly unaffordable market.
This Forefront article from the Cleveland Fed is the second installment of a 4-part series examining eastern Kentucky's transition away from a coal-centric economy. This article looks at creative placemaking as an economic development tool the region can use.
Federal funding for the traditional workforce development system has declined dramatically over the past few decades. In this April 2016 discussion paper, Stuart Andreason from the Atlanta Fed examines several promising alternative financing models for workforce development programs, such as social impact bonds and income-share agreements.
This Dallas Fed report, "Talent and Capital Concerns Temper Positive Outlook for Texas Small Businesses," provides results from the third annual Texas Small Business Needs Assessment Poll, conducted in partnership with the Texas Small Business Development Center Network. Over 1,500 micro- and small businesses reported on firm size, performance, financing and employee skills gaps.
Healthy Food Access: A View of the Landscape in Minnesota and Lessons Learned from Healthy Food Financing Initiatives
This report of findings from a joint Minneapolis Fed-Wilder Research study sheds light on food deserts in Minnesota and barriers to expanding healthy food retail. It features statewide and regional maps and data tables.
The spring 2016 issue of the Boston Fed's Communities & Banking publication spotlights shocking racial wealth gaps in the Boston metropolitan area. Also, see our map on changes in home mortgage originations in New England.
Although seven years have passed since the end of the Great Recession, recovery in the housing sector has been inconsistent across the country. This discussion paper explores how these dynamics are playing out in the Southeastern United States and the neighborhood characteristics that accompany persistent concentrations of negative equity in the region.
A Q&A with a Cleveland Fed economist explores that as a poverty-reduction tool, raising the minimum wage isn't without drawbacks.
In this Forefront article, two Cleveland Fed researchers look at whether the increase in student loan debt could be responsible for the decline in mortgage borrowing among those between the ages of 18 and 30.
This brief analysis of Pennsylvania's economy by the Cleveland Fed finds that Pennsylvania’s employment growth in 2015 trailed that of most other states. The state’s exposure to the oil and gas industry as well as demographic trends have a good deal to do with it.
This Forefront article from the Cleveland Fed is part 1 of a 4-part series examining eastern Kentucky's transition away from a coal-centric economy. This installment looks at some of the history of coal mining in the region and how its decline is impacting the economy.
A conversation with Eileen Briggs, executive director of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Ventures and co-principal investigator of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Voices survey project. From Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Research findings discussed during a 2015 conference at the Minneapolis Fed show there are levers available to keep the benefits of early learning programs going into later school years. From Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
The Choose Health program offers farm-fresh produce plus an educational component that's designed to improve participants' health in the long term. From Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Winter 2015-2016 issue include: Thrivers and Strugglers: A Growing Economic Divide; Neighborhood “House Economy” Teaches Youth Life Lessons; Grassroots Neighborhood Revitalization in Hyde Park; Collaboration: The Key to Champion Community Investments’ Success; How Housing and Health Care Nonprofits Can Increase Access to Medical Residential Services; Jacobsville Join In!; and more.
Small businesses’ access to credit is critical to their ability to establish, run and grow their operations. In late 2015 the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond and St. Louis conducted a joint survey of small businesses; 5,420 responses from 3,459 employer firms in 26 states provide insight into the primary source of financing for small businesses and shed light on their business conditions, credit needs and borrowing experiences.
In February 2016, The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released an interactive tool and data set index that enables policymakers and practitioners to examine local trends and compare cities across four measures of economic dynamism: demographics, economics, human capital, and infrastructure.
Some local communities are developing and deploying effective strategies and tactics to address common challenges in local workforce development. Critical to this effort is the fostering and facilitation of partnerships with traditional and nontraditional organizations. These partnerships are the topic of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s recently released electronic book--a collaboration with national experts in workforce development, and companion to the 2015 publication, Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century.
Long-term, affordable financing is one of the most pressing and persistent challenges facing the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry. Regulatory and business cycle pressures have tended to limit the borrowing terms available to CDFIs. This January/February 2016 Partners Update article explores the current state of CDFI-Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) membership by focusing on several new FHLBank members in the Atlanta region
Nationally, 52.3 percent of renter households qualify as “rent burdened,” which means they pay 30 percent or more in gross rent as a share of their income. Most states within the Fifth Federal Reserve District, however, are below the national average. This article in the December 2015 issue of 5th District Footprint explores “rent burdened” rates across the Fifth District and what factors might lead to “rent burdened” status.
The size of the U.S. labor force has generated considerable discussion during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Using data from the American Community survey, this article, published in the October 2015 issue of 5th District Footprint, examines labor force participation (LFP) rates across the Fifth District over the last decade. It also offers an overview of the LFP rate and suggests reasons for its decline nationally.
The age of a population can reveal important characteristics of a region’s economic activity. This 5th District Footprint, from September 2015, looks at age composition through dependency ratios, measures that can indicate how high or low the degree of dependency is on the working age population.
Microbusinesses, which consist of 1-4 full-time employees, open and close at a faster rate than larger firms. During the Great Recession, the Fifth Federal Reserve District saw a greater decrease of microbusinesses in percentage terms than the nation as a whole. Still, some counties in the Fifth District actually experienced net increases in microbusinesses. Find out which county bucked the trend the most and experienced the greatest net increase by reading this issue of 5th District Footprint, published December 2015, which offers a look at microbusinesses in the Fifth District before and after the Great Recession.
The Atlanta Fed cohosted a symposium at the 2015 Rail~Volution conference to examine strategies that would promote equitable transit-oriented development without gentrifying a neighborhood and displacing residents. This January/February 2016 Partners Update article provides a peek inside the discussions from the October 2015 sessions.
How have some small cities forged a path to economic resurgence while others still languish? Representatives from several Federal Reserve Banks and place-based funders are on tour to find out. In this first article in a Partners Update series, they study a revitalized Chattanooga.
The Boston Fed's quarterly Communities & Banking magazine supports the economic strength of lower-income communities by sharing relevant research and best practices. The winter 2016 issue cover article looks at how the Military Lending Act has affected the use of alternative financial services by military personnel.
A website that accompanies the Dallas Fed study, "Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border," which examines successes and challenges in infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education and health in Texas colonias. The site features a report, video, photos, success stories, data, legislation information and related resources.
Financial Well-being: At the Convergence of People and Place – Reflections from a Chicago Conversation
Check out this brief collection of writings, based on a Chicago Fed convening and local conversation about financial well-being. This gathering was motivated by What It’s Worth, a joint publication of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, collecting insights from thought leaders across the country on the topic of financial capacity for families and communities.
IFF: A Leading Community Development Financial Institution Expanding Its Market Reach across the Midwest
In this 2015 edition of ProfitWise, the Chicago Fed profiles IFF--formerly Illinois Facilities Fund-- one of the largest and most innovative Community Development Financial Insitutions (CDFIs) nationwide. In its 27th year of operation, IFF is expanding its financial and development services, and its impact on low- to moderate-income communities, to a broad collection of Midwestern states.
The St. Louis Fed’s annual Community Development Outlook Survey gathers input from a variety of stakeholders regarding the economic conditions of low- and moderate-income (LMI) households and communities in the seven states that make up the Fed’s Eighth District. Data from the survey is used to inform strategic planning, community and economic development, and public policy dialogue around issues and challenges for the District’s LMI areas.
Community Pulse presents the findings from a 2015 survey that identified the most pressing current and emerging issues in the Fifth Federal Reserve District. More than 300 community development experts from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia shared their perspectives on the issues that their communities are facing.
How might communities deal with vacant, abandoned, and "problem" properties? This discussion paper examines successful blight remediation strategies in two southeastern cities--New Orleans, Louisiana, and Macon, Georgia.
Community prosecution is one method to mitigate crime in a community through a proactive and decentralized approach to problem solving. This first article in a series, from in the Nov/Dec edition of Partners Update, looks at how the city of Dallas is using community prosecution to reduce blight in target neighborhoods.
This Dallas Fed article highlights programs that support nonprofits in influencing policy through advocacy, election involvement and communication with elected officials. Featured is the new Texas office of Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association of organizations committed to ensuring all Americans can fully participate in the democratic process. AFJ's work in Texas includes trainings and technical assistance in partnership with other local organizations dedicated to policy reform and advocacy.
Small businesses increasingly are turning to alternative-credit providers for their short-term financing needs. This article from Forefront, the Cleveland Fed's policy journal, finds the newness of the industry and the lack of regulatory structure have given rise to questions about what intervention may be needed. The two authors, a senior policy analyst and the Bank's legal counsel, also detail what supervisory authority regulatory agencies might have over small-business credit providers.
The American economy is only as strong as the American household. In communities across the country, families are struggling to thrive. Learn what we can collectively do to tackle poverty and put more families on the path to financial well-being. A new book published by the San Francisco Fed in partnership with CFED, What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation, provides a 360-degree view of the financial problems and challenges millions of American households face. The book highlights the enormous creativity and innovation underway to improve financial well-being and provides concrete ways that nearly all sectors of society can implement proven and evolving solutions.
The opportunities and challenges in a given community are complex, and to understand them requires a thorough assessment of data intertwined with the voices of local businesses, non-profits, and residents. Using Los Angeles as an example, this analysis from the SF Fed incorporates quantitative and qualitative data to holistically assess a county’s needs.
CRA OneSource is your source for Community Reinvestment Act tools, templates, guides, webinars and other resources to assist you in preparing for an exam and growing your community development program.
Established in 2007, the Community Banks Partnership is an innovative collaborative that supports NHS’ community reinvestment programs and services through financial support, lending capital, service and counsel. This group meets at least once annually to discuss issues important to the housing and lending industries. This article, from Issue 3, 2015 Profitwise News and Views, summarizes a second quarter convening at the Chicago Fed: NHS of Chicago’s annual Community Banks Partnership meeting. Among other topics, panelists discussed the housing market for ‘millennial’ buyers, and the regulatory landscape for community banks.
The Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) model was created in the late 1990s as a tool to ensure that neighborhood residents would benefit from economic development projects, which are often heavily subsidized by taxpayer dollars. This article, from the Chicago Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies Division, explores community benefits agreements and ordinances in Detroit, providing some background, as well as on-the-ground experience in the city as it struggles to regain ground economically.
Lacking transit access, many lower-skilled workers in Northeast Ohio miss out on job opportunities, say Cleveland Fed researchers. This study looks at what Northeast Ohio business and civic leaders can do to increase job access.
From the Dallas Fed, a list of resources for entrepreneurs including Small Business Development Centers, Community Development Financial Institutions, and others in Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas. Resources featured provide technical assistance, loan packaging, state licensing and more.
What happens in metropolitan labor markets that are successful at attracting and retaining residents with a bachelor or higher degree? This discussion paper by the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason investigates labor market outcomes in "leader metros."
Community development practitioners want to know how much banks are investing in a particular geography, as that information could help them "right-size" their strategy for bank partnerships. This second Partners Update article on the CRA, released in September/October 2015 by the Atlanta Fed's Will Lambe, provides an approximate figure for the Southeast.
Some municipalities are using community development initiatives that capitalize on the strengths of the community and its residents to improve living conditions. But what motivates residents to engage with their local government in the first place? This November/December 2015 Partners Update article investigates findings from an Atlanta example.
The first and only bus-based courtroom in the U.S. is delivering legal services to residents of remote reservation towns. From the October 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
With more and more entrepreneurs turning to quick, online lending options, could mission-focused lenders, such as CDFIs, use similar technology tools to improve efficiency and capture some of this business activity? From the October 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Keeping communities informed through the open data movement: A conversation with Otto Doll of the City of Minneapolis
Otto Doll, the chief information officer for Minneapolis, shares his insights about making a municipality’s administrative data available to the public. From the October 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Key housing organizations take coordinated approach to preserving rural Minnesota's affordable rentals
A collaborative effort among government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota aims to keep the “affordable” in rural affordable housing. From the October 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
This summary of the report Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia provides applied findings appropriate for a community development practitioner audience on gentrification and neighborhood change in Philadelphia.
