FedCommunities

2014 CD Perspectives Report

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Visit FedCommunities.org revitalization of older industrial cities by bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders in multiple cities to exchange ideas and strategies. This work combined research and outreach to better understand the challenges facing older industrial cities and to mobilize local organizations and agencies. Collaborative place-based efforts included work to increase economic development in Indian country and in rural communities as well (read more on page 19). The Working Cities Challenge, an innovative partnership in Massachusetts among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, supports collaborative leadership in under-resourced midsize cities. Finally, one Reserve Bank developed a web-based information center to help coordinate resources in areas affected by natural disasters. Supporting targeted housing solutions Housing remains a primary focus for the CD field, given the significant impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities and households. In 2013, all 12 Federal Reserve Banks continued to provide information regarding regional housing market dynamics and to support foreclosure-mitigation strategies through research and outreach efforts. For example, CD staff conducted research on topics such as the uneven recovery in lower-income housing markets, the mortgage outcomes for homeowners who sought assistance with their mortgage difficulties, and the role of local investors on communities (read more on page 19). Additionally, CD staff supported locally driven housing solutions, such as the creation of regional networks of housing counseling agencies. Several Federal Reserve Banks also explored the challenges of the rental housing market in particular communities. Finally, one Reserve Bank is examining the multifaceted challenges of affordable housing and other community development issues in Texas Colonias, which are areas located along the United States-Mexico border. Providing usable data for communities Even with the economy slowly recovering from the Great Recession, many communities still face significant funding constraints for much-needed community and economic development efforts. To help these communities make efficient use of their limited resources, several Reserve Banks collected and shared state and regional data through online data dashboards and mapping tools (read more on page 19). These tools provide insight into economic and housing conditions and trends in lower-income communities and support local data-driven decision making. Fed CD researchers also produced charts, maps, and graphs showing credit conditions, loan performance, and housing market data to guide the decisions of local program and policy officials. 17

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