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Community Development

Community Development Blog

April 14, 2014

If the Entire Population of the 12th District Was 100 People…

What would our economic and demographic breakdown look like?


March 10, 2014

Community Development’s Role in Disease Prevention

How do you prevent disease caused or triggered by social and environmental factors? By meeting it head on in the community.


February 14, 2014

Homesick: The Continuing Need to Stabilize Neighborhoods

We all need a place to call home. Increasingly, a safe, decent and affordable home seems beyond reach for many Americans still struggling with foreclosure. Thankfully, nonprofit organizations have remained at the forefront, helping households and communities address the profound challenges and disruptions precipitated by the crisis and subsequent recession.


February 12, 2014

New Community Development Data Reports for the 12th District

We’re seeing overall trends of lower unemployment rates, improving house prices and reductions in foreclosures, but many communities that were hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis continue to struggle.


February 07, 2014

Innovating our Way out of Poverty

We should encourage bold prototyping, supported by a public-private finance system that emphasizes innovation, lifts up strategies that work best, and jettisons those that don’t. Specifically, we need an approach that rewards positive outcomes and encourages reasonable risk taking and experimentation among social sector service providers.


January 10, 2014

For-Profit Colleges and the Student Debt Crisis

Student debt is a growing issue, particularly as it relates to for-profit colleges and low- and moderate-income students. In this post, Laura Choi highlights striking statistics on the student loan debt burdening our nation’s LMI students.


December 17, 2013

What Happens in Vegas… Lessons on Cross-Sector Community Development

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Sin City’s slogan may be appropriate for thrill-seeking visitors, but the people who live here have an important story that needs to be told. Beyond the spectacle and extravagance of the Strip, Nevada struggles with the nation’s highest unemployment rate, one of the lowest high school graduation rates, the lowest share of young children enrolled in early childhood education, and the highest violent crime rate.


December 05, 2013

Five Reasons Why Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Poverty Remains Invisible

Josh Ishimatsu from the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development highlights five reasons why AAPI poverty remains invisible, even though AAPIs have had the fastest growing poverty population of any racial/ethnic group since the onset of the Recession.


October 18, 2013

Health and Wealth Inequities across Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Stations

For many people living in the Bay Area, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is an integral part of everyday life (just ask anyone affected by the recent BART strike). A casual ride on any BART line reveals the economic disparity that exists between an affluent suburb, such as Pleasanton or Fremont, and the urban core of Downtown Oakland, but a little data can reveal how much deeper this disparity goes. Consider this: a short ride between BART stations can mean an 11-year difference in life expectancy.


September 23, 2013

Life Expectancy as a Barometer of Health and Wealth

The income of a county can often be directly correlated to the life expectancy of its inhabitants, pointing to a need for those in the community development field to rethink their traditional approach to health in low-income neighborhoods and embrace a more comprehensive, cross-sectoral attitude that addresses the “social determinants of health.”


August 26, 2013

Engaging Working Youth in the Financial Mainstream

There are almost 20 million employed youth in the U.S., and younger households are more likely to be unbanked. Earning a paycheck is a critical teachable moment and presents a unique opportunity to provide youth with access to financial education and quality financial products.


August 22, 2013

An Uneven Housing Recovery: Implications for Community Development

After years of gloomy housing reports, we’ve been seeing some promising signs of a national housing market recovery. However, these encouraging indicators mask the realities of what’s happening on the ground in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities that were disproportionately affected by the housing crisis. Complicating matters is the unprecedented role of investors in the housing recovery and the changing nature of local housing markets.


August 12, 2013

Beyond the Hype: The Promise and Pitfalls of Pay for Success

Interest in Pay for Success (PFS) financing tools, like the social impact bond, has been growing steadily since 2010. Many governments are exploring PFS solutions, including the State of California, which recently convened an informational legislative hearing to discuss the idea.

In his testimony to the Select Committee on Procurement and the Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee, Ian Galloway highlights four potential benefits and pitfalls, based on the most recent issue of the Community Development Investment Review, which explored PFS in depth.


August 05, 2013

The Chicago Regional Healthy Communities Summit Explores the Converging Visions of Public Health and Community Development

People who live in economically challenged areas endure more stress and demonstrate higher levels of mental illness, are more prone to serious and earlier onset of disease, and live shorter lives, irrespective of genetic predispositions. With these challenges in mind, the Chicago Fed’s Community Development and Policy Studies department partnered with the Illinois Public Health Institute and others to host the Chicago Regional Healthy Communities Summit. This two-day event considered more deeply the common interests among community development and health-focused organizations in the region.


July 19, 2013

New Role for Health Care Providers: “Hot-Spotting” Unhealthy Communities?

In his now legendary approach to urban medicine, physician and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantee Jeffrey Brenner, MD, pioneered the technique of hot spotting—making block-by-block maps of Camden, N.J., examining residents’ hospital costs and identifying the handful of patients who cycled in and out of those institutions and racked up stratospheric medical bills.

