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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: The Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland have released the new Home Mortgage Explorer. The data tool allows users to explore trends in mortgage lending between 2010 and 2015 for the U.S. as a whole, states, and metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. 

Rental Housing Affordability: This interactive tool enables users to examine trends in rental housing affordability in Third District states from 2010 to 2015.

Consumer Credit Explorer (CCE): This interactive tool enables users to look at quarterly changes in credit use indicators from 2005 to mid-2018 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

Accessing Economic Opportunity: Public Transit, Job Access, and Equitable Economic Development in Three Medium-Sized Regions 

Transportation can pose a barrier to employment for low-income residents unable to afford a car. This report examines access to transit, access to decent-paying jobs not requiring a four-year college degree, and the accessibility of large employment centers across three medium-sized regions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The results demonstrate how patterns of employment and public transit affect job access at the neighborhood level, with a particular focus on low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

Home Improvement Lending in the Third Federal Reserve District: Patterns by Income, Race, and Gender PDF

This report uses Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data from 2015–2017 to understand how access to conventional home improvement financing varies across different borrower and neighborhood characteristics. Findings suggest that low- and moderate income (LMI) and nonwhite applicants experienced high denial rates during this period, as did women with no coapplicants and applicants from LMI and majority-minority neighborhoods. While the analysis cannot identify the causes of these disparities, it provides insight into which borrower groups may have unmet home improvement financing needs.

New Philadelphia Fed Study Focuses on the Risks and Opportunities of Automation for Less Advantaged Workers PDF

This report analyzes the risks of automation and job opportunities for different demographic groups in the U.S. and 11 metropolitan areas in the Third Federal Reserve District. The study, by Lei Ding, Elaine Leigh, and Patrick Harker, attempts to clarify some misunderstanding on how automation impacts jobs.

How Does Last-Dollar Financial Aid Affect First-Year Student Outcomes? Evidence from the Bridging the Gap Study PDF

This report examines the early impacts of a financial aid program that reduces or eliminates tuition and campus fee costs for lower- and middle-income New Jersey residents. The program boosted enrollment among lower-income students, improved students’ perception of college affordability, and reduced student financial stress. However, it is unclear whether first-year improvements in academic performance are attributable to the program.

Effects of Gentrification on Homeowners: Evidence from a Natural Experiment PDF

This empirical study, which provides new evidence on the effects of gentrification on the homeowners’ tax payment behavior and residential mobility, takes advantage of an exogenous policy shock in the city of Philadelphia. In 2013, Philadelphia adopted the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), allowing the city to reassess the market value of all properties and make tax-assessed values closer to the properties’ actual market values. The AVI also introduced programs designed to mediate gentrification’s negative consequences for long-term owners. As a result, researchers were able to evaluate the effects of gentrification on homeowners’ tax burdens, as well as the effectiveness of gentrification relief programs.

Findings from this study help researchers, policymakers, and practitioners better understand the mechanisms through which gentrification impacts long-term homeowners and the effectiveness of policies to mitigate their displacement.


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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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