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Community Development


The Community Development and Regional Outreach Department supports the Federal Reserve System’s economic growth objectives by promoting community development in low- and moderate-income communities and fair and impartial access to credit in underserved markets. The department works closely with financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies on public-private partnerships that result in increased affordable housing and community and economic development. The department assists financial institutions to understand their responsibilities under the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). External Link

To learn more about community development at the Philadelphia Fed, watch this  
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Data Tools & Other Resources

Home Mortgage Explorer: This interactive data tool allows users to explore trends in mortgage lending between 2010 and 2017 for national, state, metropolitan, and nonmetropolitan geographies.

Rental Housing Affordability: This interactive tool enables users to examine trends in rental housing affordability in Third District states from 2011 to 2018.

Consumer Credit Explorer (CCE): This interactive tool enables users to look at quarterly changes in credit use indicators from 2005 through 2019 and to compare indicators across different areas.

Community Profiles

View historical information, maps, and demographic, economic, and lending data for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) or portions of MSAs in the Third Federal Reserve District.

Updated information in the demographic and economic data section of each profile.

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Consumer Resources

Find publications on credit-related topics.

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Homeownership Counseling Study

The Effectiveness of Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling and Financial Management Skills

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Publications & Videos

Household Rental Debt During
COVID-19

This report estimates that, as a result of pandemic-related job losses, 1.3 million renter households will owe $7.2 billion in rental debt by the end of 2020. These households may be at risk of eviction when the national moratorium expires.

Gender Disparities in Financial Well-Being from the Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking PDF

This report provides an in-depth analysis of gender differences with respect to individuals’ banking habits, credit access, and retirement planning from the Federal Reserve Board’s 2018 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). Meaningful gender differences are identified; however, findings from a complementary regression analysis show that controlling for financial literacy mitigates the majority of those gender differences.

“Forced Automation” by COVID-19? Early Trends from Current Population Survey Data PDF
In June 2020, Pennsylvania laid off 500 toll collectors after the interstate system temporarily went cashless. This is just one example that has increased concerns about whether the pandemic has accelerated the pace of automation. This discussion paper provides the first empirical analysis of the impact of COVID-19-induced automation on job losses.

Exploring a Skills-Based Approach to Occupational Mobility PDF
Published by the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland and based on an analysis of tens of millions of online job advertisements in the 33 largest metro areas, this report finds a high degree of similarity between the skills employers seek when filling lower-wage jobs and the skills demanded for opportunity occupations, or occupations that do not typically require a bachelor’s degree and that pay above the national annual median wage (adjusted for local cost-of-living differences). For nearly half of the lower-wage employment analyzed, we identify at least one higher-paying occupation requiring similar skills in the same metro area. We also find that transitions to similar higher-paying occupations would represent an average annual increase in wages of nearly $15,000, or 49 percent. Paired with targeted training, hiring processes that recognize the portability of skills across occupations could not only promote economic mobility for lower-wage workers but also help meet the talent needs of employers.

Student Loan Debt in Philadelphia PDF
This report provides an in-depth analysis of the geographic distribution of student loan debt — and distress — in Philadelphia. It reveals that borrowers living in different zip codes have drastically different experiences with respect to how much they owe, the degree to which they struggle with repayment, and the extent to which they become delinquent. This report also discusses the implications of student loan debt for individual borrowers and the economy as a whole.

Spotlight on the Philadelphia Region: PDF 
This brief examines home repair needs by household and unit characteristics in the Philadelphia metro area.

How Are Cities Leveraging Opportunity Zones for Community Development? — Philadelphia as a Case Study PDF
Enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in economically distressed communities by providing tax benefits to investors who make eligible investments into these areas. Using Philadelphia as a case study, our research finds that gentrifying areas were much more likely to be designated as Opportunity Zones in the city, although these neighborhoods generally had higher levels of economic distress than not-selected areas.

Measuring and Understanding Home Repair Costs: A National Typology of Households PDF
This report, published jointly by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and PolicyMap, combines detailed, nationally representative survey data on housing quality issues with estimates of the costs of reasonable repairs to model the total costs of addressing substandard housing conditions nationwide. In a recent survey, more than one-third of households reported experiencing at least one housing problem, with the national cost of addressing reported deficiencies estimated at $126.9 billion in 2018.

The Effects of Gentrification on the Well- Being and Opportunity of Original Resident Adults and Children PDF
We use new longitudinal census microdata to provide the first causal evidence of how gentrification affects a broad set of outcomes for original resident adults and children. Gentrification modestly increases out-migration, though movers are not made observably worse off and neighborhood change is driven primarily by changes to in-migration. At the same time, many original resident adults stay and benefit from declining poverty exposure and rising house values. Children benefit from increased exposure to higher-opportunity neighborhoods, and some are more likely to attend and complete college. Our results suggest that accommodative policies, such as increasing the supply of housing in high-demand urban areas, could increase the opportunity benefits we find, reduce out-migration pressure, and promote long-term affordability.

Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-Baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time PDF
This report finds that opportunity employment — defined as employment accessible to workers without a bachelor’s degree and typically paying above the national annual median wage, adjusted for regional differences in consumer prices — accounts for 21.6 percent of total employment in the metro areas analyzed. The report also illustrates how the local mix of occupations, employers’ educational expectations, and the cost of living combine to expand or limit local opportunity relative to national conditions.


Browse conference summaries, Special Reports, Discussion Papers, and Cascade.

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Contact Us

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Community Development Studies & Education Department
Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574

(215) 574-6037 – phone
(215) 574-2512 – fax

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