New research from the Philadelphia Fed, Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia, explores the topic of gentrification and the effects of neighborhood change on vulnerable residents. This discussion paper provides an in-depth analysis on which neighborhoods in Philadelphia are gentrifying, who is moving into and out of gentrifying neighborhoods, and the experiences of vulnerable residents in those neighborhoods.
Published by the Philadelphia Fed, the Community Development Data Inventory describes timely and publicly available data sources to help inform the work of those involved in community development research or practice. This November 2015 release contains updated information and an expanded number in the inventory, from 16 resources to 24. The resources are described in easy-to-read, two-page summaries organized by topic, including Economy/Employment, Household Financial Stability, Housing/Homelessness, and Data/Mapping Platforms.
Bridges, a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects, and regulatory changes, is for practitioners from community-based organizations, CRA officers, academics, and government officials working in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Summer 2015 issue include: Innovative Credit Union Association Expands Access to Capital; Better Homes, Better Loans: Better Business; Binghampton Development Corporation: Building Assets and Communities; The Hager Educational Foundation: Empowering Citizens To Make Better Communities; and more.
The Kansas City Fed’s November 2015 Community Connections provides insights into borrower activity and looks at the future role of CDFIs. The issue also explores the relationship between community development and health, and examines creative approaches to workforce development and entrepreneurship.
The Community Development department at the Kansas City Fed hosted roundtable discussions around the 10th District to explore opportunities that entrepreneurship can provide in African-American communities.
Missed the live webcast? Presentation slides and videos are now available from “Community Banking in the 21st Century,” the third annual community banking research and policy conference, hosted by the Federal Reserve System and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). Also available from the conference is a report that details conditions facing today's community bankers. Speakers and moderators of the event, held in St. Louis Sept. 30 - Oct. 1, 2015, included: Fed Chair Janet Yellen; Fed Governor Lael Brainard; St. Louis Fed President James Bullard; CSBS Chairman/Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks David Cotney; CSBS President and CEO John Ryan; and Houston Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan, founding investor and board member, R Bank and R Corp Financial, Round Rock, Texas.
The only magazine covering lower-income issues in the six New England states, Communities & Banking, produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, is a reader-friendly forum for research and best practices. Cover story: How equal pay for women would decrease US poverty.
This working paper from the San Francisco Fed looks at the lending performance of one CDFI, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), through the Great Recession. Its authors argue that LIIF’s success weathering the downturn—relative to similarly-sized banks—is the direct result of a “patient capital” approach to portfolio management unique to the CDFI industry.
Scholarly interest in the relationship between investment and displacement dates back to the 1970s, in the aftermath of displacement related to urban renewal. More recently, a new wave of scholarship examines gentrification, primarily in strong market cities, and its relationship to public investment, particularly in transit. The results of these studies are mixed, due in part to methodological shortcomings. A primary finding looking across the literature is that there is a need for a new methodology to analyze displacement risk.
Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century is a dynamic new book that explores how innovative policies and practices can meet the changing needs of workers, businesses, and their communities. Produced in partnership by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City, and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, this edited volume presents contributions from more than 65 leading scholars and practitioners engaged in workforce development. They examine the state of the labor market, and potentially transformative workforce development and education strategies and policies to improve opportunities for job seekers, students, and workers, especially those encountering the greatest difficulties in the labor market.
This Forefront article offers highlights from the Cleveland Fed’s shale symposium, convened in February 2015 in Wheeling, WV, and featuring experts from around the country to examine how communities can make the most of extraction's boom while mitigating effects from the inevitable bust.
Demystifying the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for Community and Economic Developers: A Primer
Effective July 1, 2015, provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, went into effect. What changes has this legislation prompted, and how might they help improve outcomes for workers, employers, and communities alike? In this primer, a senior policy analyst from the Cleveland Fed highlights key reforms of the WIOA, along with implications for policymakers and practitioners.
This article from the Cleveland Fed’s policy publication Forefront looks at why the community development and health sectors are increasingly working together to promote healthy individuals and healthy communities. The article also covers highlights from an October 2014 convening by the Cleveland Fed of health policy and community development officials from across Ohio to discuss building healthier communities in the state.
The US has used the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to encourage banks to keep their branches open in low- and moderate-income areas. Does access to physical branches matter? Findings in a Cleveland Fed Economic Commentary suggest that a physical presence gives banks the opportunity to get to know distressed areas better and channel resources to people who have demonstrated an ability to manage them. While the research shows the benefits that come from creditworthy borrowers in declining low-income areas being in close physical proximity to a bank branch, the public policy challenge is to identify how to get those benefits when private markets alone do not provide them.
Following the housing bust, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) came under scrutiny as one of the suspected contributors to the current financial crisis. However, a Cleveland Fed researcher found that CRA-regulated institutions provided a relatively small share of all loans within the Fourth Federal Reserve District—comprising Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the panhandle of West Virginia—and and an even smaller percentage of the riskier high-cost loans.
The consequences of providing public funds to financial institutions remain controversial. In this 2012 working paper from the Cleveland Fed, researchers examine the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund’s impact on credit union activity using U.S. Treasury data. They find that politics does not seem to play a role in allocating funding.
Using detailed employment data on firm age and size, a Cleveland Fed researcher’s findings suggest that local lenders play an important and necessary role in job creation in the economy. Research economist Kristle Romero Cortes uses natural disasters and regulatory guidance to disentangle the effects of credit supply and demand in this 2014 working paper.
In this August 2014 Economic Commentary from the Cleveland Fed, a trio of researchers examined trends in new business formation, using the Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics database, and why the rate declined over a three-and-a-half-decade period. They found that while new firms have been forming at a slower pace over the previous 33 years and creating fewer jobs, there has been a simultaneous rise in the number of new establishments opened by existing businesses, which they call 'new outlets.' As the rate of new outlet formation has risen, so has the rate of job creation at new outlets.
A March 2011 Economic Commentary from the Cleveland Fed found that the Great Recession was actually a time of considerable decline in entrepreneurial activity in the US.
In this November 2011 Economic Commentary from the Cleveland Fed, researchers found that uncertainty adversely affected small business owners’ expansion plans post-Great Recession.
This September 2015 newsletter from the Kansas City Fed covers a Q&A with Elizabeth Isele; an adult education program in Wichita that unites technical training and employment; a discussion on collaborative community development; new information that helps lenders keep current; and audience-specific tools to help improve knowledge among youth, adults and employers. The newsletter also contains a discussion on collaborative development and findings from LMI Survey results.
With lending to small business by traditional lenders still well below pre-recession levels, where are small businesses turning for access to capital? In this edition of the Cleveland Fed’s Notes from the Field, a senior policy analyst discusses that the Fed’s 2014 Small Business Credit Survey, which tallied input from some 2,000 small business owners in 10 states, revealed nearly 20 percent of respondents have applied for credit with an online lender. Since other previous surveys, while not altogether comparable, have indicated very little activity with online lenders, those findings could indicate that small business owners’ awareness of these alternative lenders is now rising and that they are increasingly open to new sources of credit. What are alternative lenders, and how do they operate?
In 2014, a survey of some 2,000 small businesses was conducted across 10 states, including those in the Cleveland Fed's District. The results, covered in Forefront, the Cleveland Fed's policy journal, shows it’s still not easy for Main Street companies to borrow.
The Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) was created to encourage community banks to make more loans to small businesses. In this Economic Trends report, two Cleveland Fed researchers find that banks have used SBLF funds to increase their small business lending.
Alternative Lending through the Eyes of “Mom and Pop” Small-Business Owners: Findings from Online Focus Groups
The online alternative lending industry holds promise for expanding access to credit for small businesses. But it also poses potential risks, as the small-dollar credit products offered by alternative lenders can be considerably more expensive than traditional credit. To gauge small-business owners’ perceptions and understanding of online alternative lenders and their product offerings, two Federal Reserve researchers conducted online focus groups with 44 “mom and pop” businesses in a wide range of industries and from across the United States. This report details their findings.
The Community Reinvestment Act helps drive significant investments into low- and middle-income communities, but not all communities benefit equally. This July/August 2015 Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Will Lambe and Jessica Farr discusses where banks are motivated to act and provides a mapping tool to illustrate where particular banks engage in community development.
Over the past 35 years, America's fertility has reflected, to some extent, the business cycle, but that trend doesn't appear to be holding up in the current expansion. Two Cleveland Fed researchers take a closer look at this in an August 2015 Economic Trends.
The second student loan article in the Dallas Fed's Texas Consumer Credit Series explores possible factors influencing Texas student loan trends, higher education financing tools and circumstances that contribute to loan delinquencies. It shows that despite growing concerns, student loans are critical in bringing higher education–and a brighter financial future–within reach for many.
Through its Center for Indian Country Development, the Minneapolis Fed works to help self-governing communities of American Indians in the United States attain their economic development goals. The Center promotes partnerships, research, and coordination around four focus areas that are essential for building vibrant economies: governance, infrastructure, finance, and resources.
For commuters in rural areas with few transportation options, car ownership can be a key to self-sufficiency. From the July 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
This article from the July 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed, focuses on the benefits of mobility-based housing programs. When housing voucher recipients relocate to areas of greater opportunity, the positives outcomes can be long-lasting and substantial.
An analysis of credit scores across the Twin Cities area points to contrasting patterns over the last decade. From the July 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Over the past few years, there has been significant growth in the number of multi-site, cross-sector initiatives to improve communities and the lives of their residents. This working paper from the San Francisco Fed details “what works” and “pitfalls” in its analysis of both past and current initiatives. The paper also provides insights into the design and implementation of place-based efforts for community development practitioners, financial institutions, healthcare payers and others involved in site-specific initiatives.
Families who use housing vouchers to move from areas of concentrated poverty to better-resourced neighborhoods experience higher earnings and improved health. Housing mobility programs increase the effectiveness of housing vouchers by providing education and support. This San Francisco Fed working paper proposes using a Pay for Success financing mechanism to increase investment in housing mobility programs based on the hypothesis that healthcare savings stemming from a positive mobility outcome—specifically related to diabetes and obesity— are sufficient to pay the entire cost of the mobility program.
In 2015, the Dallas Fed released “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas–Mexico Border,” a report that examines infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education and health in Texas border colonias. This video provides an overview of successes and challenges in the colonias as well as promising strategies to improve living conditions and access to opportunity in these communities.
The process of and approach to community development might be as important as the technical solutions. A Partners Update article from July/August 2015 highlights two recent conferences that discussed this theme and addressed the need to create new approaches.
The Financing Experiences of Nonemployer Firms: Evidence from the 2014 Joint Small Business Credit Survey
Businesses without employees (nonemployer firms) make up 80 percent of the businesses in the United States. However, we know very little about their financial lives and financing needs. Using data from the 2014 Joint Small Business Credit Survey, a new discussion paper from researchers at the Atlanta and New York Feds explores the financial experiences of nonemployer firms.
This edition of Research in Brief summarizes findings from “Information Losses in Home Purchase Appraisals,” a working paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Home purchase appraisals are required for any home mortgage guaranteed by a government-sponsored enterprise or the federal government, or a mortgage originated by a federally insured commercial bank or savings and loan institution. A home purchase appraisal is intended to provide an independent estimate of a home’s value, but 90 percent of appraisals have been at or above the agreed-upon offer price. This working paper examines the extent of information loss on home values in the appraisal process because of current property valuation methods.
