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Archived Issues

No. 100, Fall 2018

This issue shares reflections from industry thought leaders on the 2018 Reinventing Our Communities conference theme of Investing in Opportunity.

No. 99, Summer 2018

This issue focused on two key strategic areas for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: the Economic Growth & Mobility Project and the Consumer Finance Institute.

No. 98, Spring 2018

This issue reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by exploring the current state of fair housing and fair lending.

No. 97, Fall 2017

This issue focuses on the impact of transportation on economic opportunity and economic mobility, a multisector equitable transportation initiative in northeastern Pennsylvania, and research, tools, and publications on equitable transportation.

No. 96, Summer 2017

This issue focuses on the Community Reinvestment Act, a Federal Reserve System initiative on Investing in America's Workforce, and a new fund that invests in community development financial institutions.

No. 95, Spring 2017

This issue focuses on rental housing affordability and a new data tool, the impact of expiring federal subsidies on rental affordability, and a nonprofit investment vehicle to preserve affordable rental housing.

No. 94, Winter 2016

This issue focuses on leading initiatives featured at the 2016 Reinventing Our Communities: Transforming Our Economies conference on community development capital, resident engagement, anchor institutions, intentional integration in Philadelphia's Mt. Airy neighborhood, building savings and wealth, immigrant integration and economic development, and workforce development. The issue also includes an article on the measure of segregation in Mt. Airy and in Philadelphia.

No. 93, Fall 2016

This issue focuses on foundation grantmaking for community and economic development, income inequality and sustainable urban development, early childhood education, impact investing, and gentrification.

No. 92, Summer 2016

This issue focuses on workforce development initiatives and financial capability. Articles examine BankWork$, an initiative that gives underemployed individuals access to entry-level banking positions; Pennsylvania coalitions that help returning citizens find employment and other assistance; the apprenticeship programs of Barclays Bank in the UK and Barclaycard US; the key role of intermediaries in expanding the use of U.S. apprenticeships; integration of savings and credit-building products in youth employment programs; income share agreements; and child development accounts.

No. 91, Spring 2016

This issue focuses on financing needs and concerns of consumers, small businesses, ex-offenders, homeowners, and older people. It includes articles on small dollar lending by community development financial institutions; significant small business lending trends by banks and online lenders; a partnership to assist ex-offenders by a bank, community college, and health-care system; a research study on the importance of down payment assistance in affordable homeownership; a report on housing costs and financial challenges of older people; data on projected growth of the older adult population; findings from a survey of small businesses in 26 states; and a new book on financial health and well-being.

No. 90, Winter 2016

This issue focuses on workforce development. It includes articles on new use of apprenticeships in high-growth sectors, major expansion of information technology partnerships and initiatives, an Annie E. Casey Foundation initiative that combines employer engagement and youth support services, measurement of the quality rather than the quantity of jobs, strategies to assist young men of color, data on opportunity youth in different states, and recommended reading. Presentations and a recording from a December 2, 2015 conference on apprenticeships and other employer-led strategies are also available at www.philadelphiafed.org/community-development/events/.

No. 89, Fall 2015

This issue focuses on pay for success (PFS) financing, impact investing, and community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The articles provide an in-depth look at PFS initiatives in the U.S. and examine three leading impact investing initiatives to create good jobs, CDFI capital access breakthroughs, The Reinvestment Fund’s new priorities and insights, a review of a Brookings Institution study that analyzes nearly 40 PFS programs around the world, a mapping feature that examines a sample of CDFI loans made in the Third Federal Reserve District, and recommended reading.

No. 88, Summer 2015

This issue focuses on small businesses and commercial corridors. The articles discuss the rise and fall of commercial corridors in Philadelphia, lessons learned from LISC MetroEdge on revitalizing commercial corridors, an analysis by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on the extent to which tax incentives create jobs, four perspectives on a $1 billion transformation that resulted from tax incentives in downtown Allentown, PA, and a research study on an inner-city commercial corridor. The issue also includes a mapping feature on small business lending trends.

