Artists and cultural institutions have an important role to play in neighborhood social and economic vitality. As community developers consider how best to reimagine space they can and should look to the arts to help create place. This work, otherwise known as “creative placemaking,” is beginning to take shape across the country. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is pleased to dedicate Volume 10, Issue 2 of the Community Development Investment Review to this emerging work.
The worst of the housing crisis may be behind us, but the recent housing market recovery opens up a number of new community development questions. Of particular concern is the potential impact of investor purchases of single-family residences, especially in hard-hit neighborhoods that experienced severe price depreciation and offered an abundant supply of distressed property.
Accumulated wealth and diversified savings can be far more important than income for keeping household finances stable through volatile shifts in the economy. The damaging impact of the foreclosure crisis and recession on homeownership brought this point into stark relief. Many financially-constrained households concentrate their wealth solely in their homes, and the broader housing market upheaval changed the prospects for prosperity for those Americans whose hold on financial stability was tenuous at best. By further diversifying their assets beyond physical property alone, low- and moderate-income homeowners may be able to better maintain long-term financial security. It is also important to acknowledge that homeownership is not a viable or preferred asset building option for some Americans. For all of these households, a continuum of wealth building approaches beyond homeownership offers opportunities to establish, diversify, and grow their asset portfolio. This issue of Community Investments focuses on the efforts that help households build on their earnings and invest in their future. Highlighted here are programs and policies that expand consumer access to more affordable financial products; support renters in building their credit history; and provide assistance to families investing in their futures through children’s savings accounts, entrepreneurship, and retirement.
This issue of Vantage Point synthesizes the key themes that emerged in the 2013 community indicators survey based on the responses of 289 expert stakeholders from the 12th District.
This paper explores age-friendly banking products and services that better protect and preserve the assets of an aging population. In order to examine the unique financial needs and increase the financial well-being of low-income older adults, the California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH) partnered with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to conduct an intensive study of over 400 low-income tenants living in subsidized senior housing. CCRH and NCRC recommend that banks develop more affordable banking products for seniors on fixed-incomes, assist customers in applying for public benefits, proactively address financial abuse and fraud, and provide in-person customer service and better early retirement planning. Financial institutions can incorporate these recommendations into the development of effective Age-Friendly Banking initiatives.
With 90 percent of the world’s data generated in just the past two years, What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities challenges policymakers, funders, and practitioners across sectors to seize this new opportunity to revolutionize our approaches to improve lives in low-income communities. This book from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute provides a roadmap for the strategic use of data to reduce poverty, improve health, expand access to quality education, increase employment, and build stronger and more resilient communities.