Technological advances. Lower productivity. Fewer full-time workers. Depending on whom one asks, the reasons vary for why we’ve experienced more than a decade of low wage growth. One area of agreement, observes a Cleveland Fed writer in an article from its policy journal, Forefront: Stubbornly low wages impact society and the US economy.
Interest in gentrification is at an all-time high, but determining what differentiates ‘gentrification’ from reinvestment and revitalization isn’t always easy. One Cleveland Fed policy analyst says retaining affordable housing can help alleviate the negative effects associated with gentrification.
This third essay in the Center for Household Financial Stability’s “Demographics of Wealth” series from the St. Louis Fed examines the connections between age and wealth. The essay is the result of an analysis of data collected from more than 40,000 heads of households between 1989 and 2013 through the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
A group of community loan funds, including community development financial institutions and microlenders, has been meeting since 2012 around small business lending activity in West Virginia. This group, called the West Virginia Loan Fund Collaborative, represents the first organized effort to track loan fund activity in the Mountain State and provides an interesting study of rural capital deployment. What has this group discovered through its collaborative efforts? Find out in this issue of MarketWise Community – “The West Virginia Loan Fund Collaborative: Small Business Lending in Underserved Areas."
Beyond the Numbers: A Qualitative Exploration of Affordability and Availability of Rental Housing in the Third Federal Reserve District: 2015
How available and affordable is rental housing in the Third District states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware? This report from the Philadelphia Fed is the qualitative counterpart to a quantitative report released in early 2015. Beyond the Numbers presents themes that emerged from interviews with experts from various housing related organizations, including nonprofit and for-profit developers, housing authorities, community development corporations, and other professionals on key challenges for low-income renters and the rental market.
This July 2015 newsletter from the Kansas City Fed announces an upcoming book on workforce development, examines a cluster-based model to supporting inner-city entrepreneurship in Omaha and provides updates on a borrowing guide for Native American communities. The newsletter also contains an interview with a Kansas City Fed economist on the role of millennials and boomers in the recovery of the multifamily construction market, as well as other news and events.
This quarterly magazine from the Boston Fed supports the economic strength of lower-income communities by sharing relevant research and best practices. The summer 2015 issue cover article introduces the concept of child-impact statements.
Of 380,000 parcels located in the city of Detroit, nearly 85,000 properties (excluding large-scale commercial structures) have been identified as needing some form of blight intervention. This article details some of the efforts made the city of Detroit and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to eliminate blight.
This Chicago Fed article provides a recap of discussions focused on the causes and potential solutions for the dearth of lending to small rental buildings in Chicagoland’s low- and moderate-income communities at a gathering of more than 75 lenders, regulators and housing stakeholders at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in May of 2014.
This article profiles “BankImpact,” a dynamic online tool that helps identify high-impact banks in Chicago that serve as anchors in underserved communities. Created by National Community Investment Fund (NCIF), BankImpact can help provide the data necessary to inform and attract impact investors and help banks better understand and contextualize their (own) performance.
Organizations that help foster regional coordination among workforce development service providers recently convened to discuss successful strategies. This May/June 2015 Partners Update article summarizes their discussions, which include key challenges and methods for surmounting them.
Economic Dynamism in Small Cities (Part 2): Migration, Commuting, New Firm Creation, and Population Density in Small Cities
The factors that contribute to economic dynamism in a small city can be elusive to define and measure. This May/June 2015 Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Will Lambe looks at some elements of small city economic dynamism that may contribute to growth and development.
Recently updated, the Community Development Data Inventory is a collection of timely and publicly available data sources for those engaged in community development work. This tool highlights resources that can inform key community development issues and research needs, including demographics, the economy and jobs, housing, and education. For each resource, the guide includes an overview of the data, a description of the methodology and accompanying variables, links to training guides and additional information, and a few illustrations of the resources themselves.
The Summer 2015 edition of Cascade, a publication from the Philadelphia Fed's Community Studies & Education team, focuses on small businesses and commercial corridors. Specific articles discuss strategies to revitalize commercial corridors, the role of tax incentives in job creation, small business lending trends, a $1 billion transformation in downtown Allentown, Pa., and a research study on an inner-city commercial corridor.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Spring 2015 issue include: Community Counts: Activating All Families To Save for Higher Education; Preparing and Promoting Communities through Economic Analysis; Designing Opportunity: Ending Generational Poverty and Re-establishing Economic Stability in Rural America; Building Creative Communities; and more.
This second essay in the Center for Household Financial Stability’s “Demographics of Wealth” series examines the strong correlation between education and money. The essay is the result of an analysis of data collected from more than 40,000 heads of households between 1989 and 2013 through the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
This bimonthly newsletter from the Kansas City Fed provides information on community and economic development trends across the Tenth Federal Reserve District.
Future Fortunes: Are City-Suburban Educational Attainment Trends in the Southeast United States Unique?
In this fourth Partners Update article in a series, the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason and Mindy Kao investigate educational attainment trends in the Southeast, a region that has historically lagged behind the rest of the nation. This article, published in May/June 2015, looks closely at census and other data to try to uncover some positive trends that may exist despite the lag.
The St. Louis Fed’s annual Community Development Outlook Survey gathers input from a variety of stakeholders regarding the economic conditions of low- and moderate-income (LMI) households and communities in the seven states that make up the Fed’s Eighth District. Data from the survey is used to inform strategic planning, community and economic development, and public policy dialogue around issues and challenges for the District’s LMI areas.
This paper, jointly produced by the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI) at the University of Kansas and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, was informed by a roundtable on CSA delivery systems, held at the Boston Fed in December 2014. It describes the design, key features, and respective challenges of each principal delivery system. Assessed in light of the CSA field's guiding principles for delivery system design (universal and automatic enrollment, national footprint, cultivation of a saver identity, asset-building, administrative efficiency, and adequate consumer protection), these models have distinct advantages and limitations. This paper attempts to contribute to the critical task of building the knowledge base needed to help children's savings programs begin to weigh the pros and cons of each of these existing delivery systems.
Financial Resources in Kinship and Social Networks: Flow and Relationship to Household Wealth by Race and Ethnicity among Boston Residents
This discussion paper from the Boston Fed examines the extent to which family financial transfers occur among Boston residents of color. Targeting US-born blacks, Caribbean blacks, Cape Verdeans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans, findings show that households of color consistently receive fewer financial transfers than whites, while at the same time providing more financial assistance to their families and relatives. Particularly striking are differences in parental payments toward higher education expenses and financial support for the down payment of a home.
Affordable housing now ranks among the top concerns facing communities in the Fourth District. Jobs and vacant properties round out the top three. The Spring 2015 edition of Issues & Insights features analysis of results from the Cleveland Fed’s annual community issues survey of stakeholders, along with innovative approaches being tried in communities across the District, which comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the panhandle of West Virginia.
The Dallas Fed provides the results of its second annual Texas Small Business Needs Assessment Poll, conducted in partnership with the Texas Small Business Development Center Network. Over 1,400 micro- and small businesses reported on firm size, performance, financing and employee skills gaps, revealing overall optimism about business performance.
This discussion paper by the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason and Ann Carpenter examines the Atlanta metro area’s challenges in coordinating workforce development programs and services. The paper explores four cities that can serve as models of successful collaboration--Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit.
In this third Partners Update article in a series, the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason and Mindy Kao investigate educational attainment trends in legacy cities, older industrial areas that once relied on manufacturing and production but lost jobs and population.
Many small cities are growing at faster rates than has occurred in decades. This March/April 2015 Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Will Lambe examines factors that contribute to economically vital small cities.
Registering with the CERT Program could help minority- and women-owned businesses in the Twin Cities area connect with government contracting opportunities. From the April 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Looking for refi-eligible homeowners who have high-interest loans: Who's leaving money on the table?
An analysis by the Minneapolis Fed identifies pockets of the Ninth Federal Reserve District where a relatively high percentage of homeowners may be missing out on a chance to refinance their mortgages. From the April 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Helping minority entrepreneurs succeed: A conversation with Gary Cunningham of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association
Gary Cunningham, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, offers his insights on obstacles and opportunities for minority small business owners. From the April 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
In determining how to direct their federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocations, states set their course for addressing current and future demand for affordable housing. This report, from the Minneapolis Fed's April 2015 issue of Community Dividend, features a number of video supplements, including interview excerpts that provide a banker's and a lender's perspectives on financing affordable housing.
Why might health, employment, and income continue to exhibit major disparities across racial groups in the United States? This Economic Commentary from researchers at the Cleveland Fed examines the cities that participated in the Moving to Opportunity social experiment to understand how different characteristics might be used to distinguish neighborhood environments, and how these characteristics relate to neighborhood poverty.
This Dallas Fed report describes and analyzes opportunities, successes and challenges of colonias located in six Texas border counties using both quantitative and qualitative data. The report focuses on infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education and health.
Curious about economic conditions in the Fourth District? Metro Mix has you covered with snapshots of economic conditions and prospects in the nine largest MSAs in the Fourth District--Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Wheeling, WV, Dayton, Lexington, Erie, and Toledo.
Although the new "sharing economy" has raised its share of controversy, a presentation at the Atlanta Fed highlighted some of the benefits of these peer-to-peer markets. During a recent forum, New York University Professor Arun Sundararajan discussed one especially promising benefit—the potential to "democratize a higher standard of living." This article and series of brief video interviews with Sundararajan describes these services and how they are using technology to connect supply and demand in new ways.
In this second Partners Update article in a series, produced in March/April 2015, the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason and Mindy Kao examine educational attainment trends across the country's 50 largest metropolitan areas and how the trends may have different implications for cities and suburbs.
As the name says, these initiatives are designed to concentrate investments in a specific location, and some couple infrastructure and human capital investments. This Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Will Lambe summarizes place-based initiatives, describes challenges for communities incorporating such a strategy, and discusses best practices.
As the country continues to rebound from the recession, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are working to meet the needs of communities that slipped through the cracks during this turbulent period or that had few safety nets even before the recession. This March/April 2015 Partners Update article, authored by Atlanta Fed visiting scholar Donna Gambrell, discusses CDFIs doing business in the Southeast. These lenders provide capital for affordable housing, small businesses, schools, health centers, and manufacturing facilities.
A Qualitative Meta-analysis of the Housing Choice Voucher Program” by Erin M. Graves synthesizes housing subsidy voucher studies to explain why, when in theory, vouchers enable users to move out of poor neighborhoods, in practice, they often do not. This qualitative meta-analysis presents an examination of the formative assumptions of the program and their relationship to empirical findings.
The latest New England Community Outlook Survey from the Boston Fed takes a deeper dive into the effect of addiction on the economic strength of communities, particularly in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
How important is it for community college students to be financially capable? Consider that community colleges enroll nearly half of all U.S. undergraduates, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and that financial challenges often disrupt their educational progress and impede prospects for future financial wellness. As part of its efforts to help promote the financial stability of New England’s low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents, the Boston Fed is working with regional community colleges to help students manage their financial lives effectively. In its new handbook, Promoting Pathways to Financial Stability, the Boston Fed describes the importance of this work and shares related experiences of institutions in different parts of the country. The handbook is a resource for community college personnel, potential partners, and supporters with an interest in building the capacity of students to navigate financial challenges and plan for their future.
One model of financial counseling couples education with delivery of point-in-time municipal services. This model and other issues relevant to financial education providers were topics at the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund's 2015 annual meeting, hosted by the Atlanta Fed's Nashville Branch. This Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Emily Mitchell summarizes highlights from the meeting.
The creative industries contribute about a million jobs to the U.S. economy, with supporting industries offering millions more. This Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Joe Rondone, looks at the role the arts could play in the community development field.