No. 87, Spring 2015

This issue focuses on financial education and literacy. The articles examine an initiative that provides individual development accounts for young people aging out of foster care, innovations from Doorways to Dreams on prize-linked savings and mobile devices, a joint partnership between the United Way and a state agency that provides financial coaching and education throughout Delaware, lessons from the Philadelphia Fed’s Keys to Financial Success personal finance course, results of a research study on the influence of financial literacy on high-cost borrowing, and Clarifi’s new approach to “embed” services in health-care centers and add coaching and mentoring services.

No. 86, Winter 2015

This issue focuses on a range of affordable housing issues. Articles on rental housing examine the following: renters’ housing costs (analysis from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University); the preservation of affordable rental housing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware; a PSE&G program that finances energy improvements in multifamily buildings in New Jersey; and rental housing affordability (Mapping Our Community). Coverage on supportive housing includes an analysis of a Delaware program that combines housing subsidies and supportive services and a national perspective from the Corporation for Supportive Housing. The issue also includes coverage of the single-family repair programs Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together and a research study on housing alternatives for homeless families.

No. 85, Summer 2014

This issue provides highlights from the 2014 Reinventing Older Communities: Bridging Growth & Opportunity conference. The major themes of intergenerational mobility and equitable growth and subthemes of education, employment, and revitalization appear throughout the issue. The articles focus on measuring intergenerational mobility and economic growth in the Third Federal Reserve District; reversing the cycle of poverty through education and mentoring as well as workforce development; exploring the future of community development corporations (CDC) and measuring CDC impact; understanding changes in the housing market; using data visualization as a community development tool; and learning lessons from the Fund for Our Economic Future's work in Ohio. Visit www.philadelphiafed.org/ROC2014 for presentations, audio recordings, and videos of the 2014 Reinventing Older Communities conference.

No. 84, Winter 2014

This issue focuses on ways to strengthen household financial stability after the recession, why the unbanked use alternative financial services, the use of tax-time savings programs to build assets, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, and student loan debt. It also includes an interview with Sandra Braunstein of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on the Federal Reserve’s role in community development, a Mapping Our Community feature on the distribution of household income, and a memorial to Frederick Heldring, former Philadelphia bank CEO and a founder of the Delaware Valley Mortgage Plan.

No. 83, Fall 2013

This issue focuses on community development financial institution (CDFI) trends and issues. It includes information on issues facing CDFIs; CDFIs as intermediaries for healthy food financing; the expansion of a Goldman Sachs small business initiative in Pennsylvania; a research study on the impact of government-subsidized lending; how to build CDFI capacity; and how CDFIs have increased their access to capital markets, federal loan programs, and corporate support. This issue also includes Mapping Our Community, a new regular feature that shows the location of CDFIs in the Third Federal Reserve District.

No. 82, Winter/Spring 2013

This issue of Cascade provides insight into the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s successful loan servicing strategies; legislation that enables Pennsylvania municipalities to create land banks to acquire vacant and tax-delinquent properties; the lessons learned by two cities — Philadelphia and Camden, NJ — that are in the midst of redeveloping their waterfronts; the relationship between student debt and college graduation rates; the critical importance of preserving affordable rental housing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware; a survey of economic conditions in low- and moderate-income households; and two awards received by the Philadelphia Fed’s economic education advisor. This issue also includes an article on the U.S. Treasury’s $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which is providing funding to state small business loan programs. In addition, a list of the state programs that are receiving SSBCI funding in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware is available.

No. 81, Fall 2012

This issue of Cascade features some of the highlights from our fifth biennial Reinventing Older Communities conference, the theme of which was Building Resilient Cities. The topics covered include strategies that are being used to help revitalize older industrial communities, the role anchor institutions play in supporting economic development goals, ways in which the arts and culture can be used to stimulate economic development, steps local governments are taking to deal with the fiscal crisis, and urban education models that have shown success.

No. 80, Spring/Summer 2012

This issue focuses on the results of a Philadelphia nonprofit’s work on employment training and business and community development, including reflections on what works in employment training; a bank’s leadership in a rural historic project that used new markets tax credits in Gettysburg, PA; the preservation of 376 affordable housing units in central Pennsylvania through a $26 million refinancing; a worsening funding gap for affordable rental projects; new staff members in Community Development Studies and Education; an “in memoriam” on the directors of two community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and current plans for the CDFIs; and a study on the impact of negative equity in communities of color in the Chicago area.

