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Recovery, Renewal, Rebuilding Series


The Federal Reserve's Homeownership and Mortgage Initiative is a comprehensive strategy across the Federal Reserve System to provide information and outreach to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and to stabilize communities.

As part of that initiative, the Federal Reserve System is sponsoring Recovery, Renewal, Rebuilding, a series of forums on the subject of foreclosure. The series will be used to generate discussion on the after effect of the foreclosure crisis by asking the question—What next? These sessions explore the current state of communities experiencing significant foreclosures by exploring best practices, creative solutions, and building a framework for innovation for how communities are recovering, rebuilding and preparing for the future.

Past Events

Strengthening Neighborhoods in Weak Markets | Sept. 24-25, 2008

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | St. Louis, Mo.
Hosted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis

This symposium provided participants with specific strategies that can help mitigate the negative impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods.

While much attention has rightfully focused on preventing foreclosures, communities are struggling already with the fallout from widespread foreclosures: vacant buildings, diminished tax revenue and displaced residents.

In low-cost real estate markets, the issues facing communities affected by foreclosures may be different from those in areas with stronger labor markets or less affordable housing.

National experts addressed the following key topics:

  • how nonprofits and local governments can reduce the negative spillover effects of vacant properties;
  • economic implications for municipalities;
  • municipal governance solutions such as ordinances, land banks and housing courts; and
  • funding and finance solutions, such as targeted neighborhood investment strategies.

The target audience included government officials, state and local policymakers, community development organizations, affordable housing developers, business leaders, trade associations, lenders and servicers.

For information, call Cynthia Davis at 314-444-8761 or send her an e-mail at

Presentation materials

Agenda and Program (PDF)

Welcome and Keynote

Glenda Wilson, assistant vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Mortgage Crisis: Economic and Fiscal Implications for Metro Areas (PDF)
James Diffley, managing director, U.S. Regional Services Group, Global Insight

Panel Presentation—Municipal Governance Solutions

Moderator: Alicia Williams, vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Legal Remedies: Local Strategies to Mitigate Negative Effects of Foreclosures on Communities (PDF)
Mark Ireland, attorney, Foreclosure Relief Law Project, Housing Preservation Project

Fostering Neighborhood Recovery (PDF)
Andriana Abariotes, executive director, Twin Cities LISC

An Orientation and Insights on Right-Sizing Cities (PDF)
Kathryn Foster, director, The University at Buffalo Regional Institute

Luncheon Presentation

Introduction: Robert Schenk, senior vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Facing the Mortgage Crisis: A New Model for Community Engagement (PDF)
Amy Shaw, vice president of education and community engagement, KETC St. Louis Public Television
[Also, "Facing the Mortgage Crisis": A KETC-TV Channel 9 Broadcast and Resource Guide for the St. Louis Region website is available here.]

Plenary Panel Discussion—Municipal Finance

Moderator: Matthew Ashby, senior community development specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Future of Municipal Finance: Fiscal and Economic Implications and Housing Finance: Local Impacts and Responses (PDF)
Christopher Hoene, director, Center for Policy and Research, National League of Cities,
and Michael Pagano, dean, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago

Panel Presentation—The Community Perspective on Problem Properties

Moderator: Michael Grover, manager, Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Using Data and Research to Target Interventions (PDF)
Michael Schramm, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Case Western Reserve University

Neighborhood Housing Markets and the Memphis Model: Linking Information to Neighborhood Action (PDF)
Phyllis Betts, founding director, Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action, University of Memphis

Resident Engagement and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategies (PDF)
Matt Lasko, director of housing and community involvement, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization

Panel Presentation—Funding and Financing Solutions

Moderator: Jacqueline King, assistant vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

New Approaches to Capital Formation and Interventions (PDF)
Tamir Novotny, program associate, Living Cities

Targeting Neighborhood Investment Strategies (PDF)
Ira Goldstein, director of policy and information services, TRF

Housing Programs in Weak Market Neighborhoods: Rethinking Strategies Going Forward to Develop the Right Tools (PDF)
Alan Mallach, senior fellow, National Housing Institute; visiting scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and The Brookings Institution
[Additional Resource: How to Spend $3.92 Billion: Stabilizing Neighborhoods by Addressing Vacant and Abandoned Properties, a discussion paper by Alan Mallach (PDF).]

