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Community Development
The Community Development department of the St. Louis Fed identifies and addresses an expansive range of challenges confronting low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities in the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District.

We support the economic growth objectives of the Federal Reserve System by promoting community and economic development in these LMI communities, and fair and impartial access to credit in underserved markets.

Our department brings together financial institutions, nonprofits, public officials, government agencies, researchers and practitioners to stimulate ideas and share insights, and to collaborate on community and economic development initiatives.

We also assist financial institutions to understand their responsibilities under the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

Our goal is to strengthen our understanding of all the issues that affect development of strong, sustainable communities in our District.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

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04/02 - 04/03 | Washington, D.C., 20008
Economic Mobility: Research & Ideas on Strengthening Families, Communities & the Economy

Featured Articles

Generation Debt: The Promise, Perils and Future of Student Loans, Nov. 18, 2013

The Center for Household Financial Stability at the St. Louis Fed hosted a symposium that addressed rising student-loan debt. Student loans are now the second-largest debt on household balance sheets, behind mortgages.

Participants heard from several experts in the area of student loans, including a keynote address by Rohit Chopra of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The symposium offered resources for managing student loans and featured a research panel that provided answers to questions such as:

  • How burdensome are student loans?
  • Why are we seeing such rapid growth in student loan balances?
  • How do those with student loans perceive these burdens?

The event concluded with a round-table discussion: The Future of Student Loans and Financing Higher Education.

2013 Exploring Innovation Week: Community Development in Times of Austerity

What is ahead for our communities? How can we continue to provide community development services during the current climate of austerity? What are some best practices in leveraging resources?

Participants heard some answers to these questions during this Exploring Innovation event, which featured interactive live video and in-person presentations followed by local facilitated discussions. Featured speakers included Kristin Faust, director of lending and network services with Partners for the Common Good (PCG) ; Ben Brown, principal/storyteller with PlaceMakers ; Bill Taft, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis ; and Ted Howard, executive director of The Democracy Collaborative .

View event materials

Restoring Household Financial Stability After the Great Recession: Why Household Balance Sheets Matter

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.

View symposium materials

Promising Pathways to Wealth-Building Financial Services

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.

View forum materials here.