New Software Evaluates Impact of
Community Development Programs
A new software application from the Federal Reserve can help community developers assess the effect of proposed projects. The automated Fiscal Impact Tool (FIT), driven by Microsoft Excel software, analyzes user-provided information about the project and the community along with supplemental information built into the program.
We developed FIT to help communities, especially smaller
ones, learn the likely consequences of proposed development
projects, said Sandra Braunstein, senior associate director
and community affairs officer at the Federal Reserve Board.
We hope it helps decision makers look at their localities
with an eye to the costs, benefits, capacity, and risks of
FIT gives community developers a quick estimate of how a project will affect local tax revenues and government costs. Developers can modify the default values embedded in the application to tailor the analysis to the specifics of their project.
|We developed FIT to help communities, especially smaller ones, learn the likely consequences of proposed development projects.
|Sandra Braunstein, senior associate director and community affairs officer at the Federal Reserve Board
Besides providing information about potential costs and benefits, FIT can help developers decide how much support a community or region can afford to provide to a project.
Fed provides resources for community developers
Launched by the Federal Reserve Board in January, FIT is part
of a series of online resources for community developers.
A database titled Lessons Learned: Community and Economic
Development Case Studies profiles the programs various
communities have used to finance development. Each case study
identifies a problem, the solution, the results, the lessons
learned, and contact information for the project. Case studies
in the database highlight programs that may be easily transferred
to other geographic regions or provide lessons that can benefit
other community developers.
Another Fed resource for developers is the Community Development Investments Web site. This site provides information about Fed policies and guidelines that govern bank investments in community development investment, especially related to affordable housing, small businesses, and jobs in lower-income neighborhoods.
Eleven different versions of FIT, covering various state groupings, are available via e-mail or CD. For more information about FIT or to obtain a free copy, fill out a request form online.
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