Community Development Investment Review
Published by the Center for Community Development Investments, the Review bridges the gap between theory and practice, from as many viewpoints as possible: government, nonprofits, financial institutions, and beneficiaries.
This issue of the Community Development Investment Review focused on Pay for Success financing, attempts to do two things. The first is to serve as a comprehensive resource for the most current thinking on the origins, models, and potential implications of Pay for Success. The second is to encourage readers to weigh its exciting potential against its possible pitfalls. Pay for Success is a tantalizing idea but it raises important questions. Are we privatizing important government services that should remain under public control? How can we accurately measure and enforce “success”? Can we guard against fraud? Can we effectively balance our often-conflicting goals of equity, efficiency, and efficacy? Understanding and answering these, and other, questions is a crucial first step before widespread adoption of Pay for Success tools.
This issue of the Review includes the proceedings of the “Advancing Social Impact Investments through Measurement” conference held at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on March 21, 2011. The conference was an attempt to bring both the community development finance and the impact investing communities together to share recent developments in innovation in social metrics and to think more deeply about how the government could play a role in promoting more and better measurement of social and environmental outcomes. In addition to the proceedings, this issue includes a series of thoughtful essays written by conference attendees in response to what they heard at the convening.
Low-income people in the U.S. and abroad face similar challenges: access to credit, housing, jobs, and critical services including health and education. And yet today, those who work on international economic development and community development hardly know each other. This issue of the Review is dedicated to a simple idea: innovative ideas to solve poverty should not stop at the national border. There are too many good ideas abroad that can help inform our practices domestically, and good ideas here that can be relevant to other countries.
In the community development finance and impact investing worlds, there is both universal agreement for the need for better social outcome measurements and no consensus on how to do it. This issue of the Review is an attempt to gather in one place what we know, what we think the state of the art is, and how we might contribute to an ongoing process to establish a tool—or many tools—that help us measure the social benefit of impact and community investing.
In this issue of the Review, we explore the intersection of community development and health. Specifically, authors offer varying perspectives on how to “bend the health cost curve” using innovative community development strategies and how to positively affect social determinants of health to generate better health outcomes for low-income people.
In this issue of the Review, we explore how both business enterprises and investment decisions can be infused with community goals—providing for those who are less capable of providing for themselves, promoting better health and stronger community fabric, and respecting the environment.
The collapse of the housing market has devastated neighborhoods and balance sheets alike. Millions of homeowners have defaulted on their mortgages and holders of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) have suffered massive write-downs. Banks and servicers have been increasingly called upon to renegotiate payment terms and reduce mortgage principle to slow the tide of foreclosures and stabilize the housing market. Despite such attempts to “work out” troubled mortgages, however, the foreclosure rate continues to rise at a steady pace.
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), enacted in 1977, has fostered access to financial services for low- and moderate-income communities across the country. Together with other antidiscrimination, consumer protection, and disclosure laws, the CRA remains today a key element of the regulatory framework, encouraging the provision of mortgage, small business, and other credit, investments, and financial services in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.