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FEMAs New Disaster Recovery Resource Offers Support in Community Rebuilding
6/29/2012 - Identifying disaster recovery resources and understanding how they can be knit together to fund community rebuilding can be a challenge. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has responded to this need by launching an online tool.

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Presentations from the Reinventing Older Communities Conference Now Available Online
6/22/2012 - The fifth biennial Reinventing Older Communities conference focused on building resilient cities, with a particular focus on smaller cities that were once manufacturing centers. Presentations and videos from this event are now available on the Philly Fed's conference webpage.

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Federal Funding for State Small Business Programs
6/18/2012 - Don Graves of the U.S. Treasury Department discusses a new program designed to enhance small businesses, the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

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CDFI Capital and Capacity in the Southeast Conference July 18–19
6/15/2012 - Discuss the future of community development financial institution (CDFI) capital and capacity in the Southeast with regional peers at a conference July 18–19 in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

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Prepaid Cards Being Evaluated for Safety
6/15/2012 - As prepaid cards gain acceptance among consumers, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is examining ways to make them safer. Take a look at what the CFPB is doing.

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Housing Trends in Rural Areas
6/11/2012 - Rural communities have historically had high unemployment and poverty rates as well as substandard housing stock. Joseph Belden of the nonprofit Housing Assistance Council discusses housing challenges in rural areas and strategies to improve those conditions.

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Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Grant Applications Due July 2
6/7/2012 - Applications for the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Atlanta's 2012 competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants are now available. Applications are due by midnight ET July 2. Interested applicants must register on the FHLBAccess website to submit an application.

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Attend the Cleveland Fed's Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital, Inequality June 28–29
6/7/2012 - Join researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from across the country at the 10th annual Policy Summit on June 28–29, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Register today for the conference.

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Power in Partnerships: Addressing Workforce Development Challenges
06/18/2012 - Workforce development issues require collaboration across sectors and geographies. Damian Thorman, national program director at the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, discusses the importance of public, private, and philanthropic partnerships in addressing local and regional workforce challenges.

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Call-in Session on Economic Development Strategies for Small Industrial Cities
5/22/2012 - Join community development practitioners from across the country at 3:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 29, for a Federal Reserve call-in session, Smaller Cities that Think Big: Lessons from Resurgent and Transforming Cities. Register for this interactive session.

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Federal Reserve Governor Speaks on Factors Affecting the Housing Market Recovery
5/22/2012 - Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke shared remarks on issues affecting the housing recovery, including economic and regulatory uncertainty and credit access for potential home buyers, at the midyear legislative meetings of the National Association of Realtors.

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Why Did So Many People Make So Many Ex Post Bad Decisions? The Causes of the Foreclosure Crisis
5/22/2012 - An Atlanta Fed research paper suggests that prevailing optimism during the housing boom and the resulting decisions made by homeowners and financial institutions were primary causes of the foreclosure crisis. The paper examines what led to some of these decisions and how policymakers might respond in the future.

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Signs of Rebuilding in Housing?
5/22/2012 - According to homebuilders and residential brokers in the Southeast, the housing industry is improving slowly. The Atlanta Fed's Center for Real Estate Analytics staffers report on feedback from industry representatives in a recent SouthPoint blog.

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Closing the Gap: Improving Minority-Owned Small Firms' Access to Credit
05/10/2012 - Small minority businesses typically pay higher interest rates and receive smaller loans than nonminority-owned firms of similar age and size. Tim Bates, professor of economics at Wayne State University, explores ideas to increase access to capital so minority companies can create jobs and expand.

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Can Home Loan Modification through the 60/40 Plan Really Save the Housing Sector?
5/10/2012 - A recent proposal focused on mortgage principal forbearance aims to improve the housing market. Atlanta Fed economists Scott Frame and Kris Gerardi raise questions about the effectiveness of that plan in a current Real Estate Research blog posting.

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The Devil's in the Tail: Residential Mortgage Finance and the U.S. Treasury
Opinions vary about the appropriate role of the federal government in the future housing finance system. A research paper presented at the Atlanta Fed's 2012 Financial Markets Conference provides an assessment of policy proposals that have been offered.