In terms of health, the Southeast tends to trail behind other parts of the country, though efforts are under way to address these persistent challenges. In this Partners Update article, the Atlanta Fed's Karen Leone de Nie and Will Lambe look at resources generated in our region and by our Fed colleagues connecting health and community development.
This first essay in the Center for Household Financial Stability’s “Demographics of Wealth” series examines the connection between race or ethnicity and wealth accumulation over the past quarter-century. The essay is the result of an analysis of data collected from more than 40,000 heads of households between 1989 and 2013 through the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
In this issue of Community Investments from the San Francisco Fed, we look into some of the reasons why we are seeing a degree of disconnection between what veterans need and the resources available to them. As we consider how the public can address these missing links, this issue’s articles provide evidence from local initiatives demonstrating effective ways for communities to recognize, support, and collaborate with veterans in the arenas of employment, housing, education, and financial stability. Many of the efforts presented here also highlight the ways in which veterans themselves are serving and supporting their fellow veterans and their broader communities.
From Classroom to Career: An Overview of Current Workforce Development Trends, Issues and Initiatives
This Fall 2014 edition of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Profitwise News and Views highlights: workforce-focused programs and research around the Federal Reserve System; trends in educational attainment and (resulting) wage disparity; skills gaps among those seeking work; employer efforts to train workers; and examples of current workforce development initiatives in the District.
To what extent does the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan guarantee program help facilitate flows of credit to small businesses in the city of Detroit, and to black and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Michigan? The Chicago Fed's Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) Division offers its analysis in this insightful article.
This article provides a recap of the Great Lakes Ports and Regional Growth: Integrating Environmental Health and Economic Prosperity conference, co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the state of Illinois, the Great Lakes Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Council of Great Lakes Governors. The conference explored new approaches to promoting economic development and maximizing local maritime assets, while protecting and enhancing the Great Lakes water resource.
Research demonstrates that where you live, and the socioeconomic conditions present in that place, determine individual-level health outcomes. Using community level data available through the City of Chicago Data Portal, as well as aggregated census tract level economic data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, this article explores community-level socioeconomic status conditions and corresponding health outcomes in Chicago’s 77 communities.
An important way for small businesses to access capital is through connections via owners' resource networks. In this 2014 special edition of ProfitWise News and Views, from the Chicago Fed, you'll read findings from a poll of black small business owners in metropolitan Detroit who participated in a survey that gauged resource needs, and the perceived value and degree of access to formal and informal networks designed to assist business owners.
This first edition of Research in Brief examines the ways in which the type of bankruptcy filing — Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 — can have an impact on a household's future access to credit. Summarizing a working paper by Julapa Jagtiani and Wenli Li from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, this brief provides insight into the outcomes of bankruptcy filings, including the implications for future access to unsecured debt and the impact of bankruptcy on future credit limits.
How did small businesses fare in 2014? This data brief from the Cleveland Fed finds that, in the aggregate, the financial condition of small businesses has improved, and the lending environment has become friendlier to small firms seeking credit. But at the same time, some of that progress represents just a fraction of the ground lost during the recession.
In listening sessions with the Atlanta Fed, workforce training providers noted the lack of soft skills in some workers. Those skills can be roughly divided into essential skills and workplace skills. In this Partners Update article, the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason describes how both sets of skills are highly valued, but they imply different interventions. Understanding the different types of soft skill challenges—either essential or workplace skills—may help direct community development organizations toward the most effective interventions for certain populations.
Can changes in educational attainment of a population foretell the economic performance of a city relative to its suburbs? This Partners Update article by the Atlanta Fed's Stuart Andreason and Mindy Kao looks at data on the metro Atlanta area for answers.
In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis and subsequent tightening of mortgage credit, many households have turned to the rental housing market, increasing pressure on an already limited supply of low-cost units. Using the most recent data available, this February 2015 issue of Cascade Focus, published by the Philadelphia Fed, analyzes trends in rental housing affordability in the Third Federal Reserve District between 2007 and 2012.
This new Community Development Report from the Minneapolis Fed suggests that loan funds serving Native communities grew significantly in number and asset size from 2001 through 2012 and have generally posted fairly positive financial ratios.
Increased demand and complexities could create a particularly challenging tax-filing season for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance providers this year. From the January 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Strengthening the role of Native CDFIs: A conversation with Gerald Sherman of the Native CDFI Network
Community Dividend asks Gerald Sherman, interim CEO of the Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Network, for his insights on the past, present, and future of the Native CDFI sector. From the January 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
The University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, or CURA, offers an array of services through its community-strengthening programs. From the January 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Hands-on educational experiences are exposing low-income students in Minnesota to the concepts and opportunities found in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. From the January 2015 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
In the nine years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, many affected communities have revamped their municipal plans. This discussion paper by Atlanta Fed research analyst Ann Carpenter examines these plans and compares their content with what is known about resilience from the perspective of fostering connected communities with a strong sense of place.
U.S. job growth in 2014 was the best in 15 years, but not all those jobs pay enough to support a family. The ALICE project describes the population of workers struggling to afford basic necessities; this Partners Update article from the Atlanta Fed examines the Florida project results.
The EB-5 program was designed to attract foreign investment into economically distressed communities, but is it achieving that goal? A second blog post by the Atlanta Fed's Will Lambe discusses some southeastern projects and raises several issues for community and economic developers to consider.
This paper from the San Francisco Fed explores age-friendly banking products and services that better protect and preserve the assets of an aging population. In order to examine the unique financial needs and increase the financial well-being of low-income older adults, the California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH) partnered with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to conduct an intensive study of over 400 low-income tenants living in subsidized senior housing. CCRH and NCRC propose a number of recommendations that financial institutions can incorporate into the development of effective Age-Friendly Banking initiatives.
This Dallas Fed article describes the new UpSkill Houston initiative from the Greater Houston Partnership. UpSkill seeks to help close the skills gap and fill middle-skill jobs in the booming regional economy by connecting leaders from industry, education and social service organizations.
The first student loan article in the Dallas Fed's Texas Consumer Credit Series examines patterns and trends in student loan borrowing and its impacts. Part 1 shows that Texas' average student loan balance is lower than the national average, while delinquency rates are higher.
Artists and cultural institutions have an important role to play in neighborhood social and economic vitality. As community developers consider how best to reimagine space they can and should look to the arts to help create place. This work, otherwise known as “creative placemaking,” is beginning to take shape across the country. This issue of the San Francisco Fed’s Community Development Investment Review is dedicated to this emerging work.
Which areas of the Fifth Federal Reserve District have the highest and lowest percentages of people 25 years and older with bachelor’s degrees or higher? How have these areas changed since 1990? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this November 2014 edition of 5th District Footprint, which looks at changes in educational attainment in the Fifth District between 1990 and 2012.
Is your county one of the 68 counties in the Fifth Federal Reserve District that have become more urban since 2003? Or is it one of only 22 that have become more rural? Find out in this issue of 5th District Footprint, which takes a look at changes along the rural-urban continuum in the Fifth District between 2003 and 2013.
Twice each year, the Richmond Fed surveys experts representing the numerous, highly diverse communities in the Fifth Federal Reserve District to identify the most pressing current and emerging issues. This edition of Community Pulse presents findings from the Fall 2014 survey, reflecting a broad cross-section of community perspectives from across Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds the public workforce development system, which provides job training and placement services across the United States. This brief Partners Update piece from the Atlanta Fed provides an overview of the Act, which goes into effect in July 2015.
In this December 2014 installment of Liberty Street Economics, economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York share their analyses and insights on consumer credit conditions.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Fall 2014 issue include: How the Shrinking of the Labor Force Might Impact Your Community; St. Louis Initiative Increases Youth Labor Force Participation; Broad Avenue’s New Face; Hands-On Commitment to Financial Education; and more.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Summer 2014 issue include: Treasury’s myRA To Debut in Late 2014; RISE to the Challenge: Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Louisville; Creating Opportunity Pathways for Asset Development; Redefining Historic Preservation; and more.
The Small Business Financial Health Initiative is a joint project of the Community Development divisions of the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and San Francisco, Pepperdine University Capital Markets Project and FundWell, Inc. The purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness about small business financial health, in order to highlight policies, investments, financial and technical assistance resources needed to help small businesses achieve their goals. This report presents the results and findings from a Financial Health Business Survey that was administered in 2013 and initiates a discussion around the factors that drive the sustainability and growth of small enterprises.
Community development efforts to revitalize low- and moderate-income neighborhoods should begin with an appropriate understanding of the needs and opportunities present within these communities. This sentiment is especially true of banks looking to fulfill their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations. A truly responsive and innovative CRA program should begin with the “performance context,” or knowledge about the bank’s local markets, including the needs of the community as well as the opportunities that exist within the local network of resources and organizations. This paper from the San Francisco Fed attempts to demystify the performance context and establish its strategic value to the CRA process. It explores new opportunities for strengthening the performance context as a community development tool, from the perspective of both bankers and regulators.
With 90 percent of the world’s data generated in just the past two years, What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities challenges policymakers, funders, and practitioners across sectors to seize this new opportunity to revolutionize our approaches to improve lives in low-income communities. This book from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute provides a roadmap for the strategic use of data to reduce poverty, improve health, expand access to quality education, increase employment, and build stronger and more resilient communities. Videos from the launch event on December 4, 2014, are available on the San Francisco Fed's Community Development YouTube channel.
Analyzing Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, researchers at the Boston Fed provide a brief overview of New England's mortgage lending activity in 2012 and evidence of disparities in loan origination outcomes for borrowers of various incomes, races, and ethnicities in this Community Development Issue Brief from November 2014.
Disagreement over the nature of poverty and debate over how to address it are part of a long-running narrative in our nation. In a new essay published in Ledger, the Boston Fed's economic education journal, writer Bob Jabaily looks at three aspects of this narrative: the recurrence of certain themes in America's response to poverty, the ongoing discussion over how to define and measure poverty, and some of the more notable efforts to document the lives of poor people and raise awareness of poverty.
In this Community Development Issue Brief, a researcher at the Boston Fed examines the factors that influence firm location choice in US cities--including availability of local labor, building lease costs, on-site parking for employees, and others--along with which of these might best explain the variance in employment trends across a set of small and mid-sized post-industrial Massachusetts cities. The results provide some indication of the extent to which these cities, and others like them, might influence their own economic futures.
Much of the wage growth in the United States over the past several decades has gone to the most productive (and highly educated) workers. This Partners Update article from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta looks at the implications for community and economic developers.
Strong, well-functioning linkages between employers and a pipeline of local workers can be difficult to establish. But there are successful models. This Partners Update article from the Atlanta Fed features the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council, which exemplifies how collaborative regional partnerships can facilitate career pathways for local workers and also address industry's workforce needs.
The U.S. housing market has been on the mend since the recession ended, but increasing property values are leaving many families of modest means priced out of homeownership. In this Partners Update article, researchers from the Atlanta Fed examine inclusionary housing policies as one possible solution.
Community and economic developers are always looking for new ways to help revitalize economically distressed communities. In a blog post, the Atlanta Fed’s Will Lambe looks at one rather novel program that could help: the Immigrant Investor Program, or EB 5.
This article from the Cleveland Fed's policy journal, Forefront, highlights the shale gas industry, which brings both costs and benefits to the communities it pervades. But community leaders must give careful thought to, and lay plans for, when the industry leaves town.
The Cleveland Fed's policy journal, Forefront, examines how vacant, foreclosed properties cost creditors tends of millions of dollars, draw crime to neighborhoods, and drain municipalities' tax reserves. Can a fast-track process earn approval iin Ohio's state legislature? And can it help?
