Greater Springfield employment challenges: findings of employer survey and interviews
This paper presents the findings from in-depth interviews and a survey of employers in the Greater Springfield area regarding (a) employment opportunities for entry-level workers with limited skills and (b) barriers that residents of Springfield's low-income neighborhoods face in accessing these jobs. The survey and interviews indicate that entry-level jobs that do not require college are available in the Springfield area. However, even entry-level jobs require the ability to perform a variety of tasks, and many applicants lack the skills needed to perform these jobs or have work readiness ...
Toward a more prosperous Springfield : a look at the barriers to employment from the perspective of residents and supporting organizations
Compared to the city, the region, and the state, labor force participation rates in Springfield's downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are very low. Residents and community leaders have expressed concerns about the employment prospects for the low-income residents that make up these neighborhoods. The purpose of this discussion paper is to highlight the perspectives of residents and community-based organizations on why so few residents of Springfield?s downtown neighborhoods are employed and to look at the some of the resources available to Springfield residents to help them address ...
Understanding foreclosures in Massachusetts
Recent increases in foreclosure rates in New England and other parts of the United States are raising concerns. Distressful for individual borrowers and potentially destabilizing for their communities, the negative effects of foreclosures flow beyond the impact on housing markets and the financial consequences for creditors. Public officials, lenders, current and potential homeowners, community organizations, and other stakeholders are paying careful attention. ; In low- and moderate-income communities in New England, community leaders view current trends as especially worrisome. Among ...
The case for the community partner in economic development
Community-based organizations promote economic development by assembling investments in affordable housing, mixed-use real estate, community facilities, and small business in specific geographies. A principal way that community-based organizations tap institutional investors for deals is by partnering with investment intermediaries who manage the risk of these transactions by pooling assets, spreading risk across investors, and pricing the transaction up to the associated risk. Such a partnership allows an investment intermediary, or what the industry calls an ?investment vehicle,? to use its ...
Receivership : a coordinated strategy to stabilize troubled properties
With the impact of municipal debt burdens, coupled with the effects of declining real estate prices and the US financial crisis, municipalities are looking for novel and cost-effective approaches to address abandoned, blighted and/or foreclosed properties that threaten the quality of life of their communities. Receivership, the use of statutory power to seize buildings and place properties under control of a judicially supervised 'receiver', can be an effective tool to tackle the problem of troubled properties which repeatedly violate safety and sanitary codes. Despite its potential, ...
University-community partnerships: 2006 Worcester speaker series
Over the last decade, partnerships between colleges and universities, government, and businesses have helped foster economic development in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2006, the Worcester UniverCity Partnership, a coalition of private and public sector organizations working with colleges, in collaboration with the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, organized a speaker series aimed at promoting the depth and impact of university-community partnerships in the city. This report provides highlights from the 2006 Worcester Speaker Series, discusses the history and ...
Home-mortgage lending trends in New England in 2010
This brief analysis of home-mortgage lending trends in New England is based on data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). HMDA provides information on mortgage lending trends and includes data by loan purpose, type of loan, income, and the race and ethnicity of borrowers. In this report we focus on home-purchase and refinance loans in New England.
Housing policy and poverty in Springfield
This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts ? a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. Springfield is not alone in having large numbers of lower income households living downtown. This pattern is common in American cities. Recent research emphasizes the role of public transportation in causing lower income households to live closer to downtown. However, spillover effects and government policies, including housing policies, have reinforced this tendency. The essay reviews federal ...
Does Springfield receive its fair share of municipal aid? : implications for aid formula reform in Massachusetts
This paper examines the distribution of unrestricted municipal aid in Massachusetts, which has been a major concern to civic leaders and elected officials of many communities, including Springfield. The paper develops a measure of the municipal fiscal gap indicating the relative need of municipalities for state aid. The analysis shows that in recent years, unrestricted municipal aid has not been distributed in proportion to the gap measure among the 10 largest cities in Massachusetts. For example, despite having the largest municipal gap, Springfield received almost the lowest per capita ...
Small businesses in Springfield, Massachusetts: a look at Latino entrepreneurship
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been collaborating with community leaders in Springfield, Massachusetts, on exploring revitalization strategies. Latino entrepreneurship is playing an important and increasing role in Springfield's economic development?providing new jobs and services and maintaining storefronts that might otherwise be vacant. An analyst in the Fed's community development unit, Ana Patricia Muoz, has recently completed a discussion paper on this topic, "Small Business in Springfield, Massachusetts: A Look at Latino Entrepreneurship." Among the implications: if ...