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Community Development

in community and economic development
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Volume 11, Number 1
Spring 2001

In This Issue

Successful CDCs Require Strong Partnerships

Park at Hillside - a model for multi-family housing

Urban America and Inner-City Commercial Real Estate

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2000 Annual Report

We Need Your Help! Partners Database Survey

Professional Development Opportunities

About this issue

Partnering For Results

This issue of Partners is the last one I’ll be associated with as I leave the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to become a part of private industry. After 18 years with the Federal Reserve, including the last 12 years with Community Affairs, this is no small step. But this change brings both opportunity and adventure in ways that I ultimately could not pass up.

The decision to leave the Fed, and especially Community Affairs, was not easy because I enjoy my job and the people I work with at the Atlanta Reserve Bank, in the District, and throughout the System. But I feel like I can take advantage of this opportunity at this stage of my career because of the confidence I have in the strength of the Community Affairs team, including the expansion of our Branch network.

Besides Atlanta, we have Community Affairs representatives in the Federal Reserve Branch offices in Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami, and Nashville, with plans to fill an opening we have carved out in New Orleans.

I am proud of the highly competent team that Vice President Ron Zimmerman, Manager Wayne Smith, and I have assembled, and no significant changes in our program are anticipated right now. At this point, no Community Affairs Officer replacement decisions have been made. But you can be sure that no matter how the vacancy is ultimately filled, the program is solid and in good hands. You can continue to rely on our exceptional people to provide service.

Having been part of the genesis of the Partners newsletter 11 years ago, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect back on what this publication has meant to me, what it still means today, and what it can mean in the future.

The world of community development has changed dramatically over the years, mainly in terms of the expansion of opportunities for housing and job creation. Tools such as housing tax credits, down payment assistance, and other government subsidy programs have paved the way for new homeownership and jobs for literally millions of families throughout the country. Homeownership rates are now at their highest in history, and unemployment rates remain very low in historical terms.

While none of us can take personal credit for this favorable climate, we can feel good about the progress collectively. And that brings me to the theme of this edition and the theme I’d like to convey to every reader of this publication: Partnering. It’s why this newsletter is named what it is. While the theme is familiar, I can not emphasize it enough.

Going back to the beginning of the Federal Reserve’s creation of the Community Affairs function in 1981, and the work that preceded the Fed’s role in promoting community development, no successful work is done in a vacuum. The best models for success have always been and will always be collaborative public\private partnerships. It’s the leverage that is created from combining resources that allows for optimal results.

The Atlanta Reserve Bank has developed a specialty of providing technical assistance with financing tools to address public / private partnerships. In Atlanta, Community Affairs is structured to be part of the Department of Supervision and Regulation, and our staff members are also trained as bank examiners.

The skill of finance is the real impetus to effecting results. While planning and promoting community development are important parts of the mix, the rubber hits the road only when we get the numbers to work. And it’s partnerships that are the best vehicle for everything to come together.

The best way to communicate the value of partnerships is to point to successful models. Beginning on the following page, we feature a successful housing partnership among Banc of America Community Development Corporation, community organizations, and the City of Nashville.

We also feature a successful economic development partnership with UrbanAmerica taking the lead in revitalizing a Miami shopping center. This redevelopment not only helped to bring new life to a fledging neighborhood, the shopping center has allowed for new job opportunities for local residents.

I feel great pride when I reflect back on the industry successes over the last two decades. There’s a lot we can all feel good about. I also want to thank each of you for your part in the various achievements, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many of you. The fond relationships among the people in this industry have been a fundamental part of the great satisfaction I’ve had doing this work. I hope our paths will cross again.

For this newsletter to serve you better, we are including a survey we need for you to complete. Not only is this information vital for us to keep you on our mailing list, we sincerely want your ideas.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2000 Annual Report is now available. Please see the article inside about how to obtain your copy.

Browse Proceedings from The Federal Reserve’s
Community Affairs Research Conference