Bridges

Bridges Spring 2019

Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for Community Reinvestment Act officers, academics and government of

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I N D E X T H E F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K o f S T . L O U I S | C E N T R A L T O A M E R I C A ' S E C O N O M Y S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 CDAC SPOTLIGHT Leveraging the Earned Income Tax Credit and Community Partnerships 4 6 10 CRA: AN EXAMINER'S PERSPECTIVE Interpreting Performance Context: Affordable Housing A N D M O R E > > Investment Connection: Reflecting on Results and Looking to the Future By Teresa Cheeks Wilson and Neelu Panth T he Investment Connection (IC) program, started by the Kansas City Fed, is a strategy used to bring community and economic develop- ment organizations, financial institutions and other funders together to build impactful rela- tionships and find innovative ways to meet com- munity needs within low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities. e process for hosting a live IC event begins with selecting a location for the event, determining whether the event will be topic-specific or broad, releasing a request for proposals (RFP), reviewing and selecting proposals that are eligible under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and leading an event that gives community development organiza- tions an opportunity to present their proposals to financial institutions and other funders. ough funding is a critical part of the event, community development organizations are also provided opportunities to connect with community orga- nizations with similar missions and highlight the needs facing LMI communities. e Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis launched its inaugural IC live event in 2017 in Memphis, Tenn. Since the inaugural event, the St. Louis Fed has hosted five additional live IC events in Springfield, Mo.; Memphis; Little Rock, Ark.; St. Louis; and Louisville, Ky. >> continued on Page 3 A Checkerboard, Not a Melting Pot: Racial and Educational Diversity in the Eighth District Event Location and Date No. of Projects Pitched Type of Projects Pitched Total No. of Connections Made Between Funders & IC Presenters Memphis, Tenn., November 2017 8 Affordable housing; financial access, capability and empowerment; neighborhood revitalization and stabiliza- tion; small-business development/technical assistance; workforce development 58 Springfield, Mo., May 2018 6 Affordable housing; financial access, capability and empow- erment; workforce development; small-business develop- ment/technical assistance 49 Memphis, Tenn., July 2018 5 Affordable housing; financial access, capability and empowerment; neighborhood revitalization and stabiliza- tion; small-business development/technical assistance; workforce development 12 Little Rock, Ark., July 2018 4 Affordable housing; community facilities/services; financial access, capability and empowerment; neighborhood revital- ization and stabilization; workforce development 8 St. Louis, September 2018 10 Affordable housing; financial access, capability and empow- erment; neighborhood revitalization and stabilization 30 Louisville, Ky., October 2018 8 Affordable housing; community facilities/services; finan- cial access, capability and empowerment; neighborhood revitalization and stabilization; small-business develop- ment/technical assistance; workforce development 11 Results Seventy-five organizations have responded to the RFPs. Of those, 40 presented proposals to over 230 bankers and other funders. Projects addressed an array of community development needs (see table below). e majority of the projects focused on neighborhood revitalization and stabilization. Others addressed small- business, economic and workforce development, community facilities, and affordable housing. Organizations have made 169 documented con- nections. To date, banks, community develop- ment financial institutions (CDFIs) and foun- dations have committed $1,142,500 in grants (25 percent), loans (14 percent) and investments (61 percent) for IC projects. In some instances, organizations received additional financial and programmatic support from banks beyond the scope of requests proposed at the IC.

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