Leveraging immigrant remittances for development
Some observers have suggested that one way to draw immigrants into the financial system is for banks to tap the large global remittance market. The authors of this article propose a model that would leverage remittances to both draw immigrants into the banking system as well promote economic development in immigrant communities in the United States and immigrants? home countries.
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.
Data corner: remittances
Recent data on remittances to Latin America, including remittances from New England.
The Elm City resident card: New Haven reaches out to immigrants
Cities with sizable immigrant populations are responding to the issue of illegal immigration in different ways. In 2004, the City of New Haven began to actively collaborate with its immigrant population for the purpose of finding ways to increase public safety and integrate immigrant residents into the civic life of the community. This article describes some of the policy choices made by the city in recent years.
New ideas for old REOs: a disposition framework for marketing REOs for rental properties
The unprecedented accumulation of foreclosed properties in recent years has presented a challenge to communities, banks, and policymakers. This article outlines a potential disposition framework for government-sponsored and private enterprises to identify which foreclosed properties would be most appropriate for rental and which would remain most appropriate for homeownership. This disposition framework is then applied to the existing stock of foreclosed properties in Massachusetts, and the authors explore the possible utility of this analytic technique as a policy tool.
Servicer performance in processing HAMP loan modifications: a survey of Massachusetts-based counseling agencies
The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) attempts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by compensating servicers that allow borrowers to modify the terms of their mortgages. To understand the seemingly troubled HAMP process, the Community Development unit of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank of Boston administered surveys to loan-modification counselors. The results indicate that the process takes much longer than the guidelines indicate and that servicers frequently claim the applications are incomplete. The surveys were run twice to assess any improvements.
The myth of the irresponsible investor: analysis of southern New England's small multifamily properties
Comparing the borrowing trends of owner-occupants versus investors in small multifamily properties reveals that investors may not engage in as much risky behavior as public sentiment leads one to expect. The authors investigate data from Southern New England and debunk several myths about the ?irresponsible investor.?
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.
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.
The marriage of green and affordable
Developers are beginning to apply green design to affordable housing. The budding practice has the potential to provide significant benefits to lower-income families, who pay proportionately more for energy and are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. This article discusses the case for uniting green and affordable and highlights the first national design and construction criteria for green affordable homes.