Building CDFI Capacity in Lending and Business Models
Over the past three decades, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) have been nimble innovators, offering products and services to people, projects, and organizations that mainstream financial institutions could not or would not serve. They opened new lending pathways to address some of the most stubborn challenges facing poor communities across the country. The focus of CDFIs was originally on financing affordable housing and then shifted in recent years to financing schools and child-care centers, healthful food markets, small and microbusinesses, and community health centers.
Introducing, Understanding, and Using the ICI 300 Peer Cities Identification Tool
Municipalities, especially those that are mid-sized or smaller, often face significant challenges in providing services and amenities to meet the needs of their diverse and changing populations. Solutions are usually context-specific and must factor in larger demographic and economic trends, in order to be effective. And, yet, in spite of contextual differences, cities frequently have meaningful similarities. However, identifying peer cities is often informed more by conversation than by data or evidence.
Detroit’s Proposed Community Benefits Ordinance
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. A CBA is a project-specific agreement between a developer and a broad community coalition that details the project?s contributions to the community and ensures community support for the project. Properly structured CBAs are legally binding and directly enforceable by the signatories. According to The Partnership for Working Families, the Community Benefits Model works ...
Overlooked Suburbs: The Changing Metropolitan Geography of Poverty in the Western United States
This report examines trends between 1990 and 2014—18 in the location of populations experiencing poverty, which we define as those with incomes below the federal poverty line, within metropolitan regions in the United States, with a particular focus on the western United States.We explore how growing suburban poverty is distributed across jurisdictional boundaries that shape governance outcomes, including incorporated and unincorporated suburbs. The size of a suburb and its incorporation status affect its position within local-regional political structures, and smaller suburbs may be ...
How Will Affordable Rental Housing Be Preserved?
Affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families is increasingly scarce. Housing finance agencies, nonprofits, and policymakers agree that existing affordable rental housing must be preserved despite formidable complex obstacles in achieving this goal. This article focuses on challenges in rental housing preservation and discusses the programs and perspectives of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), and the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA).
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
Reinvesting in the Greater Chatham Neighborhoods in Chicago: New Data and Insights from Practitioners and Policymakers
In the not too distant past, Chicago was known as the center of black capitalism in America, and within the city, the Chatham neighborhood reflected the heart of black middle-class aspirations. In recent years, residents of Chatham and other south side neighborhoods have confronted a barrage of challenges to their once stable communities. In hopes of stanching this tide, Congressman Bobby Rush, whose district includes the Chatham neighborhood, and scores of civic leaders, helped launch the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI) in June 2016,1 to mobilize resources for a comprehensive set of ...
Perspectives on the Eventual Economic Recovery
The past year with the pandemic has been grueling. Eleven months after the initial outbreak, economic outcomes for individuals and businesses still remain closely tied to finding and implementing effective public health policy. However, with the successful development of multiple vaccines, it is now possible to imagine much better macroeconomic outcomes ahead. My view is that policymakers must work to ensure that the benefits of the eventual recovery are widely shared. As I’ve mentioned, I believe that as we think about recovery from the pandemic, we should take the time to look for ways ...
Community Development: What Does it Take to Create an Economy that Works for All?
Remarks at Capital Quest: Connecting Capital to Communities (delivered via videoconference).
Bank Partnership Helps Ex-Offenders
In an effort to support community stabilization in Monroe County, PA, a local community bank last year entered into a unique partnership with a community college, a health-care system, and a district court to help ex-offenders reintegrate into their communities. ESSA Bank & Trust,1 located in Stroudsburg, PA, provides financial education and loans to ex-offenders who are leaving the federal corrections system and transitioning back into the community. Bank president and chief executive officer Gary S. Olson notes: ?We [ESSA Bank & Trust] were looking for ways to strengthen our ties and impact ...