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Cascade: No. 99, Summer 2018

Message from the Community Affairs Officer

Theresa Y. Singleton, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Community Affairs OfficerTheresa Y. Singleton, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer

In this issue of Cascade, we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by exploring the current state of fair housing and fair lending. An article summarizes a recent research symposium on the topic, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in partnership with the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University–Camden. At the event, leading scholars and practitioners discussed the successes and shortcomings of the Fair Housing Act. The symposium highlighted the need for ongoing research and policy solutions to ensure that the goals of the Act are achieved.

One such solution, Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs), is discussed in an article in this issue of Cascade for its potential to address residential segregation and improve the outcomes of the housing choice voucher program. In another article, Philip Tegeler, president and executive director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRACC), considers the future of fair housing. PRACC promotes research-based advocacy strategies and advances federal policy to address structural inequality. In the interview, Tegeler reflects on the impact of federal housing policy on outcomes observed today in low- and moderate-income communities and shares insights on the most pressing current challenges in advancing fair housing. He also discusses best practices to address these issues and provides examples of communities that are doing this work well.

From our collective work in the community development industry, we know that successfully combatting challenges like the ones discussed in this issue of Cascade requires a holistic approach. To that end, we hope you will join us to discuss how we, as an industry, can build and invest financial, human, physical, and social capital to promote economic mobility in our communities. The Philadelphia Fed’s flagship community development conference, Reinventing Our Communities, will be held October 1–3 in Baltimore on the theme of Investing in Opportunity. We hope you will join us along with our partners, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and other partners across the Federal Reserve System, Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative, Enterprise Community Partners, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, NeighborWorks, and the Joseph & Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, for a national conversation on these urgent issues. I look forward to seeing many of you at the conference.

Theresa Y. Singleton