Community Development in Challenging Times | Summary and Q&A

May 6, 2011
Federal Reserve
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Community Development in Challenging Times


The speaker highlights the challenges faced by struggling communities due to weak economic conditions and provides examples of successful initiatives aimed at revitalizing these communities.

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Key Insights

  • 😀 The economic recovery has been moderate, with improvements in the labor market, but many communities and families still face significant challenges.
  • 😘 Lower-income families and communities that were already struggling have been disproportionately affected by the recession.
  • 🖤 Barriers to economic progress in troubled communities include inadequate schools, lack of infrastructure and business development, and limited institutional capacity.
  • 👨‍💼 Successful initiatives focus on preventing foreclosures, providing responsible credit, supporting small businesses, and improving education and training.
  • 🖐️ Local leaders, community organizations, and businesses play a critical role in revitalizing troubled communities.
  • 👨‍🔬 The Federal Reserve provides research, data, and support to assist in community development efforts.


[ Applause ] >> Thank you very much. I've heard a lot of good things about this conference. And as always, I'm very pleased to have the chance to meet with you. I've come pretty much to all these conferences -- certainly when I've been able to, and I've found them to be very useful. As you know, this meeting brings together researchers, community d... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are some of the challenges faced by lower-income families and communities in the aftermath of the economic crisis?

Lower-income families and communities have experienced higher unemployment rates, declines in wealth, and difficulties in paying debts on time due to the recession. They also lack community assets and economic drivers for growth.

Q: How has the foreclosure crisis affected communities?

High foreclosure rates have led to vacant properties, depressed home prices, increased crime rates, and financial burdens for local governments. It has created additional problems for communities that were already struggling.

Q: What initiatives have been successful in preventing foreclosures and stabilizing troubled communities?

Examples include programs like the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) initiative in Boston, which purchases foreclosed-upon but still-occupied homes and resells them at affordable prices to existing occupants. Other initiatives focus on providing loans to small businesses, supporting entrepreneurs, and implementing foreclosure recovery workshops.

Q: How do community leaders and organizations contribute to improving troubled communities?

Community leaders and organizations play a crucial role in addressing the challenges faced by troubled communities. They work towards improving education and training, providing affordable housing, and developing economic opportunities to uplift the community.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Weak economic conditions have led to hardships in many communities, with high unemployment rates and a struggling housing market.

  • Lower-income families and communities that were already struggling have faced the most difficulties in recovering from setbacks.

  • The Federal Reserve and community development groups have conducted research to identify barriers to economic progress and have implemented various initiatives to address these challenges.

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