News reports have suggested that higher-risk lending is on the rise, but an analysis by the Minneapolis Fed paints a more nuanced picture. From the October 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
American Indian tribes are turning to GIS (geographic information system) tools for land management, community planning, and other purposes. From the October 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Using housing regulation as a community-engagement tool: A conversation with Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde
The Minneapolis Fed's Community Dividend publication speaks with Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde, director of the City of Minneapolis Department of Regulatory Services, to learn how housing regulations and inspections can affect neighborhood stability. From the October 2014 issue.
Despite tight budgets and swelling workloads, inspection departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul are exploring proactive approaches to ensure a safe and sound supply of rental housing. From the October 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
The Community Development Data Guidebook, published by the San Francisco Fed, provides information on a variety of community development data resources, divided by topic area, along with a practical application of how to retrieve the data and suggestions on how to conduct appropriate analysis.
This Dallas Fed 2014 research update presents maps and charts of consumer loan balances and delinquencies in the Eleventh District. The report indicates that aggregate consumer debt increased 7.6% from 2013, yet consumer loan performance in the district was still improved.
This issue of Community Investments from the San Francisco Fed focuses on the efforts that help households build on their earnings and invest in their future. Highlighted here are programs and policies that expand consumer access to more affordable financial products; support renters in building their credit history; and provide assistance to families investing in their futures through children’s savings accounts, entrepreneurship, and retirement.
This Research Brief from the San Francisco Fed examines trends in rental housing composition in Arizona, California and Nevada and takes a closer look at local areas that have seen the fastest growth in single-family rentals. These three states were hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis and have major markets that have been impacted by investor purchases.
Business openings and entrepreneurship are often discussed as harbingers of a strong economic recovery, yet according to the September 2014 issue of 5th District Footprint, some counties in the Fifth Federal Reserve District are actually experiencing a decline in the number of business establishments, even as the economy slowly expands. This issue looks at the changes in the number of business establishments between 2011 and 2012, offering potential indicators of which counties within the Fifth District are experiencing strong and weak economic recoveries.
The unemployment rate has dropped faster than expected since the end of the Great Recession, but it is still higher than normal. Who are the unemployed? How does today’s unemployment rate compare with historical highs and lows? Find out the answer to these questions and more in the latest issue of 5th District Spotlight, an engaging infographic of unemployment-related statistics in the Fifth Federal Reserve District.
The Kansas City Fed recently launched the first installment of its newest periodic series. The Tenth District LMI Labor Force Report provides a snapshot of low-and-moderate-income (LMI) labor market conditions in the Tenth Federal Reserve District. The analyses provide trends in unemployment rates, employment projections for workers with training and experience typical of the LMI, wage data, and the LMI Job Availability Index from the Kansas City Fed’s LMI Survey. The goal of the report is to provide community development and social service organizations, policymakers, and others a gauge of District LMI labor market conditions.
This report released by the Philadelphia Fed reflects research conducted by students completing their master’s degrees in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, who investigated recent revitalization efforts in Bethlehem, Pa., Lancaster, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., with a focus on equity rather than on stated outcomes. This report summarizes their findings, includes proposals designed to produce equitable outcomes in each city, and provides a blueprint for cities interested in considering equity as an objective in future development efforts.
In the Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, the Federal Reserve Board provides a snapshot of the self-perceived financial and economic well-being of U.S. households and the issues they face, based on responses to the Board's 2013 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking. The report provides insight into numerous topics of current relevance to household finances, including: housing and living arrangements; credit access and behavior; education and student loan debt; savings; retirement; and health expenses.
Buying a home is exhausting enough; does it help to add hours of financial counseling to the process? In a longitudinal study by the Philadelphia Fed, researchers evaluate the effectiveness of pre-purchase homeownership and financial management skills counseling. The study improves on previous efforts by employing an experimental design methodology, and it tracks study participants’ creditworthiness over time. Two key findings: pre-purchase homeownership counseling improves financial capability, and more hours of counseling produce greater outcomes for participants.
While appraisers have often been criticized for the inflated home values that were more prevalent during the housing boom, little research has been done to help understand how appraisal valuations respond to rapidly changing local market conditions and regulatory environments. In this discussion paper by the Philadelphia Fed’s Community Development Studies & Education department, researchers examine the pattern of appraisal bias in the Third Federal Reserve District during the housing crisis. Based on a unique transaction-level appraisal data set, this study evaluates how the lack of market activity, the concentration of foreclosures, and the increased use of appraisal management companies, as well as other factors, impact the incidence of low appraisals during the crisis.
This edition of the Philadelphia Fed's Cascade provides highlights from the 2014 Reinventing Older Communities: Bridging Growth & Opportunity conference. The major themes of intergenerational mobility and equitable growth and subthemes of education, employment, and revitalization appear throughout the issue. Articles focus on measuring intergenerational mobility and economic growth in the Third Federal Reserve District; reversing the cycle of poverty through education and mentoring, as well as workforce development; exploring the future of community development corporations (CDC) and measuring CDC impact; and more.
The Kansas City Fed provides financial forms, checklists and other resources to help consumers and small business owners prepare before and recover after disaster strikes. These resources were developed from a series of focus groups and meetings held in the tenth district.
The 12th District County Profiles, published by the San Francisco Fed, provide valuable information on the various labor-market, housing, and economic development issues impacting communities throughout the nine western states. More counties will be added in future rounds of profiles, so check back often to see if your community is featured!
Published by the San Francisco Fed, this paper demonstrates that the greatest reduction in health care costs after placement in supportive housing is seen among chronically homeless adults and seniors who are frequent users of the health care system. The findings support the conclusion that permanent supportive housing can be a highly cost-effective placement option for homeless seniors exiting skilled nursing facilities, particularly as they approach the end of life, and points to the importance of this housing option for managed care organizations that are increasingly taking on the financial responsibility for the health care of this population.
A collaborative effort among schools, neighborhood groups, and service organizations is working to boost academic performance and family stability in North Minneapolis. From the July 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
HIF, a tax-incentive program to fund housing for essential workers and low- to moderate-income people, is a hit with contributors and developers alike. From the July 2014 edition of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
This video, produced by the Minneapolis Fed, shows how specialized entities called community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, are uniquely positioned to help businesses in low- and moderate-income communities survive disruptions, such as the construction of a light rail transit line in Minneapolis-St. Paul. (A supplement to the July 2014 issue of Community Dividend.)
When major construction tore up a busy Twin Cities thoroughfare, a public-private partnership mobilized to help small businesses weather the disruptions. From the July 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Maximizing the tribal land buy-back program: How priority lists can help tribes influence what's purchased
By identifying desirable parcels for development, American Indian tribes can make the most of a federal program that's putting reservation land back in tribal hands. From the July 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
In this issue of 5th District Footprint, read about the Fifth District's four-year cohort high school graduation rates for the class of 2013.
How are New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) being used in your area? Which city received the largest amount of NMTC investment? Find out in the July 2014 issue of 5th District Footprint, which offers a brief look at NMTC investment across the Fifth Federal Reserve District.
Ever wonder about the Federal Reserve’s involvement in the field of community development? Wonder no more. Released in June 2014, Federal Reserve Community Development Perspectives: A summary of activities, insights, and future opportunities answers the "what," "why" and "how" of the Fed's role in community development. The report highlights the Fed’s recent efforts to address barriers to economic growth, and promote fair and informed access to financial markets. Featuring brief summaries of its community development work organized into four focus areas--people, place, the policy and practice of community development, and small business--the report includes background information that helps to provide context for this work, a sampling of key research, outreach programs and other initiatives, as well as some ideas on future challenges, needs and opportunities.
With the price of a college degree rising, students and families are taking on more debt. Is it paying off? Two Cleveland Fed researchers look at trends in student loan debt for young households and find that, by going to college, one is likely to end up in a household that earns a considerable wage income premium throughout its working life but which also has a sizeable amount of college debt early on. There is one education group for which this does not hold: those with some college but no degree. These households, which on average make up 32 percent of those 22 to 29 years of age and 25 percent of those 30 to 65 years of age, have some college debt but get little to no labor market benefit.
Has gentrification continued after the recession? During the housing boom, a number of large cities in the United States experienced redevelopment in their lower-income neighborhoods as higher-income residents moved in. Looser lending standards may have contributed to this gentrification trend. With tighter lending standards in place following the housing bust and financial crisis, researchers at the Cleveland Fed examined how the income rankings of neighborhoods in the centers of metropolitan areas have changed relative to those in the suburbs since 2000. In this Economic Trends report, they explain their methodology and findings.
What is the impact of the CDFI Fund on institutions that receive funding, and what is the return on investment? In this Economic Commentary, Cleveland Fed economist Kristle Cortés and Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner evaluate the Fund’s core program. Examining 10 years of propriety data provided by the US Treasury, they measured the increase in lending at credit unions that received grants, those that applied but did not receive grants, and those that never applied. Their results show that CDFI Fund grants do increase lending, by 3 percent. And for every dollar awarded, 45 cents is loaned out to borrowers in the first year and up to $1.60 is loaned out within three years.
This Dallas Fed research uses a spatial hedonic model to analyze 5,500 downpayment assistance loans made from 1997 to 2006 in the City of Dallas Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP). The study estimates the impact of subsidized mortgages on nearby home values and compares the performance of MAP loans to subprime and FHA loans.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Spring 2014 issue include: Local Innovation, National Impact: Engaging Municipal Government in Financial Empowerment; Enrollment, Student Debt and LMI Communities; We’ve Met the Solution, and It Is Us; West Tennessee Day Trippin’: Rural Tourism Campaign Builds Regional Partnerships for Community and Economic Development; From the Ozarks to the Delta: A Historical Perspective of Regional Poverty in Arkansas; and more.
The Dallas Fed summarizes findings from a research study conducted in a South Dallas neighborhood which tests how gateways (basic bank products) and stepping stones (asset building financial products) can put households on a path to financial security.
The Chicago Fed provides findings from its recent Industrial Cities Initiative (ICI), an effort to gain a better understanding of the economic, demographic, and social trends shaping industrial cities in the Midwest. The report profiles ten Midwestern cities and explores the trends and experiences of each city individually, in comparison to peers and in comparison to their home states and the nation.
This article, from the Chicago Fed's Profitwise News and Views, provides historical perspective on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). A pivotal and at times controversial law, the CRA added new dimensions to the Fed’s responsibilities late in the twentieth century.
This Chicago Fed analysis of SBA data from the state of Michigan explains the extent to which the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan guarantee program helps facilitate flows of credit to small businesses in the city of Detroit, and to black and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods statewide.
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC): Challenges Presented by the Onset of Year 15 in the St. Louis Region
This paper examines the challenges, along with current and expected future trends in affordable housing preservation and development utilizing LIHTCs.
Older adults face unique situations in the post-financial crisis economy. How are they managing financial transactions with new and emerging technologies? How well are they navigating an increasingly complex financial marketplace? The Federal Reserve Board of Governors convened several events and published a forum briefing paper on this topic.
Payments systems are evolving rapidly in the US. This report presents findings from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' third annual survey on consumers' use of mobile financial services, conducted in December 2013.
This May 2013 paper by the Minneapolis Fed and partners is a discussion of the context and potential benefits of forming a statewide CDFI network in Minnesota. Featuring comments from Minnesota CDFI practitioners, recommendations for next steps, and information about established national and state-level CDFI networks.
This special issue of Community Investments from the San Francisco Fed highlights excerpts from Investing in What Works for America’s Communities: Essays on People, Place & Purpose, with a particular focus on the topic of integration, a prominent theme that emerges from the book.
