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Community Development

           Partners
in community and economic development
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Volume 10, Number 3
Winter 2000
In This Issue

Gwinnett Housing Resource Partnership

Alabama's small business incubators

Tougher regulations to fight predatory lending

Proposed HOEPA and HMDA changes

Free market solutions for banking the unbanked

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program

In the news

Calendar of events

About this issue

Solutions

We know that large-scale community development programs can make a tremendous impact on the lives of low- and moderate-income families and communities. But we also believe the axiom that “community development occurs one deal at a time.” After all, most large-scale programs are really a collection of smaller solutions designed to meet local needs.

This issue of Partners is dedicated to solutions. We are proud to feature examples of organizations striving to address local concerns. From banking regulators, to nonprofit organizations, to for-profit businesses, we all have a role to play. We recognize that no program is perfect and we reserve the right to criticize even the best programs (including our own). But as we begin the new millenium, we think now is a good time to take stock of some fine programs run by good people working to develop sound solutions for everybody’s benefit.

In our last newsletter, we focused on problems with predatory lending practices. We stay focused on this important topic and present three articles on the regulatory response to predatory lenders. By strengthening the regulations that implement the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), we hope to curb predatory lending while maintaining complete access to affordable credit. We won't pretend that these proposed regulations will be the ultimate solution to predatory lending, but we hope they make a significant difference.

MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center
Kingsport, Tennessee
April 26, 2001

This important conference is designed to provide practical models and tools that can be used to find and create jobs that are a “right-fit” for rural communities. Participants will be introduced to strategies for developing a ready workforce to fill these jobs. It is no secret that workforce development skills are fundamentally important in maintaining competitiveness in an increasingly technology-based world economy.

A survey completed by the National Commission on Entrepreneurship cited “access to top quality personnel as the single most important factor to start or expand a company in the region.” Rural communities are often at a disadvantage when competing with the amenities of urban areas that attract a younger and more technologically skilled workforce. In addition, infrastructure concerns are frequently seen as obstacles to companies considering relocating.

Practitioners from universities, nonprofit organizations, and micro-enterprise and technology fields will present practical models and strategies for workforce development and sustainable community building during the day.

Sponsored by the Community Affairs Offices of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Cleveland, and Richmond, this conference has been rescheduled to better meet your needs.

For more information, call Sibyl Howell at (404) 498-7242.

In addition to featuring these proposed regulations, Partners presents two sound programs designed to address the needs of low- and moderate-income populations. The Gwinnett Housing Resource Partnership is a nonprofit organization that provides an array of services, from affordable rental units to bilingual housing seminars, that provide solutions to diverse populations’ housing needs. The nonprofit implements many “best practices” and was recently chartered by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation as a NeighborWorks Network® member.

A second article features new solutions developed from the for-profit sector. Directo, a company headquartered in Atlanta, provides easy to use, high-tech alternatives to banking unbanked populations or to wiring money to family members living outside the U.S.A. Bringing new and innovative products to compete with traditional money transfer operations and check cashing programs is an exceptional approach to serving low- and moderate-income populations.

Finally, we feature some exciting news from our associates in Alabama. First, you might notice our masthead featuring a photograph of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's new branch facility in Birmingham. The new building not only provides additional space that was sorely needed; it brings modern services to financial institutions through improved automated check, cash, and coin processing. We are proud to have Community Affairs staff housed at the new location.

In addition to the new branch facility, we present two interesting articles from our associates in Alabama that offer exciting investment opportunities: small business incubators and work opportunity tax credits.

We designed this issue to present a range of opportunities and ideas for your consideration. Together, by sharing the best we have to offer, we hope to contribute to your own local solutions — one deal at a time.

Editor