No. 79, Winter 2012

This issue provides coverage of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions; highlights from a Philadelphia Fed forum on effective community development corporations; an overview of green jobs training programs of the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, a federally funded consortium that conducts research and development on increased energy efficiency of commercial buildings; findings from a research study on the early labor experiences of young men; and a look at a Los Angeles initiative to get educational and workforce development agencies to work together.

No. 78, Fall 2011

This issue, which focuses on workforce development, provides insight into a 37-year-old Philadelphia-based partnership in which 52 health-care employers provide education and training for union members and nonunion neighborhood residents; explores a U.S. Department of Labor perspective on effective earn-while-you-learn workforce training models; discusses the collapse of the labor market for 16- to 24-year-olds; explores the economic benefits of a community college education; and offers a compendium of workforce development resources.

No. 77, Spring/Summer 2011

This issue contains articles on the economic development and housing impact of Marcellus shale natural gas drilling, lessons from the 19-year-old HOPE VI program, the viability of small-scale rental housing, a bank CEO’s book on personal finance principles and another banker’s leadership on financial education, research on the distributional impact of unemployment, and a book on how place matters.

No. 76, Winter 2011

This issue features articles on some of the key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that affect consumers, two community development financial institutions’ experiences with underwriting loans to charter schools, research on the pricing of car loans for risk, the impressions of Third District leaders and lenders on the future of community development, and the legacy of ShoreBank.

No. 75, Fall 2010

This issue features articles on a lender that is making energy-efficiency loans in 24 states, a Philadelphia nonprofit’s efforts to assist low-income homeowners facing rising energy costs, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s efforts to transform the city’s vacant land management system, the use of land banks as a redevelopment tool, and an analysis of Fannie Mae’s latest national housing survey.

No. 74, Spring/Summer 2010

This issue of Cascade features an article on the emerging clean energy economy; a Drexel University team that measures the results of energy-efficiency improvements; three new energy funds with nearly $100 million in available financing; reverse mortgages; resident-owned manufactured home communities, including one in Delaware; constraints on CRA lending and investing; and a CDFI’s focus on managing delinquency.

No. 73, Winter 2010

This issue on rental housing trends and issues focuses on a Philadelphia Fed Community Development Studies and Education study entitled Affordability and Availability of Rental Housing in Pennsylvania, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, the National Housing Trust, a study entitled No Renters in My Suburban Backyard: Land Use Regulation and Rental Housing, strategies for municipalities to respond to high rates of investor ownership of foreclosed units, a Pennsylvania program to assist rental property owners to reduce utility costs and adopt energy conservation measures, and a Federal Reserve Board of Governors series of meetings on the challenges faced by rental property owners.

No. 72, Fall 2009

The Fall 2009 issue focuses on the use of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds in PA, NJ, and DE, proposals to strengthen the low income housing tax credit investment market, opportunities and challenges for the state of Delaware concerning American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, a review of a research paper on whether ARRA funds will reduce income inequality, ways in which PA, NJ, and DE are fighting foreclosure rescue scams, a payday lending law and a nonprofit's payday loan alternative in Delaware, and a PA law governing home improvement contractors.

No. 71, Spring/Summer 2009

This issue focuses on the effects of the economic recession on small businesses in the Third Federal Reserve District. Articles cover increased applications and lending by seven community development financial institution business lenders; increased business lending by credit unions; findings of a national small-business study; new programs to assist small businesses from the SBA, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and the State of Delaware; increased demand for services from small business development centers; and application demand and bank collaboration at two rural Pennsylvania local development districts.

No. 70, Winter 2009

This issue contains a summary of Philadelphia Fed president Charles I. Plosser’s views on the Federal Reserve’s role in the financial crisis. It also contains articles on studies of a national database of subprime loans and a database of subprime and Alt-A loans; a Federal Reserve study on concentrated poverty in Atlantic City, N.J. and other locations; plans to expedite transfer of real estate owned properties from financial institutions to local partnerships; and a pilot program of a nonprofit in Orange, N.J., to acquire mortgages of 47 New Jersey properties from one lender.