The state of the student loan market has received much attention in recent years, as the number of borrowers and their collective debt have risen dramatically. These trends have been particularly problematic in the wake of the 2007–09 recession because increased unemployment and suppressed income impair borrowers’ ability to make payments on their loans. This Cascade Focus, published by the Philadelphia Fed, outlines the recent history of student borrowing in the Third Federal Reserve District and explores lending patterns, by the neighborhood income of the borrower, to better understand the implications for low- and moderate-income communities.
This edition of the Philadelphia Fed's Cascade focuses on ways to strengthen household financial stability after the recession, why the unbanked use alternative financial services, the use of tax-time savings programs to build assets, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, and student loan debt. It also includes an interview with Sandra Braunstein of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on the Federal Reserve’s role in community development, a Mapping Our Community feature on the distribution of household income, and a memorial to Frederick Heldring, former Philadelphia bank CEO and a founder of the Delaware Valley Mortgage Plan.
Fiscal Stress in the Small Postindustrial City: Causes, Consequences, and Implications for Community Development
Published by the Philadelphia Fed, this report explores the fiscal challenges facing 10 small postindustrial cities in the Third Federal Reserve District. Using historic data to help explain the structural nature of the cities' challenges, this report then describes indicators commonly used to assess fiscal health and applies them to recent financial data for the 10 cities. The report also discusses implications for public support of community development investments and introduces strategies to improve the fiscal health of the postindustrial city.
Published by the Philadelphia Fed, this special report is a follow-up to the largely quantitative “In Philadelphia's Shadow,” which tracks the histories, current conditions, and trajectories of 13 small postindustrial cities in the Third Federal Reserve District. Focusing on the same 13 cities and drawing on interviews, experience, and the literature, the author explores the factors that have led to greater success in some cities and less in others. Many of these factors are strongly behavioral in nature, reflecting in part the values and relationships of each city's leadership and stakeholders. As it examines effective strategies and promising practices, this report offers insights intended to assist these cities in confronting their challenges and thriving as successful postindustrial cities.
Postsecondary educational expenses and student loan balances have been trending steadily upward, but persistent unemployment and weak economic conditions have created an alarming new trend of rising student loan defaults. This research brief from the San Francisco Fed examines broad trends in student borrowing in the Federal Reserve’s 12th District, with an emphasis on students from low- and moderate-income households.
Within the Federal Reserve’s 12th District, over 4 million families and individuals received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for tax year 2007, totaling over $8 billion in credits. In this research brief, the San Francisco Fed examines trends in EITC usage across the 12th District and looks at how the EITC and tax time provide a unique opportunity to link lower-income households to financial services and promote asset building.
Historically, subsidized housing is concentrated in locations that are largely isolated from amenity-rich areas. While a variety of federal and local programs offer expanded neighborhood choice to lower-income households reliant on housing assistance, the bulk of subsidized affordable housing remains unevenly distributed across different types of neighborhoods. This research brief from the San Francisco Fed looks at how these patterns play out in the nine-county Bay Area of Northern California, focusing on the relative locations of subsidized housing and high quality schools.
Transit-oriented development (TOD) can provide households with more opportunities and choices. Ideal TOD communities are mixed-use neighborhoods with good-quality public transit that connect people of a variety of incomes to a wide range of economic, social, and educational opportunities. This report published by the San Francisco Fed explores how Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) can be utilized to provide financing for TOD projects.
Launched in 2011 by the San Francisco Fed, this project collects input from community stakeholders about the issues and trends facing low- and moderate-income communities in the 12th District. Reports synthesize key themes that emerge from the surveys.
This report published by the San Francisco Fed provides an operational and financial overview of the community health center industry for the years 2008 – 2011. Prepared with the goal of increasing the information available to lenders and investors on community health centers nationwide, this document is the second of a series of studies supported by Citi Foundation, which will further illuminate the financial and operational trends of this group of organizations.
Using data from U.S. Census Bureau, this research brief from the San Francisco Fed analyzes the changing geography of poverty in the Bay Area. It focuses on the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and explores the demographic changes that took place between 2000 and 2009.
Following the aftermath of the Great Recession, national indicators are starting to show signs of improvement in the housing market, but these indicators mask the realities of what’s happening on the ground in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. Complicating matters is the unprecedented role of investors in the housing recovery. This Research Brief from the San Francisco Fed provides an overview of related issues and examines housing market recovery and investor activity in the Federal Reserve’s 12th District.
This Dallas Fed article highlights an innovative housing program addressing the needs of homeless veterans in the northern Louisiana portion of the the 11th District. Volunteers of America of North Louisiana provides transitional housing and supportive services including comprehensive health care, vocational rehabilitation and financial education.
This Dallas Fed article highlights United Way THRIVE, an innovative community financial stability collaborative of 21 service providers, launched and led by United Way of Greater Houston. In 2013, the effort guided 52,000 Houston-area families in reaching three financial stability objectives: increasing income, building savings,and acquiring assets.
The Dallas Fed highlights the importance of filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), avoiding alternative refund settlement products and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs in maximizing tax savings for low- and moderate-income families.
This report published by the San Francisco Fed provides research findings from two different phases of “MY Path,” a financial capability initiative that provides employed disadvantaged youth with peer-led financial education trainings, a savings account at a mainstream financial institution and incentives to set and meet savings goals.
From Cashing Checks to Building Assets: A Case Study of the Check Cashing/Credit Union Hybrid Service Model
This case study from the San Francisco Fed examines the pilot effort of Community Trust Prospera (CT Prospera), a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, to combine the accessible services of a check-casher with the longer-term depository and lending relationship opportunities of a mainstream financial institution. It is intended to capture lessons learned thus far and provide an informational resource for any organizations that are interested in learning from the model.
California’s San Joaquin Valley is one of the nation’s most impoverished areas. Recent developments such as the foreclosure crisis have heightened the Valley’s needs, and there is also evidence that the Valley is beginning to garner more attention from financial institutions and federal regulators, creating an opportunity for community-based organizations (CBOs) and financial institutions to work together in a mutually beneficial way. This paper from the San Francisco Fed describes how stakeholders have successfully collaborated to increase reinvestment in other locales, with lessons learned for the San Joaquin Valley.
This issue of the San Francisco Fed’s Community Investments, explores a selection of Native initiatives across the country. It discusses how Native communities are partnering with federal agencies to build and support sustainable housing in Indian Country and establish modern water and sewer systems for remote Native communities in Alaska. The articles also examine a community-based health worker initiative in the Navajo Nation and a Native Hawaiian financial education program and community-based lending institution.
This working paper from the San Francisco Fed provides an overview of patterns of subprime lending, as well as trends in foreclosures and REOs, in suburban communities compared to inner-cities. It explores the relationship between foreclosures in suburban areas and the increased suburbanization of poverty.
This paper published by the San Francisco Fed provides insights and tools to help community development practitioners, policymakers, funders, and other stakeholders better understand how to maximize the effectiveness and impact of different types of organizations at the local and regional level. Understanding your comparative advantages is critical to addressing complex community development initiatives from foreclosure prevention, to sustainable energy, to urban education, to job creation.
The impact investing marketplace is gaining traction—investment vehicles now span asset classes, infrastructural improvements are enhancing transparency and investor confidence, and social enterprise is maturing with a new generation of entrepreneurs. This paper published by the San Francisco Fed focuses on family investing through family offices and foundations and the factors that families and advisors consider when deciding whether or not to invest for impact.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, launched the “Healthy Communities” initiative in 2010 to explore how the health and community development sectors can collaborate. A regional meeting took place in Las Vegas in January 2012, which led to the formation of the Las Vegas Healthy Communities Coalition (LVHCC), a collective impact initiative with a mission to “foster collaboration and coordination across multiple sectors and stakeholders, to generate healthy outcomes for all Southern Nevadans.” This report, authored by Laura Choi, details the formation and progress of LVHCC, which is still in the early stages of development.
This issue of the San Francisco Fed’s Community Investments explores the emerging approach of collaborative community development and lifts up early learnings from pioneers in the field. The articles discuss how to establish and grow collective action leadership organizations and working groups and build a strong but flexible initiative framework; consider how government can be an effective partner in collective action work; and convey the critical role of data and measurement in these initiatives.
A report on the Dallas Fed’s Texas Small Business Needs Assessment Poll, conducted in partnership with the Texas Small Business Development Center Network. Over 700 micro- and small businesses reported firm size, performance, financing and employee skill gaps.
Small businesses in Puerto Rico represent a significant portion of the local economy. In 2013 the New York Fed co-sponsored, along with the FDIC and the U.S. Virgin Islands/Puerto Rico District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, a series of forums designed to expand opportunities for small businesses in Puerto Rico. The three forums focused on access to financing, government procurement contracts, and international trade. Presentations from the series are available, along with a Report on the Competitiveness of Puerto Rico's Economy.
The Dallas Fed provides a quick reference guide to the Community Reinvestment Act regulation and examination procedures.
In this issue of CDIR, the San Francisco Fed highlights a number of deliberate, innovative and interdisciplinary efforts addressing community development and environmental issues. These efforts are diverse, both in the issues they touch and the range of approaches and partnerships they employ. Issues addressed include air quality, climate change and water access on the environmental side, and education, health, and affordable housing on the community development side.
Community Development Investment Review: Innovations in Neighborhood Stabilization: Responses to the Foreclosure Crisis
In this issue of the CDIR, the San Francisco Fed brings together a series of articles highlighting some of the stabilization strategies emerging from the efforts of committed nonprofits across the country. Included are lessons learned from the Housing Partnership Network’s 2011-2013 Innovations in Neighborhood Stabilization and Foreclosure Prevention Initiative along with a series of essays written by influential nonprofit and public sector leaders that enriches the conversation about neighborhood stabilization, providing new and provocative perspectives on this work.
This issue of the San Francisco Fed's CDIR focuses on Pay for Success financing, its origins, models, potential implications, exciting potential and possible pitfalls. Pay for Success is a tantalizing idea, but it also raises important questions.
This issue of the San Francisco Fed's CDIR includes the proceedings of the “Advancing Social Impact Investments through Measurement” conference held at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2011. The issue also includes a series of thoughtful essays written by conference attendees in response to what they heard at the convening.
This issue of the San Francisco Fed's CDIR is dedicated to a simple idea: innovative ideas to solve poverty should not stop at the national border. There are too many good ideas abroad that can help inform our practices domestically, and good ideas here that can be relevant to other countries.
Community Development Investment Review: Building Scale in Community Impact Investing through Nonfinancial Performance Measurement
In the community development finance and impact investing worlds, there is both universal agreement on the need for better social outcome measurements and no consensus on how to do it. In this issue of CDIR, the San Francisco Fed offers ideas on how we might contribute to an ongoing process to establish a tool—or many tools—that help us measure the social benefit of impact and community investing.
In this issue of the CDIR, the San Francisco Fed explores the intersection of community development and health. Specifically, authors offer varying perspectives on how to “bend the health cost curve” using innovative community development strategies and how to positively affect social determinants of health to generate better health outcomes for low-income people.
Can credit data tell us anything about the Community Reinvestment Act's impact on individuals? Examining data on consumer credit outcomes from 2004 to 2012, researchers at the Boston Fed show that individuals in low- to moderate-income CRA-eligible neighborhoods have more contact with formal credit markets than those in very similar neighborhoods that do not qualify for CRA credit.
The Boston Fed conducts a semi-annual survey of service providers' perceptions of the economic and financial conditions of lower-income communities and individuals in New England and the organizations that serve them. Read about the results of their October 2013 survey in this report.
Community development financial institutions often play a critical role in financing the infrastructure that makes good health possible. From the April 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
A 2013 mandate from the U.S. Treasury resulted in a reduced but focused pool of community development financial institutions. From the April 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Investments in local arts and culture can create social, human, and economic capital. From the April 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
This issue of Community Pulse presents the results of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's spring 2014 survey of most pressing current and emerging issues of its numerous and highly diverse communities. Access to affordable housing, availability of jobs locally and improving the quality of K-12 education were the top three current issues in the Fifth District.
