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New St. Louis Fed Tool Explores Trends in Community Investments across Region, Nation


ST. LOUIS ―  The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently launched a new online tool that aggregates low- and moderate-income community investment data to show geographic comparisons and trends over time.

The Community Investment Explorer (CIE) tool draws on publicly available data from more than 500,000 community development transactions through the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) programs.

Collectively, these programs are responsible for several billion dollars of investment into low- and moderate-income communities each year and support a range of activities, including affordable housing, commercial real estate development, consumer and business lending, and more.

Some community investment observations that can be shown via the CIE include how:

  • The NMTC program was key to financing the recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Missouri increasingly relied on USDA loans to finance affordable rental housing using the LIHTC during and after the Great Recession.
  • Illinois and Missouri were among the top five states for the lowest average interest rate on business loans made by CDFIs in 2015.
  • Wisconsin is leading the U.S. in non-metro lending and investing through NMTC and CDFI programs.