No. 69, Fall 2008

Articles report on the FHA’s new refinancing options and use of the options in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware; the experience of a Pennsylvania home improvement loan program; payday lending alternative of Pennsylvania credit unions; a research study of subprime borrowers; servicer guidelines on foreclosures; and a Federal Reserve study on trends in electronic and check payments.

No. 68, Spring/Summer 2008

This issue highlights plenary and research sessions at Reinventing Older Communities: How Does Place Matter?, a national conference held March 26-28, 2008, in Philadelphia. Summarized are a keynote address from Bruce Katz, VP and director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program; an American mayors’ panel and a presentation from Valentino Castellani, former mayor of Turin, Italy; an address by Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania; sessions on philanthropy’s role in changing markets and the Federal Reserve System’s response to subprime mortgage challenges; and research sessions on schools and neighborhoods, uneven geographies of opportunity, social interactions and crime, neighborhoods and health, and patterns of segregation.

No. 67, Winter 2008

Community First Fund has grown from a local microbusiness lender to a regional lender with a diverse product line. Nonprofit Finance Fund provides nonprofits with business analysis services as well as loans, while The Progress Fund lends to tourist-related businesses and helps build tourism markets. Membership in a community development credit union appears to have a positive impact on members’ lives, a study shows. CDFIs are trying to keep pace with growing financing demands, according to the Opportunity Finance Network. The Reinvestment Fund has developed a web-based data analysis and mapping tool that is being used by a statewide housing agency and major foundation.

No. 66, Fall 2007

Highlights include articles that cover the following: servicers expand activities in outreach and loss mitigation; servicers provide single points of contact to nonprofits; a national hotline refers homeowners to five nonprofit credit counseling agencies; credit counseling agencies reach no-contact homeowners; study probes what happens after subprime borrowers default; ACORN Housing seeks affordability standards in loan modifications; and state housing finance agencies debate refinance programs.

No. 65, Spring/Summer 2007

This issue covers neighborhood commercial corridor revitalization initiatives, an interview with a bank community development lender who has used new markets tax credits extensively, an interview with a developer who has specialized in mixed-use adaptive reuse in eastern U.S. cities, a study on whether subsidized housing investment improves a neighborhood, and a profile of a nonprofit that teaches self-sufficiency as it provides housing.

No. 64, Winter 2007: Financial Literacy

This issue, which focuses on financial literacy, includes articles on the Federal Reserve System's Survey of Consumer Finances; a Delaware program providing adult classes on a wide range of financial subjects; bank savings programs for young people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware; the importance of collaboration in financial education; a Bank of America savings program; an IRS change enabling taxpayers to allocate refunds to up to three accounts; a motivational program on both health and personal finance; and credit counseling for small business owners.

No. 63, Fall 2006

This issue includes analysis and insight of revitalization efforts in the downtown and riverfront areas of Wilmington, DE; the use of new markets tax credits in two developments in downtown Trenton, NJ (one of which involved the relocation of Wachovia Bank’s regional headquarters); a Wilmington program that is encouraging owners to rehabilitate or sell vacant properties; and a column on measuring the impact of the community development block grant program.

No. 62, Summer 2006

This issue spotlights bank branches opened in three low-income communities in Pennsylvania; a venture capital firm's investments in rural and other areas; angel investors; a revised state-tax program in Pennsylvania that encourages partnerships between corporations and community-based organizations; asset-building experiments involving employers and financial education; public-policy implications of Hurricane Katrina; and a new program for Pennsylvania nonprofits to preserve rental housing.

No. 61, Spring 2006

This issue contains a range of perspectives on asset building by low- and moderate-income residents. An assistant vice president from H&R Block outlines some of the large-scale experiments the company has conducted in asset building, and the D2D Fund’s executive director describes a forthcoming IRS change that will allow direct deposit into more than one account (refund splitting). Other articles discuss the experience of three youth IDA programs, a partnership between Open Hearth and Susquehanna Patriot Bank for moderate-income families, employer-assisted housing and the Home∙Buy∙Now program in Philadelphia, asset building by Latino families, financial and economic education provided through high schools, and The Benefit Bank.

