Understanding community development needs through the CRA performance context
Community development efforts to revitalize low- and moderate-income neighborhoods should begin with an appropriate understanding of the needs and opportunities present within these communities. This sentiment is especially true of banks looking to fulfill their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations. A truly responsive and innovative CRA program should begin with the ?performance context,? or knowledge about the bank?s local markets, including the needs of the community as well as the opportunities that exist within the local network of resources and organizations. This paper attempts ...
Collaborators or competitors? Exploring the relationships between community development financial institutions and conventional lenders in small business finance
This study examines the nature of the interaction of banks and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in small business lending. We examine the experience of six different CDFIs that vary by size, corporate structure, and market. We explore how they both collaborate and compete with regulated lenders, and how changes in local and national market dynamics affect their activities. Our case studies are not necessarily representative of the CDFI industry, but they offer insights on the factors that shape CDFIs? interactions with and responses to more mainstream institutions. Our ...
Credit unions, community development finance, and the Great Recession
Community development credit unions (CDCUs) have a long history of serving low-income and minority markets. They played an important role in the founding and leadership of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Coalition, which successfully advocated for the establishment of the CDFI Fund and has monitored and supported the CDFI Fund throughout its history. Yet, the role of credit unions in the CDFI movement is often overlooked. The term, ?CDFI? is frequently understood by researchers and policymakers to mean CDFI loan funds, the unregulated institutions that dominate the ...
Shifting ground: Can community development loan funds continue to serve the neediest borrowers?
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are designed to improve economic conditions for low-income individuals and communities by providing a range of financial products and services that often are not available from mainstream lenders and financiers. ; Part I of this paper reviews CDLF origins, structures, and current activities. Part II discusses the field?s historic sources of subsidized capital and why they have shrunk. Part III reviews potential new sources of capital and the organizational ways that CDLFs are responding to their changed environment. The paper concludes with ...
Impact investing for small, place-based fiduciaries: the research study initiated by the United Way of the Bay Area
Most fiduciaries of institutional funds (public-defined benefit plans, endowment funds, and quasi-private/public foundations) for many reasons have been reluctant to adopt Impact Investing, Social Responsible Investing (SRI), or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in their investment policies and philosophies. Primarily, such social impact factors are deemed to be limiting to the opportunity set of investments and therefore imply a financial return that is potentially substandard. This paper is the result of a challenge to identify if and how a model portfolio could be built ...
Boosting the power of youth paychecks: integrating financial capability into youth employment programs
This paper summarizes the results of the first-ever quasi-experimental design study of a youth financial capability initiative seamlessly integrated into a youth workforce development program. MyPath Savings supports low-income working youth to bank, save, and build their financial confidence through a comprehensive model that includes financial education, goal-setting, and non-custodial accounts. MyPath provided technical assistance and training to prepare nonprofits to implement MyPath Savings, as well as to the financial institution partner, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, to ensure the ...
Homeownership at high cost : foreclosure risk and high cost loans in California
The relatively low rate of mortgage default and foreclosure in California in recent years obscures the fact that many Californians have high-cost home loans that they cannot afford. High cost loans are particularly common in low-income and minority communities, suggesting that those who can least afford it are paying the most for credit. In communities where high cost lending is more prevalent, so is the prevalence of households that are defaulting on their mortgage. Homeownership may be coming at too high a price for these households and communities.
Staying at Home: The Role of Financial Services in Promoting Aging in Community
Older adults are indicating a desire to live and grow old in their own homes and communities. Yet there are often numerous barriers and threats to aging in community, as many communities lack a comprehensive community model. With a focus on financial institutions and utilizing the concept of Age-Friendly Banking, this paper explores the economic security of older adults and ways to improve older adults? ability to live safely in their own homes and communities as long as possible. Investing in age-friendly communities can prove beneficial to both communities for all ages and financial ...
The portfolios and wealth of low-income homeowners and renters: findings from an evaluation of Self-Help Ventures Fund’s Community Advantage Program
The distribution of wealth in the United States is more highly skewed than the distribution of income. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of homeowners and renters. Those who own their homes typically have about 20 to 40 times more net wealth than those who rent. ; Although home equity plays a role in this growing disparity, it does not fully explain why renters hold fewer assets than homeowners. Even excluding home equity, renters are more than twice as likely to be asset-poor as are homeowners. Renters also hold a smaller range of assets than owners, suggesting that homeownership ...
Bank accounts and youth financial knowledge: connecting experience and education
Studies have shown that ?experiential learning? can result in significant knowledge gains in a number of subject areas, but how does ?learning by doing? fit into the context of financial education? This new working paper explores this topic and analyzes data from the 2008 Jump$tart survey of high school seniors to examine the relationship between bank account ownership and student knowledge of personal finance. The results are informative for financial education delivery, particularly the importance of providing interactive opportunities for the application and practice of skills and ...