March 2010

Place-Based Initiatives - Volume 22, Issue 1

This issue of Community Investments explores key issues in place-based community development. The articles highlight some of the lessons learned over the past two decades of place-based work and introduce new ideas to inform future initiatives, such as using a neighborhood typology to inform investment strategies. We also consider the effect of place on youth and explore the very difficult task of evaluating place-based initiatives.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or the Federal Reserve System. Material herein may be reprinted or abstracted provided Community Investments is credited. Please provide our Community Development Department with a copy of any publication in which material is reprinted.

Read the full issue (pdf, 2.32 mb)

Table of Contents

CI Notebook

It’s widely acknowledged that individual-level factors such as income, educational attainment, and even health status have important implications for a person’s economic well-being. As a result, social services and public policies often focus on interventions that provide individual supports, such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, we also know that people are deeply influenced by the places in which they live and work.

Improving the Outcomes of Place-Based Initiatives

For more than five decades, public, private and nonprofit entities have implemented a range of targeted neighborhood revitalization strategies designed to tackle the challenges associated with concentrated poverty.

Community Change Initiatives from 1990-2010: Accomplishments and Implications for Future Work

In the 1990s, comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs) arose as an ambitious strategy to address the needs of residents of poor communities.

Understanding the Different Types of Low-Income Neighborhoods

No one who has ever searched for a new apartment would suggest that all neighborhoods are the same.

Five Simple Rules for Evaluating Complex Community Initiatives

Complex community initiatives are. . . complex. Evaluating them can be an even more complex undertaking.

Understanding How Place Matters for Kids

A central goal of U.S. social welfare policy is to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential as productive adults. Yet it is increasingly clear that where children live plays a central role in determining their life chances.

The End of the 460 Percent APR: Tackling Payday Lending in California

In these difficult economic times, many consumers are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to cope with the loss of a job. Regular and unforeseen expenses can quickly pile up, creating immediate liquidity shortages, particularly among low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. Unfortunately, far too many individuals are turning to high-cost payday loans to meet their short-term cash needs.

Research Briefs

Research briefs on the effects of financial education in the workplace, payday lending and neighborhood crime, loan modifications and redefault risk, and tax education and the EITC.

Doctor CRA

I can’t believe I missed the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in New Orleans! The agenda looked like it had lots of important information for CRA officers like me. Can you share some of the highlights and lessons learned from the conference?

Data Snapshot: The Unbanked and Underbanked

The FDIC recently released the National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. An estimated 7.7 percent of U.S. households are unbanked (do not have a checking or savings account) while an additional 17.9 percent are underbanked (have a checking or savings account but rely on alternative financial services).