No. 60, Winter 2005

This issue includes an analysis of urban real estate markets and the difficulty of developing needed mixed-use urban properties, plus articles on a community foundation’s work with the business sector to create a regional economic development strategy, a change of emphasis in Fannie Mae’s American Communities Fund®, a national campaign to help cities tackle vacant properties, a 30-year-old joint agreement of three Bucks County, PA, townships on land-use planning and zoning, the ongoing effort of cities to modernize zoning and land-use regulations, research on whether urban success stories are based on perception or reality, and three new Community Development Studies and Education products.

No. 59, Fall 2005

This issue focuses on a cross-section of seven Third District banks that have received outstanding CRA ratings, the Community Lenders Community Development Corporation (a bank consortium that finances rental housing), CRA amendments, and a PHFA web tool to help consumers find affordable-housing units.

No. 58, Summer 2005

Articles discuss a Trenton CDC’s regional focus; NJ regional contribution agreements; a pro-integration effort in Pennsauken, NJ; perspectives on regional equity from the William Penn Foundation, Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, and PolicyLink; and Marty Smith’s analysis of a paper on the differences of per capita personal income among states.

No. 57, Spring 2005

Articles report on the conversion of a coal and iron complex to a recreational park in Germany; Ridgway, PA, revitalization; PA Banking Department’s responses to high foreclosure rate; Wachovia Regional Foundation’s funding priorities; SBA’s revision of 504 and 7(a) programs; CRA and racial housing patterns (Spotlight on Research); and nonprofit offering that receives Standard & Poor's AAA rating.

No. 56, Winter 2004

Articles discuss extensive foreclosures in Monroe County, PA and responses of Pennsylvania agencies; a Chicago nonprofit's work with subprime-loan servicers on foreclosures; record-high subprime lending; an FHA study on foreclosures; PHFA initiatives spur mixed-income housing and mixed-use financing; bank home improvement loans to Philadelphia residents with impaired credit; a nonprofit small-business lender's experience in southern New Jersey; The Enterprise Center changes minority-business focus; and Beech Interplex's work near Temple University.

No. 55, Summer/Fall 2004

This issue provides two contrasting viewpoints on New Jersey’s Council on Affordable Housing rules, a remembrance of Vera Bowders, and articles on the role of an arts district in revitalizing the downtown of Millville, NJ, the Nehemiah Gateway CDC (a church-based organization in Wilmington, DE), steps by PNC Bank, Delaware to expedite the opening of savings accounts, New Markets Tax Credit allocations in the Third Federal Reserve District, the appointment of Sandra F. Braunstein as director of the division of consumer and community affairs of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and a column by Marvin M. Smith, Ph.D. on subprime and predatory lending.

No. 54, Spring 2004

Articles describe changes in statistical definitions from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, a transit-oriented housing development strategy of Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development, Inc., the University of Pennsylvania's role as investor and developer in its adjacent neighborhood, a national conference held in January 2004 on reinventing America's older communities, PNC Bank's development bank, and a new column written by Marvin M. Smith, Ph.D., on economic development incentives.

No. 53, Winter 2003 (PDF file, 2.9 MB)

No. 52, Summer/Fall 2003 (PDF file, 1.13 MB)

No. 51, Spring 2003 (PDF file, 712 KB)

No. 50, Winter 2002 (PDF, 1 MB)

No. 49, Summer/Fall 2002 (PDF, 1.6 MB)

No. 48, Spring 2002 (PDF, 4.7 MB)

No. 47, Winter 2001 (PDF, 2.7 MB)

No. 46, Summer/Fall 2001 (PDF, 5.6 MB)

No. 45, Spring 2001 (PDF, 1.7 MB)

No. 44, Winter 2000 (PDF, 3.7, MB)

No. 43, Summer/Fall 2000 (PDF, 4 MB)

No. 42, Spring 2000 (PDF, 2.8 MB)

No. 41, Winter 1999 (PDF, 2.4 MB)

No. 40, Summer/Fall 1999 (PDF, 1 MB)

No. 39, Spring 1999 (PDF, 1.2 MB)