Community Development Research Briefs
Research Briefs feature data and commentary on emerging community development trends.
Disruptions from Wildfire Smoke: Vulnerabilities in Local Economies and Disadvantaged Communities in the U.S.
Wildfires, which are increasing in frequency, duration, and intensity, are measurably affecting vulnerable populations, labor, housing, and education. This report describes how wildfire smoke disrupts various sectors of the economy across the United States.
“Bouncing Forward” from Disasters on Hawaiʻi’s Big Island: Lessons for Equitable Recovery and Future Resilience
Recovery planning and implementation on the island of Hawaiʻi following the Kīlauea eruption provides an example of equitable, forward-looking disaster preparation and resilience. This report explores the way planners and nonprofits used a regional equity approach to improving household and community resilience, broke down silos to have flexible funding from multiple sources ready for future disasters, and worked to build community through “resilience hubs” that provide disaster-related and ongoing services that help promote economic participation.
Drawing on a unique, longitudinal dataset of over 250,000 San Francisco Bay Area residents, this research brief examines residential instability—including moving, crowding, and financial health—in the Bay Area through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research finds a substantial decrease in moving for residents during the pandemic, particularly for residents of extremely low socioeconomic status. At the same time, we report a concerning rise in residents living in crowded conditions and experiencing declining credit scores.
Lessons Learned from Small Business Lending During COVID-19: A Case Study of the California Rebuilding Fund
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced California businesses to shut down in March 2020, the fate of small businesses, which often had fewer reserves to draw upon when trying to survive the shutdowns, became particularly concerning. This report provides a brief history of the creation of the California Rebuilding Fund; details its structure, loan terms, and application process; highlights lessons learned from its creation and implementation; and looks forward as this fund continues to operate in California and as other states or localities consider establishing similar funds.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the growing need for professional home care workers and on the challenges of recruiting and retaining workers in the industry. This brief describes the state of the home care sector and its connection to the economy—both its role in enabling working-aged family members to participate in the labor force and the significant challenges it faces as a rapidly growing industry.
This report examines trends between 1990 and 2014—18 in the location of populations experiencing poverty, which we define as those with incomes below the federal poverty line, within metropolitan regions in the United States, with a particular focus on the western United States. It includes data snapshots for Boise, ID; Honolulu, HI; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Riverside, CA; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; and Tucson, AZ.