This issue of the Community Development Investment Review highlights a number of deliberate, innovative interdisciplinary efforts that seek to concurrently and holistically address community development and environmental issues. Many of them focus on cities and their surroundings. They are diverse in the combination of issues they touch and address including air quality, climate change, water access on the environmental side, and education, health, and affordable housing on the community development side, and they are diverse in their range of approaches and partnerships.
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 demonstrates that the greatest reduction in health care costs after placement in supportive housing is seen among chronically homeless adults and seniors who are frequent users of the health care system. Employing data from Mission Creek Apartments, a senior affordable housing project in San Francisco with 51 units reserved for homeless seniors, the researchers estimated savings to Medicaid and Medicare from avoiding placing these seniors in a skilled nursing facility of $9.2 million over 7 years. Their findings support the conclusion that permanent supportive housing can be a highly cost-effective placement option for homeless seniors exiting skilled nursing facilities, particularly as they approach the end of life, and points to the importance of this housing option for managed care organizations that are increasingly taking on the financial responsibility for the health care of this population.
Authors: Craig R. Everett, Pepperdine University, Chinwe Onyeagoro, FundWell, and Alex Davidson
The Small Business Financial Health Initiative is a joint project of the Community Development divisions of the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and San Francisco, Pepperdine University Capital Markets Project and FundWell, Inc.