The Spring 2014 issue highlights the State Small Business Credit Initiative that is helping fund small businesses across the Tenth District by leveraging private lending. The issue also spotlights an Albuquerque collaboration assisting underserved families and children, and the use of crowd funding as a tool for social entrepreneurship. In addition, the issue features a Q&A with Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network, on the challenges facing CDFIs in the wake of the Great Recession.
The Boston Fed has created a powerful, time-saving, easy-to-use tool for people interested in the New England region. The tool uses census data to compare the demographic characteristics of lower-income and higher-income areas within a city. It also provides aggregate information for New England states and for the region as a whole
This report from the Boton Fed describes credit conditions in Massachusetts in low- and moderate-income and middle- and high-income census tracts using a unique and nationally representative database of all individuals who have a credit history. The analysis highlights the differences in the percentage of individuals with credit accounts, median balances, monthly payments, delinquency rates, and credit scores in 2006 and 2012.
In disadvantaged neighborhoods, the condition of the housing stock can vary from block to block. On one block, homes appear well kept and in good condition, while on another, many homes show signs of physical distress. Since the blocks within the same neighborhood are often similar in terms of home values, what accounts for this pattern? And is there any contagion effect of home maintenance? Researchers at the Boston Fed examine this issue in several Boston neighborhoods in this report.
A physical and online exhibit, “What Does the Fed Do? 100 Years Serving as the Nation’s Central Bank” provides, among other unique features, an intriguing brochure on Fed history, the original painting of President Woodrow Wilson signing the Federal Reserve Act and a giant freestanding map of all the Federal Reserve districts made from shredded money. Check it out online, or in person at the Boston Fed.
Using Credit Reporting Agency Data to Assess the Link between the Community Reinvestment Act and Consumer Credit Outcomes
Can CRA have a positive impact at the individual level? To investigate the effect of the Community Reinvestment Act on consumer credit outcomes, researchers at the Boston Fed examined data for 2004 to 2012. While they found no statistically significant effects of the CRA on mortgages or foreclosures, either before or after the financial crisis, they did find evidence that CRA expanded broad measures of credit market activity.
One problem low-income communities may face in trying to revitalize is dealing with a high share of residents who are returning home after serving prison terms. Returning citizens often concentrate in low-income areas, and they typically lack the education and skills needed to find jobs. In this Commentary from the Cleveland Fed, a researcher examine these and other barriers to employment, estimates the degree of unemployment, and describes some solutions emerging for this population.
Why has average income grown in some poor neighborhoods over the past 30 years and not in others? In exploring this question, researchers at the Cleveland Fed found that low-income neighborhoods that experienced large improvements in income over the past three decades tended to be located in large, densely populated metro areas that themselves grew in income and population. Residential sorting—changes in population and demographics within neighborhoods—could help to explain this relationship.
Many signs in the housing market seem to be pointing the right way, except for the amount of time loans are spending in the foreclosure process. Foreclosure fast-tracks for vacant homes in foreclosure may help reverse that trend. This Commentary by researchers at the Cleveland Fed examines the savings Ohio and Pennsylvania might gain if they adopted such measures.
Many Rust-Belt cities have seen almost half their populations move from inside the city borders to the surrounding suburbs and elsewhere since the 1970s. As populations shifted, neighborhoods changed—in their average incomes, in their educational profiles, and in housing prices. But these shifts did not affect neighborhoods at the same rates. Recent research has uncovered some of the patterns characterizing the process.
The Kansas City Fed summarizes findings from a series of roundtable discussions held on the issues of workforce development and the chronically unemployed.
This paper from the Kansas City Fed provides a detailed overview of the U.S. student loan market, presents new statistics that highlight student loan debt burdens and delinquency rates, and discusses current concerns among many Americans about student loans, including their fiscal impact.
The Kansas City Fed provides fact sheets for employees to understand and make the most of their paychecks. The additional resources for employers can be used to reinforce the information provided in the fact sheets.
This series of reports, produced by the Richmond Fed's Research and Community Development Departments, provides state-level analyses of housing markets, and the composition and performance of mortgage markets in the Fifth Federal Reserve District. The reports are updated quarterly.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Foreclosure Resource Center provides a comprehensive list of both national and local foreclosure prevention information, resources and data.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Community Development Bank (CDB) Peer Group Analysis provides descriptive statistics on a peer group of community development banks that are tracked over time. The peer group of CDBs consists of banks that were in existence from the start date of the analysis and continue to be in existence as of the end date. The latest report incorporates data from 2005 to 2012.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are specialized financial institutions operating in markets that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. This section of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's website provides information on CDFIs, with a particular focus on the Southeast region of the U.S. In addition, it includes a dedicated section on CDFI banks, also known as Community Development Banks (CDBs). Resources include webinars, data tables, reports, regulations, etc.
The foreclosure crisis has caused the nation to grapple with scores of real-estate-owned, or REO, properties. These and other vacant properties erode the values of nearby homes, fracture neighborhood stability, and threaten to undo decades of economic progress made in communities across the country over the past 25 years. How big is the REO problem? How are communities, banks, and policymakers dealing with the challenge? Most important, what approaches are showing the most promise for success? Learn more in this collection of analyses and essays from the nation's housing and policy experts.
Although not directly affected by the boom and bust of the housing market, Appalachia, and more specifically rural Appalachia, might be fighting the Great Recession's aftershocks for quite some time. This report from the Cleveland Fed examines data to learn how Appalachians in counties from Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania are currently faring. Have they lost what little ground they gained from the late 1970s to the early part of this decade?
A study of the underbanked and unbanked in the Tenth Federal Reserve District looks at households who rely on non-banks to meet all or some of their basic financial needs.
The Kansas City Fed's Funder's Guide offers philanthropists, funding agencies and small business development organizations information and guidance on how to support economic growth through supporting organizations that develop small businesses.
The summer 2013 issue of 5E Navigator examines student loans and directs readers to information and tools for managing student loan repayment.
The March 2014 issue of the 5th District Footprint looks at earned income tax credit (EITC) usage and its potential economic benefits within Fifth Federal Reserve District zip codes.
The November 2013 issue of 5th District Foodprint looks at population growth in the Fifth District between 2007 and 2012 and describes the role of migration in these patterns.
The October 2013 issue of 5th District Footprint examines commuting patterns in Fifth Federal Reserve District counties. Daily population shifts due to commuting are especially prominent in counties surrounding major metropolitan areas.
This issue of Community Scope (2013, Volume 3, Issue 2) explores the mortgage outcomes of homeowners who sought assistance with their mortgage difficulties. Our description is supplemented by findings from our surveys of homeowners who attended foreclosure prevention events between 2009 and 2010.
Redefining Rust Belt: An Exchange of Strategies by the Cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia
This publication summarizes the key themes from the first event in the Redefining "Rust Belt" series. The event engaged community leaders from the cities of Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia in a discussion of challenges and successful strategies in city revitalization efforts. The event was held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia.
This blog documents some of the positive housing market effects seen in major counties within the Seventh Federal Reserve District.
This blog provides a synopsis of the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, including why it was chosen to be part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's “Industrial Cities Initiative.”
The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty in America: Case Studies from Communities Across the U.S.
This collection of 16 case studies from across the United States includes two from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Fourth District: the City of Cleveland’s urban, densely populated Central neighborhood and rural Martin County, Kentucky. On the surface, these two communities have little in common apart from high rates of poverty; their geographies, demographics, and histories point to two very different places. Despite the disparities, though, both communities face remarkably similar challenges to overcoming poverty.
How did the Neighborhood Stabilization Program play out in Boston? A research team at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conducted a multi-method study of the impact of the Boston Neighborhood Stabilization Program effort. We found that the program properties were slower to be rehabilitated than a comparison group of non-program properties and that the program had very little impact on the physical or social conditions of the block. We conclude by offering some policy implications
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials. Feature articles in the Winter 2013-14 issue include: Family Scholar House: Educational Program Breaks Cycle of Poverty for Single Parents in Louisville; Health Around the Corner; Insight Park: Visioning for the Future of Oxford and Ole Miss; Anchor Institutions in the Mississippi Delta; Charter School Anchors St. Louis Neighborhood Revitalization; and more.
This article provides a recap of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) Annual Community Banks Partnership Meeting. The meeting brought together more than 60 representatives from area community banks, regulators, and industry partners to discuss the evolving landscape of community banking. This meeting was held April 30, 2013, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
This article provides a recap of a summit convened to explore the shared goals and visions of the community development and public health fields; and where new opportunities exist for collaboration. The summit was hosted by the Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, in partnership with the Illinois Public Health Institute, and the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Developing Small Businesses and Leveraging Resources in Detroit: An Informed Discussion among Financial Institutions, Policymakers and Other Stakeholders in Detroit
This article provides a recap of a symposium held in Detroit that brought together business experts, business owners, policymakers, funders and bankers to explore issues around access to small business credit and financing in Detroit. The event, held in October 2012, was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Michigan Bankers Association and the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan.
Readers of this article can learn more about the expanding role that nonbank, often mission-driven, lenders are playing in a period of constrained lending to small businesses by regulated depository institutions.
This article explores the roles of community colleges across the Seventh Federal Reserve District in addressing worker skill gaps. U.S. Census data indicate the percentage of the population with at least a high school degree has been increasing since 1970, as has the percentage of the population with post high school education (if not a four-year degree). During that time, the percentage of people with some college or a college diploma increased 160 percent. While these trends are encouraging, demands in the labor marketplace for technically skilled workers reinforce the value of investment in skills training. Published by the Chicago Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies Department (CDPS)
This article provides a recap of the Asset Development Summit for Persons with Disabilities Summit, which brought together Chicago-area disability and asset building partners to discuss how to work together to expand economic empowerment opportunities for persons with disabilities. The February 2013 summit was hosted by the Chicago Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) Division.
The Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago presents results from a poll to small business intermediaries in the fourth quarter of 2012, which asked about their perceptions of small business conditions in their neighborhoods. The purpose of this poll was to get a better understanding of the small business climate in diverse neighborhoods of the city of Chicago. The respondents comprised nonprofit organizations that provide technical assistance to (general business advice) and links to sources of capital for small businesses, as well as local market oriented business attraction and retention services.
Suburban communities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region now have nearly as many impoverished residents as the central cities, and local assistance organizations are modifying their approaches in response to the change. From the January 2013 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Learn how the surging energy industry in the Bakken oil patch may be making life harder for some area residents, particularly the elderly. From the October 2012 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
This 4th Quarter 2013 report of findings from the Minneapolis Fed’s semiannual Ninth District Insight survey shows overall improvement in some business and employment indicators, but overall deterioration of conditions in other areas. The survey captures front-line observations about issues that affect the economic health of low- and moderate-income communities.
What are the most pressing concerns facing stakeholders in the Fourth Federal Reserve District at the outset of 2014? A survey of Cleveland Fed stakeholders elicited comments on and rankings of current and emerging issues facing their communities, which are reported in the Bank's Issues and Insights publication. Our 2014 findings, for example, show education has joined the perennial top current concerns of jobs and vacant properties, while the top emerging concerns continue to revolve around jobs and government budgetary cuts.
Ever seen precisely how research informs policy? Check out this 2013 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, which weighs the pros and cons of modest legislative changes to help stabilize housing markets in Ohio. To lay the groundwork, we cite findings from multiple years of housing research conducted by the Cleveland Fed. We also solicited input from Ohio bankers, community development practitioners, and other market participants. Our five policy considerations for improving Ohio's housing sector have drawn the attention of policymakers in the state, too, with several being incorporated into proposals for changes to Ohio state housing laws.
