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Friday, September 20, 2019

Updated Tool Explores Trends in Community Investments for States, Metros and Counties

The St. Louis Fed recently updated the Community Investment Explorer, an interactive tool that aggregates data about investments in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.

The CIE draws on publicly available data from over 500,000 investment transactions through the Community Development Financial Institution, New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs. The investments support a range of activities: from affordable housing, to commercial real estate development, to consumer and business lending and more. Collectively, these programs are responsible for several billion dollars of investment into LMI communities each year.

The Community Investment Explorer shows, for example, that the NMTC program continues to be a critical source of financing for commercial real estate and business investments.

NMTC Investment Over Time

NMTC Investment Over Time

For more information, visit stlouisfed.org/community-development/data-tools/community-investment-explorer.

How Can Fair Housing Improve Economic Mobility?

Where a person lives matters—a ZIP code can often predict a person’s likely economic, health, education and life outcomes.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968, officially known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, made it illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing (including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance) or in other housing-related activities based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and/or disability.

Yet 50 years after the passage of this landmark legislation, housing remains segregated by race and income in many neighborhoods across the United States. Racial minorities and people with lower incomes disproportionately live in neighborhoods that lack basic amenities and pathways to economic mobility.

In a new Federal Reserve video, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic discusses why fair housing matters to helping people achieve their full economic potential. He reflects on the legacy of housing discrimination, describes the progress made to prevent housing discrimination, and discusses what remains to be done.

Learn more about the history of U.S. housing discrimination and the importance of achieving fair housing for every American at youtu.be/Z3XM5f1LLtc.

The Role of Job Separations in Labor Market Disparities

Economic trends indicate stark racial disparities in the labor market. Using findings from recent studies and data from the Federal Reserve Board’s 2017 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, this special topic brief, just released as part of the Investing in America’s Workforce initiative, elaborates on the persistent black-white unemployment gap and highlights barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment.

Read “Examining the Role of Job Separations in Black-White Labor Market Disparities” and other topic briefs at www.investinwork.org/reports.