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.
Measuring Small Business Financial Health
Throughout the Great Recession and continuing into the recovery, small businesses have played an important role in creating jobs and stabilizing communities. Stories of small business owners overcoming obstacles to provide valuable services and employment are highlighted regularly by pundits, politicians and policymakers alike. However, little attention has focused on the question of what drives the financial health of these often young, often very small businesses.
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 ...
Bankruptcy in America: where are we seven years after reform?
While economic worries, including high unemployment and high rates of foreclosure, persist in America, one indicator that receives relatively little media attention is household bankruptcy. While bankruptcy, particularly Chapter 7 bankruptcy, offers a fresh financial start to the petitioner, certain types of obligations, such as child support, tax liens, and security interests in automobiles and homes, remain the responsibility of the petitioner (i.e., the person seeking bankruptcy protection). For the debt that is discharged, all efforts by creditors to recover or collect from the bankrupt ...
Residential Mortgage Lending for Underserved Communities: Recent Innovations
As the United States continues to recover from its worst financial crisis since the 1930s, housing finance leaders from both the public and private sectors have diligently worked to develop programs, products, and services to safely expand access to affordable homeownership. Despite persistently low interest rates, relatively modest growth in home prices, and a strengthening labor market, purchase mortgage volume remains low compared to the pre-crisis and pre-bubble years, and the homeownership rate continues to fall. Factors contributing to the homeownership decline include the still ...
NCIF annual development banking conference: The CDFI banking industry – raising the bar for mission and profit
The National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) held its Annual Development Banking Conference on November 2 and 3, 2011, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The conference brought together 160 CEOs, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders from the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) banking industry to share knowledge and discuss issues around the theme of ?Mission and Profit: Raising the Bar.? There were seven panels over two days that centered on topics addressing how these institutions can continue to serve their community development mission while operating in an ...
The Changing Composition of Bank Branches in Seventh Federal Reserve District States
Across the United States, the banking office landscape has shifted substantially since the financial crisis in 2008, reflecting both long-standing trends of small bank closures, as well as more recent patterns of bank branch declines. These trends are playing out in the states of the Seventh District as well, where the number of banking offices has declined in each state, and increasingly, community banks are losing their share of branches in certain markets. Low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods in a few of the District?s most populous counties are nearly devoid of community banks.
CFED’s assets and opportunity scorecard highlights national inconsistencies in financial security
Asset building plays an integral role in alleviating poverty and bolstering financial security for individuals and families. Assets move families beyond living paycheck to paycheck and give them tools to plan for the future. But in order to improve asset building in the future, we first have to determine where we stand today. To do this, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a nonprofit organization that works to promote economic opportunity, has created its most comprehensive tool yet to measure ownership and financial security, the Assets and Opportunity Scorecard: Financial ...
Developing small businesses and leveraging resources in Detroit: an informed discussion among financial institutions, policymakers and Other stakeholders in Detroit
In October 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Michigan Bankers Association and the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan co-sponsored a symposium in Detroit that brought together business experts, business owners, policymakers, funders and bankers to explore issues around access to small business credit and financing in Detroit. As Alicia Williams, vice president of the Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) division, explained in her opening remarks, the symposium was a follow-up to meetings hosted around the country by the Federal Reserve System?s Community ...
IFF: A Leading Community Development Financial Institution Expanding Its Market Reach across the Midwest
Community Development departments at Federal Reserve Banks have been mandated by the Fed?s Board of Governors since 1981. As part of its mandate, the Chicago Fed?s Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) division works to understand and document the roles and capacities of community development organizations (CDO). With a combination of public, private, and philanthropic funding, these organizations provide an array of services for our country?s vulnerable populations, and may offer investment or lending opportunities for financial institutions subject to the Community Reinvestment ...