Confronting the Neighborhood Impacts of Foreclosure | Oct. 20, 2008

Federal Reserve Board | Washington, DC
Hosted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

The seminar explored a range of policy topics discussed throughout the Recovery, Renewal, Rebuilding series. Sessions during the symposium (subject to change) included:

  • Effectively Utilizing and Leveraging National Resources to Address Abandonment: This session provided a discussion on how communities can most effectively access and leverage federal and other national resources. The panel discussed how communities can best utilize new community resources under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and the newly created National Communities Stabilization Trust. The session highlighted efforts to quickly develop scalable model implementation and distribution strategies for taking control and disposing of vacant properties.
  • Navigating Ownership and Control of Vacant Property: Panelists explored effective methods for contacting and working with loan servicers to transfer ownership of vacant properties to municipalities and non-profit organizations. The role of data in tracking ownership was discussed, as well as current challenges and barriers to adequate vacant property data collection and analysis. This session explored methods that communities can use to increase the volume and speed of property transfer.
  • Pricing and Valuation Model of Vacant Properties: A large barrier to selling and reusing vacant property is the inability for market participants to determine an agreed upon value for foreclosed properties. This session discussed issues in pricing vacant property, and valuation methods for such properties that could be used by servicers, municipalities, non-profits and other key market participants.
  • Models of Vacant Property Disposition: Panelists examined promising collaborative techniques being employed to take control of and dispose of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. This session stressed strategies used by both weak and strong market players to create rental housing, sell properties for homeownership, and/or demolish vacant properties.
Presentation materials

Agenda (PDF)


Welcome  (MP3)
Sandra Braunstein, Federal Reserve Board

Summary of Main Findings from Federal Reserve System Foreclosure Series

Summary of Recovery, Renewal, Rebuiling Events (PDF) (MP3)
Alfreda Norman, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and
Scott Turner, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Effectively Utilizing and Leveraging National Resources to Address Abandonment

Introduction by Moderator (MP3)
Ellen Fitzgerald, NeighborWorks America

Thinking strategically about the Neighborhood Stabilization (NSP) program (PDF) (MP3)
Alan Mallach, National Housing Institute

Introduction to the National Community Stabilization Trust (MP3)
Craig Nickerson, National Community Stabilization Trust

Youngstown 2010: Sharing A Vision for a Better Tomorrow (PDF) (MP3)
Mayor Jay Williams, City of Youngstown, OH

Q&A (MP3)

Navigating Ownership and Control of Vacant Property

Introduction by Moderator (MP3)
Juan Sanchez, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Navigating Ownership and Control of Vacant Property: Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (PDF) (MP3)
Bruce Gottschall, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago

The HOPE NOW Alliance (MP3)
Faith Schwartz, HOPE NOW Alliance

National Community Stabilization Trust (PDF) (MP3)
Mary Tingerthal, Housing Partnership Network

Q&A (MP3)

Lunch Speaker

How the Current Economic Crisis will Change the Nature if Community Development
Jeremy Nowak, The Reinvestment Fund

Pricing and Valuation of Vacant Properties

Introduction by Moderator  (MP3)
David Buchholz, Federal Reserve Board

Macroeconomic Conditions and Home Valuations (PDF) (MP3)
Karen Dynan, Federal Reserve Board

Pricing and Valuation of Vacant Properties: Developing a Neighborhood Stabilization Approach (PDF)  (MP3)
Charles Laven, Forsyth Street Advisors

Pricing and Valuation (MP3)
Donna Sheline, JP Morgan Chase

Q&A (MP3)

Models of Vacant Property Disposition

Introduction by Moderator (not available)
Ruth Clevenger, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Models of Vacant Property Disposition: Los Angeles Housing Department (PDF) (MP3)
Mercedes Márquez, Los Angeles Housing Department

Foreclosed Properties in Massachusetts: Early Responses (PDF) (MP3)
Prabal Chakrabarti, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Strategies for Transforming Vacant and Abandoned Properties from Liabilities To Assets (PDF) (MP3)
Daniel Kildee, Genesee County

Models for Vacant Property Disposition and Community Stabilization (PDF)  (MP3)
Mark McDermott, Enterprise Community Partners

Q&A (MP3)


Summary of Key Points (MP3)
Allen Fishbein, Federal Reserve Board