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Community Development

Resources for Current Issues in Economic and Community Development

Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Small Businesses in Springfield, Massachusetts: A Look at Latino Entrepreneurship PDF icon(1.2 MB, 50 pages)
March 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Ana Patricia Muñoz, with Lynn Browne, Sol Carbonell, Prabal Chakrabarti, DeAnna Green, Yolanda K. Kodrzycki, Anna Steiger, Richard Walker, and Bo Zhao
Latino entrepreneurship is playing an important and increasing role in Springfield's economic development—providing new jobs and services and maintaining storefronts that might otherwise be vacant.

Small Business Finances
April 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
A poll of small-business finances finds evidence of comparatively strong credit demand, but weakened applicant quality, with borrowers continuing to perceive restricted credit availability.

A New Way to Talk About Small Business: The Time Has Come for a Common Language PDF icon(612 KB, 16 pages)
February 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper Series
Penelope Douglas and Lauren Friedman Dixon, Pacific Community Ventures
There is a steady call for policies and programs to help small business lead the charge in hiring more workers and helping to restore prosperity to areas that have been hurt by the recession. This paper lays out a system of policies and programs— a support structure—for small business using a simple taxonomy of small-business categories based on revenue.

Housing, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Foreclosure

What Effect Does Negative Equity Have on Mobility?
April 18, 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Kristopher S. Gerardi
The author looks at recent studies and explores whether the higher number of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages has led to less geographic mobility for homeowners. Or have higher rates of defaults and foreclosures increased homeowner mobility?

Housing Policy and Poverty in Springfield PDF icon(1.1 MB, 29 pages)
February 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Lynn E. Browne, with Marques Benton, Prabal Chakrabarti, Sol Carbonell, DeAnna Green, Yolanda Kodrzycki, Ana Patricia Muñoz, Anna Steiger, Richard Walker, and Bo Zhao
This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts—a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. The essay reviews federal housing policy, with a focus on Springfield.

Help for Unemployed Borrowers: Lessons from the Pennsylvania Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program PDF icon(437 KB, 11 pages)
February 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
James Orr, John Sporn, Joseph Tracy, and Junfeng Huang
The Pennsylvania Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program provides temporary income support to homeowners unable to pay their mortgage
during a spell of unemployment. The program has helped most participants retain their homes while paying off their loans—at a potentially lower cost than that of other relief initiatives.

Who Receives a Mortgage Modification? Race and Income Differentials in Loan Workouts PDF icon (300 KB, 32 pages)
December 2010
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper Series
J. Michael Collins, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Carolina Reid, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Data from a sample of subprime loans made in 2005 is used to examine the incidence of loan modifications among borrowers in California, Oregon, and Washington. The results suggest there is no evidence that minority borrowers are less likely to receive a modification or less aggressive modification than white borrowers.  Modifications reduce the likelihood of subsequent default, particularly for minority borrowers, the results suggest.

Sought or Sold? Social Embeddedness and Consumer Decisions in the Mortgage Market PDF icon(1.4 MB, 29 pages)
December 2010
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper Series
Carolina Reid
This paper includes in-depth interviews, local data on mortgage lending and foreclosures, and analysis of the institutions and marketing practices in two communities that represent the two faces of the mortgage crisis in California: an older, predominantly minority neighborhood with an older housing stock (Oakland), and a fast growing suburban area characterized by new construction (Stockton).

Job Creation and Workforce Development

Cap in Hand: The High Price of Higher Education PDF icon(225 KB, 5 pages)
EconSouth, First Quarter, 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Ed English
A college degree has become an indispensable credential in today's workforce, but the cost of postsecondary education is soaring, making it harder for more people to earn a degree. This article examines the causes of tuition inflation, and how its trajectory may be altered.

Financial Stability and Access to Banking

Could Restrictions on Payday Lending Hurt Consumers? PDF icon (323 KB, 31 pages)
Economic Review, First Quarter, 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Kelly Edmiston
Restrictions on payday lending could deny some consumers access to credit, limit their ability to maintain formal credit standing, or force them to seek more costly credit alternatives.

A System Dynamics Approach to Understanding the Use of Banks and Alternative Financial Services in St. Louis PDF icon (910 KB, 13 pages)
December 31, 2010
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
The availability, accessibility, and affordability of financial products and services are major factors affecting the economic security of households, particularly low-income households. This system dynamics model of household economic security focuses on understanding the underlying reasons that these households choose to be unbanked or underbanked.

Community and Health

Health-Care Policy as Urban Policy: Hospitals and Community Development in the Postindustrial City PDF icon 776 KB, 16 pages)
December 2010
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper Series
Guian A. McKee, University of Virginia
This paper explores urban hospital policy, its history, and, in particular, the contradictions, challenges, and opportunities that it poses for community development in U.S. cities.

Alternative Financing and Intermediaries

Community Development Financial Institutions: Unique Partnerships for Banks PDF icon (940 KB, 7 pages)
April 8, 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
This paper explores the unique partnership opportunity between banks and CDFIs to provide innovative financing, offer additional products and foster development of future business. It includes a discussion of how this unique partnership can be leveraged for investment opportunities. Targeted to banks.

Other Topics

The New Way Forward: Using Collaborations and Partnerships for Greater Efficiency and Impact PDF icon(564 KB, 16 pages)
January 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper Series
Dee Walsh, REACH Community Development, Inc., and Robert Zdenek, The New School for Management and Urban Policy
The authors present seven short case studies of nonprofit housing and community development organizations, with recommendations based on the examples, including effective strategies for successful innovation, collaboration, and partnership formation.

Urban Sustainability and Community Development: Creating Healthy Sustainable Urban Communities PDF icon(612 KB, 16 pages)
February 2011
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper Series
Malo André Hutson, PhD, MCP, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California at Berkeley
This paper discusses the challenges facing urban communities (such as lack of affordable housing and disinvestment) and considers the opportunities that exist to make economically disadvantaged urban communities more sustainable, livable, and healthy.