New arguments for employer-assisted housing
In some parts of the country, innovation and experimentation have helped employer-assisted housing (EAH) programs gain momentum, providing New Englanders additional rationale for implementing these programs. This article describes how EAH works, its potential benefits, how it is being implemented around the country, and how our region can make better use of these programs to promote competitiveness and affordable housing.
Using new markets tax credits to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on communities
The author presents an overview of what is being done and offers community development practitioners? ideas about how to refine and strengthen the federal program. One example: change the program to allow a separate, additional allocation of tax credits for the purchase and resale of foreclosed property in low-income areas.
Massachusetts’ efforts to address foreclosed properties
Massachusetts has been ahead of the curve in combating neighborhood deterioration as real-estate-owned (lender-owned) foreclosed properties increase. Affordable housing developers, community groups, municipal and state officials, and nonprofits have created a Foreclosed Property Task Force and an online database that is accessible by all the partners. The database is already improving decision making about where resources would have the most impact.
Research review: spillover effects of foreclosures on communities
A house is not just a physical shelter, but also a stitch in the fabric of society, integrating its residents into the life of the larger community. That is why foreclosures may hurt neighborhoods as much as they hurt those who lose their homes. Foreclosures may negatively impact a community when they depress the values of nearby properties, reduce the property tax base, increase blight and crime, and disrupt local social ties. We summarize some of the research that examines foreclosures? effects on the prices of nearby properties.
Use of alternative credit data offers promise, raises issues
Companies are beginning to use alternative credit data in a variety of ways for the purposes of making credit decisions. This article looks at the prospective benefits of using the new data, examines the potential usefulness of various sources of alternative data, and offers some considerations for lenders, consumers, and policymakers when these data are used.
An overview of the CDFI industry
The community development financial institutions (CDFI) industry is at a crossroads in terms of identifying strategies for increasing overall sustainability and scale, and ultimately, impact. This article presents an overview of the CDFI industry in the United States and New England and identifies the changes and challenges facing CDFIs and what they indicate for the sector?s future.
Variations on an American dream: alternative homeownership models
With homeownership central to the national economy and U.S. housing policy, the drop in homeownership rates could have long-term negative consequences. A growing body of research argues that alternative homeownership products, such as limited equity cooperatives and lease-to-own models, can offer participants many of the benefits of ownership while reducing some risks. However, these models are not widely implemented or understood. This article asks experts in the housing field about the prospects of greater adoption of these models.
What do the neighbors think?: assessing the community impact of neighborhood stabilization efforts
In the wake of the mortgage crisis, neighborhood stabilization efforts have been launched to allay some of the "secondary effects of the mortgage crisis?the economic and social impacts on properties, neighborhoods, and communities." One example of this kind of effort is the federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which provided several million dollars to the City of Boston in order to acquire, rehabilitate, and resell abandoned, foreclosed homes in high-foreclosure neighborhoods. The author discusses preliminary findings from ongoing research exploring the effect of ...
Data corner: understanding subprime mortgage defaults
Analysis conducted by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston provides insight into how subprime mortgages became as popular as they did, and why they have caused the problems that they have.
Innovation in technical assistance and lending for very small businesses
Everyday entrepreneurs, everyday people who run their own businesses, are often at a disadvantage in terms of their level of business expertise and access to resources. This article identifies innovative partnerships between lenders with technical assistance providers in the state of Massachusetts that are helping everyday entrepreneurs receive the guidance and financial assistance that they need to start or grow their businesses.