What if America’s hospitals and health systems used similar techniques to identify the nation’s poorest and least healthy communities—and then teamed up with local community development organizations to set them on a path to better health?


June 21, 2013

New State-Level Data on Housing and Labor Market Trends

Looking for economic data on housing and labor market trends in your state? Want to see zip code level maps of foreclosures in your area?


June 06, 2013

The New Era of Affordable Housing

Affordable housing development and finance models must evolve and expand to replace lost resources and meet growing and changing demand.


May 06, 2013

An Overview of the San Diego Labor Market and Economy

At the aggregate level, the regional economy is experiencing recovery, but low- and moderate-income communities continue to face workforce challenges.


April 22, 2013

New Research Brief Explores Household Net Worth and Asset Ownership among the Economically Vulnerable

Data supports the idea that households whose balance sheets were dominated by housing, particularly those in depressed markets and those exposed to high-cost predatory mortgages, were deeply exposed to the downside risk that became reality during the Great Recession.


April 15, 2013

Transforming the Social Sector into a Competitive Marketplace

Pay for Success financing has the potential to improve the social sector’s effectiveness by rewarding programs that work, encouraging innovation, validating progress, and attracting private capital to the anti-poverty cause.


March 18, 2013

Increasing Financial Capability among Economically Vulnerable Youth

The Make Your Path (MY Path) initiative provides disadvantaged youth with peer-led financial capability trainings, a savings account at a mainstream financial institution and incentives to set and meet savings goals.


February 25, 2013

The Subprime Crisis in Suburbia

The vast majority of foreclosures have been in suburban areas, but the mechanisms for addressing the challenges associated with concentrated foreclosures are difficult to implement in suburban areas.


November 15, 2012

Vision During Crisis: Reinventing Neighborhood Revitalization

Vision During Crisis: Reinventing Neighborhood Revitalization, held in Los Angeles on March 1, 2012, was a call to action for principal stakeholders to create new approaches to neighborhood revitalization based on stabilizing the single-family foreclosure crisis.


October 23, 2012

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities: Essays on People, Place, and Purpose

One in six Americans lives in poverty, and where a person lives remains one of the most powerful influences of their life chances. Investing in What Works for America’s Communities: Essays on People, Place, and Purpose highlights entrepreneurial solutions for addressing poverty.


October 10, 2012

Capital Markets for Impact at Scale

On October 1, 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco hosted Capital Markets for Impact at Scale to showcase content on “institutional” impact/community investing and the effort to mainstream social capital markets.


September 02, 2012

Future of Economic Development and Revitalization Post Redevelopment

On September 6, 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco hosted The Future of Economic Development and Revitalization Post Redevelopment to address the recent elimination of redevelopment in California and how this change might affect efforts to attract private capital and finance projects that in particular have benefited economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.


August 15, 2012

Community Development and Education

As summer draws to a close, kids across America are preparing for the inevitable: the start of a new school year. Whether they greet this season with dread or excitement, the fact remains that their educational experience will shape the course of their lives. Having the means to access and absorb high quality K-12 educational resources lays the groundwork for postsecondary success and ultimately higher paying jobs.


August 13, 2012

Dr.CRA: OREO properties as rentals?

Dear Dr. CRA,

Like many other banks, we have a large inventory of residential other real estate owned (OREO) properties. I’ve heard that rental demand is increasing in my market – vacancies are down and rents keep going up. Could we rent out our OREO properties as part of our disposition strategy, and if so, would we get CRA credit?


August 01, 2012

Foreclosured in 2009/10? Free Review

If you had a mortgage loan on your primary residence and believe you were financially harmed during the mortgage foreclosure process by any of 25 identified servicers in 2009 or 2010, you can request an independent review and potentially receive compensation. The review is intended to determine if borrowers suffered financial harm directly resulting from errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies that may have occurred during the foreclosure process.


May 15, 2012

Dr. CRA: Help, I missed the Community Reinvestment Conference!

Dear Dr. CRA: 

I couldn’t make it out to Seattle this year for the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference, but my fellow CRA officers told me there were some great CRA training sessions.


May 14, 2012

The Impact of Data and Measurement

Peter Drucker, the famous management expert, is often quoted as saying, “What gets measured gets done.” Over the years, this adage has taken on different forms, including “What gets measured gets managed,” and “What gets measured gets funded.” The fact that this statement is so easily adaptable, and appropriate in any number of contexts, reveals the power of data and measurement to drive action. Within the community development field, the implications of Mr. Drucker’s statement are all too familiar.


May 10, 2012

Building Sustainable Organizations for Affordable Housing and Community Impact

On May 8 in San Francisco and May 9 in Los Angeles, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco partnered with Enterprise Community Partners to host Building Sustainable Organizations for Affordable Housing and Community Impact.


April 20, 2012

Suburbanization of Poverty in the Bay Area

The shifting geography of poverty compels the community development field to reevaluate how we do our work because it signals important changes in the communities we care about. It remains to be seen if suburbanization will increase or diminish access to opportunity, but we can identify several challenges that the suburbanization of poverty presents, as well as possible ways to address these challenges.