The following Cascade Focus reports summarize the department’s research on issues related to community development in low- and moderate-income communities and fair and impartial access to credit in underserved markets. Reports in this series are topically similar to, but more concise than, the department’s discussion papers and special reports.
The state of the student loan market has received much attention in recent years, as the number of borrowers and their collective debt have risen dramatically. These trends have been particularly problematic in the wake of the 2007–09 recession because increased unemployment and suppressed income impair borrowers’ ability to make payments on their loans. This report outlines the recent history of student borrowing in the Third Federal Reserve District and explores lending patterns, by the neighborhood income of the borrower, to better understand the implications for low- and moderate-income communities. Areas for further research to broaden understanding of the issue are also identified.
The collapse of the housing market in the second half of the last decade created increased demand for counseling services to assist homeowners dealing with foreclosure. In Philadelphia, the nonprofit agencies that provide free housing counseling dealt with this surge in demand at the same time that funding became increasingly hard to secure. This paper provides a high-level overview of the state of the nonprofit foreclosure counseling industry in Philadelphia in the wake of the housing crash. The report includes information on the industry’s funding levels and sources, details what agencies must do to access the available funding, and summarizes the results of a survey on the challenges that counseling agencies face. Areas for further research on the subject are also identified.
Using the most recent data available, this suite of materials provides information on rental housing affordability conditions and trends in the Third Federal Reserve District from 2005 through 2010. This analysis not only explores the proportion of renters in the Third District with a housing cost burden but also investigates whether there are sufficient numbers of affordable rental units to meet the needs of low-income households. See "Affordability and Availability of Rental Housing in the Third Federal Reserve District: 2012" for the Cascade Focus summarizing findings for the Third District, data tables with estimates for the states, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), and counties that lie within the District, and supporting documentation.