Community Development Research Briefs

Research Briefs feature data and commentary on community development trends and issues.

  • Lessons Learned from Small Business Lending During COVID-19: A Case Study of the California Rebuilding Fund

    Rocio Sanchez-Moyano

    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 Rapidly Growing Home Care Sector and Labor Force Participation

    Lina Stepick, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Brooke Ada Tran, Stanford University

    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.

  • Overlooked Suburbs: The Changing Metropolitan Geography of Poverty in the Western United States

    Elizabeth Mattiuzzi, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Margaret Weir, Brown University

    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.

  • Climate-Related Risks Faced by Low- and Moderate-Income Communities and Communities of Color: Survey Results

    Elizabeth Mattiuzzi and Eileen Hodge, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

    The Community Development team fielded a survey targeting professionals in the western United States from a broad range of sectors whose work on community development‒related issues impacts the personal and economic well-being of low-income communities and communities of color. Over 250 respondents shared their perceptions of how climate-related risks may be affecting the communities they serve and their organizations’ work. This research brief offers an analysis of the survey responses.

  • Constrained Choices: Gentrification, Housing Affordability, and Residential Instability in the San Francisco Bay Area

    Jackelyn Hwang, Stanford University, and Bina P. Shrimali, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

    Many residents of the San Francisco Bay Area have struggled to afford housing, particularly in places that enable economic opportunity. In this report, we find that housing unaffordability in the Bay Area prior to the COVID-19 crisis resulted in residential instability for many residents, as they faced moves, complex tradeoffs, and constrained choices in housing. These patterns held for all except those with high-socioeconomic status, regardless of whether their neighborhoods were gentrifying.

  • Paycheck Protection Program Lending in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District

    Rocio Sanchez-Moyano

    As part of the CARES Act, Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide conditionally forgivable loans to small businesses. Though PPP loans provided an important resource to keep many small businesses afloat, the program was easier for some businesses to access than others. This Research Brief offers an analysis of PPP lending in the western United States. It evaluates the number of PPP loans issued as a share of small businesses and how this share varied by zip code income.

  • Community Close-Up: The “Donut Kids” of California

    Community Close-Up is a photo series highlighting the experiences of people who make up our economy and stories of resilience from communities facing economic hardship. The latest in the series centers the voices and experiences of “donut kids”—a term coined by the children of Cambodian-American donut shop owners to acknowledge their shared identities growing up in and around donut shops.

  • COVID-19 Impacts on Housing Stability in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District

    Eileen Hodge and Elizabeth Mattiuzzi, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

    In the face of layoffs and furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many renters and homeowners across the country have struggled to make their mortgage or rent payments. This brief provides a snapshot of the issues facing low- and moderate-income renters, homeowners, and small, “mom and pop” landlords in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District based on interviews our team conducted in July 2020.

  • Child Care, COVID-19, and our Economic Future

    Bina Patel Shrimali, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

    Child care is important for cultivating the future workforce, and it also ensures that working parents of today can participate in the economy, helping to achieve the Federal Reserve’s mandate for full employment. While child care in the U.S. is a piece of critical infrastructure, it is often invisible and undervalued. Straddling the lines between parenting, education, and small business, child care does not get the full attention and resources of any particular domain, and its contribution to the economy has been overlooked. This report draws attention to the importance of child care to the economy, highlights shortfalls and challenges in this sector prior to COVID-19, and explores new issues that threaten the viability of the sector in the context of the pandemic.

  • Holding Space: Underlying Real Estate Conditions for Nonprofits in the Los Angeles Region

    Eileen Hodge, Jiwon Kim, & Elizabeth Mattiuzzi

    Over the past decade, rising real estate costs have led to displacement of low-income residents and small businesses from Los Angeles’ changing neighborhoods. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco conducted a survey of nonprofits in the Los Angeles metropolitan area to explore how they are faring in the face of displacement pressures. This report presents those findings alongside comments from follow-up interviews.