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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Survey: Service Providers for Lower-Income Households Struggle to Meet Demand

For immediate release
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail Senior Media Representative, (215) 574-4119

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Development Studies and Education Department today released the results of its first Community Outlook Survey (COS), which monitors economic factors affecting low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in the Third Federal Reserve District.

The survey, which will be conducted quarterly, asked the 104 participants, who are service providers to LMI households, to evaluate how the financial conditions of their clients had changed from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2010. They were also asked about their expectations for financial conditions three months from January 2011.

About the Fourth Quarter 2010 Survey Results

“The financial well-being of LMI households has declined. As their need for services such as education, employment, financial aid, food, health care, and housing has increased, the organizations that provide these services to LMI populations have not increased their capacity as quickly and have actually seen decreases in funding overall.”

Brian Tyson, Research Analyst, Community Development Studies and Education, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Jobs and Affordable Housing

  • More respondents reported that the availability of jobs had decreased rather than increased. Expectations for the next three months were more optimistic.
  • Only 17 percent of participants said that the availability of affordable housing had increased, while 46 percent indicated no change and 38 percent reported that it had decreased.
  • Most respondents expect no change in the availability of affordable housing over the next three months.

Financial Well-Being and Access to Credit

  • Ninety-nine percent of participants reported that they had seen no change or a decrease in the financial well-being of LMI households in the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • No respondents reported that access to credit had increased, while 56 percent indicated that it had stayed the same and 44 percent reported that it had decreased.
  • The respondents’ future expectations about the financial well-being of LMI households and their access to credit were slightly better. Sixty-three percent expect no changes in the financial well-being of LMI households, and 73 percent expect no changes in their access to credit.

Demand for Services

  • Most service providers (71 percent) saw the demand for their services increase from the third to the fourth quarter of 2010, with only 3 percent reporting a decrease and 26 percent indicating that it had remained the same.
  • Participants expect the increase in demand to continue over the next three months, with 76 percent expecting an increase and no respondents expecting a decrease in demand.

Capacity and Funding

  • The percentage of organizations expecting an increase in demand for their services is greater than the percentage expecting an increase in capacity to help meet the increased demand.
  • Thirty-five percent indicated that funding had decreased.
  • Thirteen percent of the respondents expect that their funding three months from now will increase, while 37 percent expect that it will further decrease.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia helps formulate and implement monetary policy, supervises banks and bank holding companies, and provides financial services to depository institutions and the federal government. It is one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank serves eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.

Media Contacts

Marilyn Wimp, ABC E-mail
Manager of Media Relations
(215) 574-4197
(267) 254-4555 (cell)

Katherine Q. Dibling E-mail
Public Affairs Specialist
(215) 574-4119
(215) 694-5125 (cell)

Daneil Mazone E-mail
Media Relations Representative
(215) 574-7163
(267) 535-1808 (cell)

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