Are loss-mitigation tools easing distress in Ohio? This analysis looks at trends in delinquency rates, underwater loans, and negative equity to see whether several national loss-mitigation programs appear to have any impact on loan performance in Ohio.
How have northern cities fared as they recover from the loss of manufacturing, at the same time working to reduce pollution and become more attractive places to live? This report examines trends in manufacturing and pollution in the traditional industrial centers of the Rust Belt and the newer centers that sprang up in the South over the past three decades.
Social Ties, Space, and Resilience: Literature Review of Community Resilience to Disasters and Constituent Social and Built Environment Factors
Given the importance of resilience in promoting an effective recovery from severe natural disasters, the factors that contribute to such community resilience are of great interest to scholars and practitioners. The value of strong social networks in resilience is among the most oft-repeated lessons learned in recent scholarship. In this paper, Atlanta Fed research analyst Ann Carpenter examines the intersection of three connected threads in the literature to understand one particular aspect of resilience: how the built environment contributes to greater resilience by supporting and encouraging strong social networks.
This paper by Atlanta Fed research economist Anil Rupasingha looks at the impact of locally owned businesses on overall local economic well-being. The paper finds that in communities where a higher percentage of employment comes from locally owned businesses, especially businesses with nine employees or less, there is stronger income and employment growth. The research further shows that a greater degree of locally owned business employment is more likely to reduce the poverty rate, especially in nonmetropolitan areas.
The Dallas Fed provides this roadmap of best practices in community development and a healthy communities framework that highlights investments valuable to financial institutions and their target communities. Also included is a list of CRA reference guides and a useful template for a Bank's performance context.
Despite limited resources, UNITY of Greater New Orleans, a coalition of 60-plus local agencies, permanently housed over 500 chronically homeless people last year. Learn how the coalition achieved that success in a case study highlighting best practices in the Southeast.
This Atlanta Fed case study highlights the innovative work done by the United Way Center for Financial Stability to leverage partnerships that provide low- and moderate-income individuals in South Florida with personalized financial coaching, credit counseling, tax preparation and other services.
It's hard to argue against the value of education these days, but with so many adult workers lacking a college degree, we set out to learn more about the prospects today for young workers with no plans to get a four-year degree. This report describes the patterns of education, employment, and wages in eight metro areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky and how they stack up against the 100 largest metros in the U.S. Young workers in Pittsburgh, it turns out, are in a relatively strong position. We point to relevant labor market research as we examine the prospects of workers in the region without a college degree.
These data briefs from the Community Development team at the Cleveland Fed examine the educational attainment levels, employment status, and occupations of workers in four MSAs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, with a primary focus on those aged 18 to 35 with no post-secondary degree.
Nonprofits are using this alternative home-financing option to help prospective buyers who cannot yet qualify for a traditional mortgage. From the April 2013 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Recent changes to a federal bond-guarantee program could help construction firms in Indian Country and elsewhere do business. From the January 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Ninth District Insight is the Minneapolis Fed's semiannual survey to capture front-line observations about issues that affect the economic health of low- and moderate-income communities. This 2nd Quarter 2013 report is based on responses from 381 community organizations, including lenders, developers, and service providers.
Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials. Feature articles in the Fall 2013 issue include: Increasing Density: A Small-Town Approach to New Urbanism; Women Helping Women: Healing Hearts Bank at Redevelopment Opportunities for Women; The Graying of America: Preparing for What Comes Next and more.
This issue of the Dallas Fed's Banking & Community Perspectives looks at challenges facing the affordable housing field in Texas, spotlighting underlying trends and new approaches to increasing availability.
Visit this resource to find information on Healthy Communities -- the intersection of community development and health -- including publications, presentations, podcasts, videos and web resources.
The Dallas Fed posts interviews of leading practitioners as well as events, speeches and reports on current trends and successful practices in the small business and entrepreneurship sector.
A growing movement to stock school kitchens with foods from local and regional farms and businesses is teaching kids the connection between nutritious foods and good health. From the January 2014 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
Helping people who have criminal records find sustained, gainful employment could help produce savings and benefits for both the ex-offenders and society at large. From the October 2013 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
A performance-based social investment tool being piloted in some communities offers a new model for delivering social services. From the July 2013 issue of Community Dividend, a publication of the Minneapolis Fed.
This Infographic from the Richmond Fed presents key facts about homelessness in the U.S. and within the Fifth Federal Reserve District.
The August 2013 issue of 5th District Footprint examines the distribution of manufacturing employment in the Fifth District. Counties with high concentration of manufacturing employment tend to be located close to transportation networks, have low population density and are near other counties that also have a high share of manufacturing jobs.
This issue of Community Scope (2013, Volume 3, Issue 1) explores the re-employment experience of displaced Pillowtex textile workers in North Carolina following the largest permanent mass layoff in the state’s history. The study focuses on the assistance strategies and reemployment outcomes in the counties with the largest concentration of displaced workers and highlights the challenges and opportunities involved in the process.
This analysis of consumer credit bureau data by the Philadelphia Fed finds that between 2002 and 2010, the number and proportion of consumers with a credit report fell in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and rose in higher-income neighborhoods, largely as a result of residential migration. The paper also finds slower growth in the credit bureau sample in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods during periods of credit contraction.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Outlook Survey monitors the economic factors affecting low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in the Third Federal Reserve District. A report summarizing the most recent survey as well as an archive of prior surveys are available on our website.
Since the Great Recession, bank lending to small businesses has fallen significantly, and policymakers have become concerned that these businesses are not getting the credit they need. This analysis from the Cleveland Fed shows that the decline has multiple sources, which means that trying to address any single factor may be ineffective or make matters worse.
This report reviews foreclosure investor activity in Boston and the rest of Suffolk County, Massachusetts using data from 2007 to 2012. The author finds that 44% of the properties in the sample were purchased by buyers who appeared to be investors, and most purchased one to six properties. The data also indicate that investors are less reliant than other buyers on mortgage financing to purchase foreclosed properties.
This article examines the nonprofit foreclosure counseling industry in Philadelphia, including results from a survey of the city’s counseling agencies that highlights challenges the industry faces. Specifically, the paper discusses the industry’s structure, financial status, and requirements for funding. In addition, the survey results provide information on service delivery and monitoring, staffing, finances, investment priorities, and additional critical issues facing the industry.
Published by the Philadelphia Fed, this report tracks the histories, current conditions, and trajectories of 13 small formerly industrial cities in the Third Federal Reserve District. Revitalization, reflected in both the social and economic well-being of the city’s population and the vitality of its housing market and neighborhoods, appears to hinge on connecting residents to regional job markets, tapping into regional housing demand, and growing new economic sectors capable of changing a city’s image and drawing strong private investment.
This Spring 2013 issue of the quarterly publication by the Boston Fed features research and best practices for CBOs, policymakers, financial institutions. and others; articles include Latino Dairy Workers in Vermont; Access to Affordable Food in New Hampshire; Beginning Farmers and Local Food Systems; Closing the Academic Divide through Debate; Giving a Decommissioned Military Base New Life; The Urban Forest; Great Recession and Confidence in Homeownership.
This event in Providence, Rhode Island, brought lenders and borrowers together to talk about the future of community development lending in the state in the era of sequestration. Sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Olneyville Housing Corporation and Rhode Island LISC. Presentations available.
During the Great Recession and recovery period, stories from bankers and business owners suggested that the flow of small business credit was dramatically shaped by changes in demand and tightening lending standards.This article and report is provides an examination of CRA data on small business and farm loans nationally and in the Sixth Federal Reserve District.
Ninth District Insight is the Minneapolis Fed's semiannual survey to capture front-line observations about issues that affect the economic health of low- and moderate-income communities. This 4th Quarter 2012 report is based on responses from 381 community organizations, including lenders, developers, and service providers.
In this inaugural issue of the 5th District Spotlight, produced by the Richmond Fed, key facts about the unbanked populations in the U.S. and within the Fifth Federal Reserve District are presented in an Infographic format.
The June 2013 issue of 5th District Footprint reveals that West Virginia has the highest and District of Columbia has the lowest student loan deliquency rates in the Fifth District. Student loan delinquency rates were above the national average in more than half of the Fifth District counties.
As an alternative to going to a bank or an automatic teller machine (ATM), some consumers receive cash back from purchases made with their debit card or electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card at retail stores.This April 2013 issue of 5th District Footprint explores patterns in cash back transactions in the Fifth District using data from a national retailer selling mainly food and household items.
This article in the Winter 2013 issue of Kansas City’s Ten magazine traces the history of land banking and the innovations to improve the appeal, outcome and efficiency of land banking as a revitalization tool.
This issue of the San Franscisco Fed's Community Investments examines the challenges facing the affordable housing industry, new public-private funding partnership models, cross-sector efforts with health care and transportation practitioners, and services-enriched affordable housing that is helping the most vulnerable members of our communities to lead fuller lives in a more stable environment.
Ohio’s workforce development system is complex and fragmented. Despite still-high unemployment, for example, employers complain of not being able to find workers to fill open positions. In 2013 the Cleveland Fed talked with individuals across the state about the biggest challenges facing employers, educators, and job seekers alike. We also learned of some integrative approaches that appear to be working. Read about our findings in this special report.
This research brief from the San Francisco Fed examines household net worth and asset ownership in 2005 and 2011 across different demographic groups and provides an overview of some of the issues around household financial stability, why balance sheets mattered so much going into the recession, and how they are impacting the subsequent recovery.
The Spring 2013 issue highlights research on the impact of the Great Recession on low- and moderate-income communities. Also included are FAQs about the Fed's role in community and economic development, an interview with NeighborWorks America's Midwest director, CRA 101 tips for nonprofit organizations to work more effectively with financial institutions, and an overview of workforce development initiatives.
To learn more about the decreased labor force participation rate and skills mismatch of young people, particularly in post-industrial cities and their surrounding regions, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Feds held five listening sessions across Pennsylvania in 2013. In this report we distill and document what we heard, including local strategies to better align education and employment initiatives in order to improve job opportunities for this demographic, along with ways to increase engagement and collaboration among a broad group of stakeholders.
A resource from the Dallas Fed for consumers, community leaders, teachers and students available in print, online interactive and mobile app as well as lesson plans and interactive whiteboard apps for teachers. Building Wealth covers the basics of setting financial goals, budgeting to save, saving to invest, building credit, controlling debt and protecting the wealth you accumulate.
The Kansas City Fed publishes this guide which is useful to both urban and rural economic developers. The grow your own strategy focuses resources on existing community strengths, small businesses and developing job-creating entrepreneurs. A resource guide of programs and practicing communities from across the U.S. is also included.
A compilation of essays published by the San Francisco Fed and the Low Income Investment Fund highlights entrepreneurial solutions for addressing poverty. Authors include leading experts from across the U.S. in community and economic development, academia, government policy, health, and philanthropy.
This issue of the Philadelphia Fed's Cascade spotlights the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry and the products and programs implemented by CDFIs and their funding sources. Also featured is Mark Pinsky, Opportunity Finance Network president and CEO, who provides perspective on the CDFI recertification process.
This quarterly publication from the Boston Fed is geared for lenders and community development practitioners and focuses on the economic concerns of low- and moderate-income constituencies and those who serve them. The feature article in this issue is on the topic of universal preschool.
This issue of Community Pulse presents the results of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's fall 2013 survey of most pressing current and emerging issues of its numerous and highly diverse communities. Availability of jobs locally, affordable housing and budgetary issues at the state or local government level were the top three current issues in the Fifth District.