Community development professionals, bankers and prospective home buyers can find valuable information on new web sites from the Federal Reserve. Two sites focus on community development investments and best practices. Another site helps individuals navigate the sometimes complex finances of purchasing a home. All three sites were developed by the Fed's Community Affairs function.
The Community Development Investments web site explains Federal Reserve policies that promote investment in community development activities by bank-holding companies and state-member banks. The site features a regulatory overview, information on investment authority and procedures, and links to additional resources. State-member banks will find a link to a form that notifies the Fed of their investments in community development. The address is www.federalreserve.gov/communityaffairs/cdi/default.htm.
The Lessons Learned: Community and Economic Development Case Studies site is a database that profiles the methods used in various communities to finance economic development. Each case study identifies a problem, the solution, the results, the lessons learned and contact information for the project. The address is www.chicagofed.org/cedric/lesle_index.cfm.
First-time home buyers can use Partners Online, a mortgage loan calculator, to figure projected monthly payments and a maximum loan amount. The software also offers customized information based on FHA guidelines or a bank's underwriting criteria. Partners Online will tell users whether they prequalify for a loan. It lists actions that can be taken to qualify for a mortgage. Information is available at www.frbatlanta.org/comm.cfm.
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FedCommunities.org is a portal to community development resources from all 12 Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.