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 ...
Student Loans: A Primer
On average, higher education is a great investment: The average person with a four-year degree earns substantially more than the average high school graduate, and the cost of that degree is well below the financial benefits that are derived. However, borrowing to pay for education has risen dramatically in recent years, with outstanding student debt recently passing $1 trillion, which is almost four times the debt incurred in 2004. Today, an increasingly large number of borrowers are unable to make their student loan payments,4 which raises concerns about what this means for individuals and ...
Investing to Create Good Jobs
A growing number of foundation, nonprofit, and for-profit investors are making investments for measurable social and environmental impact as well as financial return. The ?impact investing? field includes a few investors that are investing in businesses specifically to create jobs for unemployed and underemployed residents. These investors also provide ongoing assistance to owners of the businesses to create ?good quality jobs,? which generally provide income above the minimum wage, health benefits, and training and opportunities for workers to move into positions with higher wages. Three ...
Transportation Is a Necessary Component of Housing Equity
Those working in redevelopment have undoubtedly heard about transit-oriented development (TOD). In TOD, transit lines are the backbone of individual projects or entire centers built around a station area. TOD can reduce automobile dependency and make a community more amenable to walking and biking. More recently, equitable TOD (ETOD) has been advocated in response to the gentrification pressures that modern TODs often introduce, displacing the very people most reliant on transit out of the station area. Transportation equity is a relatively new concept to the affordable housing community. The ...
The Reinvestment Fund at 30: Insights and New Directions
Thirty years ago, a small group of community developers, activists, and business people formed a community loan fund in Philadelphia called the Delaware Valley Community Reinvestment Fund. In 1999, the organization was renamed The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). TRF is certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury?s CDFI Fund. Since 1985, TRF has made $1.5 billion in loans and investments and has financed housing, community facilities, supermarkets, commercial real estate, and energy-efficiency projects. The CDFI has been a leader in ...
Mt. Airy: A Legacy of Intentional Integration
Mt. Airy, a Philadelphia community nationally recognized for its community building and organizing efforts to create and maintain racial integration, was the subject of a tour offered as part of the Reinventing Our Communities conference in Philadelphia in September. This article summarizes some key features of these intentional integration efforts in Mt. Airy and contains current perspectives from two residents
The Role of Equitable Transit-Oriented Development in Promoting Economic Opportunity
Debate still exists in economics and other fields as to the impact of transit accessibility on finding and maintaining a good-paying job. This article provides an overview of equitable transit-oriented development (TOD), its effects on economic outcomes for low-skilled workers, and a brief discussion of policy solutions for practitioners to consider.
Tracking Philanthropic Support for Community and Economic Development: New Research from Two Federal Reserve Banks
How many grants do large foundations direct towards community and economic development (CED) activities? What kinds of activities are supported with these funds? Which metro areas receive the most philanthropic support and which receive the least?1 And why do some metro areas receive more than others? These are the questions that researchers at the community development departments of the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Atlanta answer in newly completed research.
BankWork$ Gives Underemployed Residents Access to Entry-Level Banking Positions
Low-income residents facing employment barriers are obtaining entry-level job opportunities in the banking industry through a program launched 10 years ago in Los Angeles. The program, BankWork$, is undergoing a planned national replication.
The Role of Transportation in Fostering Economic Mobility in Northeastern Pennsylvania
The Scranton Area Community Foundation (SACF), founded 63 years ago to promote change and growth in northeastern Pennsylvania, embarked on a series of community discussions more than a year ago to elicit information about the region?s opportunities for economic growth