Community Development News
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
05/23 | Audioconference
Expanding the Philanthropic Investment Toolbox
05/23 | St. Louis, Mo.
May 23 Dialogue with the Fed: Beyond Today's Financial Headlines
06/25 | Louisville, Ky.
Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An Emerging Economic Development Tool
Spotlight on Past Events
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis sponsored a research symposium that highlighted the critical role of household balance sheets in restoring household financial stability and national economic growth after the recession. Keynote speakers included Michael Barr, former assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department and current professor at the University of Michigan Law School; Christopher Carroll, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University; and Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein.
Through commissioned papers, keynote speeches and a competitive call for papers, sessions explored:
- current data and research on household balance sheets as well as a framework for understanding the determinants and implications of household financial stability;
- the links between household balance sheets and attainment of homeownership, economic mobility and educational goals among households; and
- the connections between household balance sheets and macroeconomic outcomes, including economic growth and the transmission of monetary policy to the economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Financial Access, Education, and Consumer Protection; the Center for Financial Services Innovation; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City sponsored a forum designed to help communities and practitioners make informed choices about promising pathways for unbanked and underbanked households to connect to wealth-building financial services. Specifically, three key questions were explored: 1) What do we know about unbanked and underbanked consumers? (2) What financial products exist to meet their needs? And (3) through what channels are these products distributed?
These and other questions were addressed by some of the nation's leading experts, industry representatives and on-the-ground providers of financial services focused on unbanked, underbanked and unhappily banked consumers.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) hosted an interagency-sponsored workshop on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on May 3, 2012, at the St. Louis Fed.
Designed for staff of community-based organizations interested in obtaining current information and training on the CRA and how it can benefit their organizations, the workshop explored effective ways to constructively work with banks to improve neighborhoods and communities. The session was interactive, and participants received resource materials.
View workshop presentations here.
The St. Louis Fed was the site of the release of the St. Louis Neighborhood Market DrillDown, an assets-based approach to market research that combines numerous data sets to build an up-to-date set of community economic indicators tailored to the strengths of urban neighborhoods. Participants attended presentations, heard from a response panel, and joined in-depth discussions about the ways in which using this new data differently can assist in building a more sustainable and equitable St. Louis.
The Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and New Directions Housing Corporation sponsored a presentation by Jeffrey A. Morgan on redevelopment of commercial corridors and neighborhood-serving businesses. Morgan is a 2011 Harvard University Edward M. Gramlich Fellow, architect/urbanist and candidate for Master in Design Studies at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. His presentation was followed by a panel discussion on current and past efforts to optimize neighborhood business district revitalization.
Exploring Innovation: A Conference on Community Development Finance was held May 9-11, 2011, at the Chase Park Plaza hotel in St. Louis, Mo. The conference was attended by lenders, investors, nonprofit community development practitioners and others who learned how to use innovative business models that address the financing of all aspects of thriving communities—from housing and infrastructure to community engagement and leadership development. Learning tracks included retail products and services, the green economy, investments and equity, and financing comprehensive development. Employing innovative presentation and collaboration techniques, the conference:
- illustrated how innovation can result in new finance models;
- highlighted industry best practices, state-of-the-art policies and innovative thinking; and
- served as a catalyst for future discussions around topics of significant importance to community development.
Standard financing models cannot address the growing needs of the field of community development, according to experts Dione Alexander, Ian Galloway and Trinita Logue. Unconventional methods and new, collaborative financial models need to be explored, including platform/system financing, philanthropic equity, technology and microfinance/peer-to-peer lending. Innovative financial institutions and organizations are learning how to work together to connect lenders to investors, sometimes by creating new platforms and partnership structures. This was the message at the Nov. 10 public policy dialogue, part of the St. Louis Fed’s 2010 Exploring Innovation series. The dialogue was followed at all Bank locations by a discussion regarding the implications of these issues on society, including how organizations must address these concerns to attract investment, add value, and support economic and social development.