Spotlight on Research: Innovative Ways to Build Savings and Wealth of Low-Income Families
The recent great recession took its financial toll on many families. Some who lost a portion of their wealth continue to struggle to find a foothold in the economy, while others have managed to regain their lost wealth. Some of the other sources of the financial instability that beset families have been attributed to the challenges associated with being a single-parent family, the volatility and fragility of income shocks, and the shredding of some safety nets. Ray Boshara, director of the Center for Household Financial Stability and assistant vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. ...
A Perspective on the Community Reinvestment Act
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA placed an affirmative obligation on banks and thrifts to provide credit in the communities in which they serve, particularly in low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods. Indeed, there is evidence that the CRA has made important contributions in bringing capital into these communities
Gentrification: Research and Practitioner Perspectives
In urban areas across the United States, the demand for housing in center-city, amenity-rich neighborhoods is increasing, driven by young, college-educated, predominantly white residents. Those with higher incomes are able to outbid low-income residents, which may lead to voluntary and involuntary displacement of these households. In low-income, center-city neighborhoods, this is particularly troubling, as these neighborhoods offer greater access to public transportation, social services, employment centers, and social networks. Displacement could force vulnerable households into less ...
Spotlight on Research: The Impact of Government Subsidized Lending: Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
Access to credit in all segments of the population not only enhances the financial viability of individuals and their communities but also contributes to a robust economy. However, for various reasons, the private sector might not supply an adequate amount of credit or capital to meet the demand in certain areas. In these instances, the government might step in and bridge the gap. One approach taken by the federal government is to provide funds from the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to financial intermediaries such as community development financial institutions ...
Research Symposium on Fair Housing Explores the Past, Present, and Future of the Fair Housing Act
Even though the Fair Housing Act has resulted in significant strides toward ending discriminatory real estate practices since it was enacted 50 years ago, significant challenges related to fair housing and fair lending still exist, requiring further action by researchers, policymakers, and advocates. This theme underpinned the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University?Camden?s recent Research Symposium on Fair Housing, which highlighted the past, present, and future of the Fair Housing Act
Reversing the Cycle of Poverty
Poverty can be viewed from both people and place perspectives, and each was explored at the Reinventing Older Communities conference. Speakers considered barriers to self-sufficiency in high-poverty neighborhoods and discussed programs to assist high-risk youth and connect hard-to-serve populations with jobs.
Confronting Challenges, Exploring Solutions
In order to strengthen our economy in ways that enable greater economic mobility and prosperity, we must invest in opportunity. By investing in opportunity, we have the ability to empower people to build wealth and create value, to foster revitalization and promote resiliency in places that have experienced disinvestment, to invigorate civic engagement, and to mitigate the risks that poverty presents to our economic system. We are excited to explore ways to invest in opportunity both in this publication and throughout the 2018 Reinventing Our Communities conference
Using Tax-Time Savings Programs to Build Assets
The recent financial crisis and subsequent recession had a debilitating effect on the wealth of many American families. In a report produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, it was estimated that household wealth declined 26 percent from its peak in 2007 to the trough in 2009. Not surprisingly, low- and moderate-income (LMI) families, who were already struggling financially prior to the crisis, were among the hardest hit. In 2008, nearly 30 percent of low-income families had zero or negative net worth.
The Creative Economy Spurs Economic Development
The past decade has seen an increased interest in employing the arts as a community and economic development strategy. But this is not a new idea, Mark Stern, a social policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania, reminded participants at a Reinventing conference session on the arts and culture. This strategy dates back to the days of urban renewal in the 1960s when older industrial buildings and housing were replaced with symphony halls and cultural spaces. Today, however, there is interest in ?moving beyond larger, more mainstream investment in the arts to focus on more immediate, ...
PHFA Takes Pro-Active Steps in Loan Servicing to Keep Borrowers in Their Homes
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) was created 40 years ago by the state legislature to expand affordable housing options for the state?s residents. It does so through a number of programs that include funding the construction of multifamily rental units, providing affordable home mortgages, supporting housing counseling at no cost to prospective homeowners, and engaging in foreclosure prevention efforts. This article focuses on the PHFA?s servicing of its home purchase mortgages to Pennsylvania residents and the pro-active steps taken by the agency to help keep borrowers in their ...