Economic Development

Economic activity is a crucial part of a healthy community, whether it’s access to quality jobs for residents, business support, or a functioning, diverse range of retail options.

aerial view of construction worker sawing board

How Successful is Your County in Accessing Community Development Funding?

some communities in the United States seem much better than others at attracting grants and financing for community development—even after adjusting for their relative needs. Here are some of the surprising trends:
view from street of empty bakery

Is Success Making CDFIs Too Risk-Averse?

Shelterforce's Miriam Axel-Lute in conversation with Ed Gorman of NCRC on whether community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are taking enough risk, and therefore, falling short of their mission.
person holding Amazon delivery box

Lessons for the U.S.: How the EU Controls Bidding Wars for Jobs and Investment

The European Union’s rules on subsidies limit bidding wars, and make the level of incentives we have seen for Amazon, Foxconn, and other companies completely impossible.
B. Ruppe drugstore in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, NM

Regenerating a Place of Cultural Pride and Healing in Albuquerque’s Barelas Neighborhood

Restoring a community's culturally significant site in Albuquerque to be a true economic resource as well as a source of healing.
opportunity zones construction

Pushing Opportunity Zones to Fulfill Their Promise

Some guidelines to ensure that Opportunity Zones are transformational and not transactional.
bright sunlight on city street

The CFPB Needs Sunlight: Keep Easy Access to HMDA Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's reassurances on continued public access to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data are not very reassuring.
remix graffiti

Can We Ditch Tax Incentives and Support True Economic Development?

Because recent advocacy has succeeded in achieving a change in government accounting standards that led many cities and states to disclose the total costs of the tax abatements they provided last year for the very first time, we now are gaining a better sense of just how much these abatements take away from education and other public services.
Woman construction worker carrying wood

The Paradox of Prevailing Wage

The complicated relationship between the Davis-Bacon Act, Black construction workers, and Black-owned construction businesses in Boston.
The cover of Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Financial Institution Movement by Clifford N. Rosenthal, Friesen Press

Tracing the Roots of CDFIs: A review of Democratizing Finance

This book is a major contribution to increasing knowledge and awareness of how far the community development finance movement has come in 30 years.
A panel discussion about Opportunity Zones in Chicago.

Who Will Benefit From Opportunity Zones? It’s Still Unclear

Who will benefit most from these investments remains the biggest question.
An OWN Rochester team member works on an and LED lighting installation.

What Anchor Institutions Can Do by Working Together

Anchor institutions are beginning to realize that they face similar challenges and, by joining forces, can accomplish goals that once seemed out of reach.
mallach book cover

Can Cities Fix Their Polarization Problem? A Review of The Divided City

How different would cities look and how different would people’s lives be if those with the power to set policy and invest resources prioritized the most vulnerable residents and the neighborhoods they live in?
running on hamster wheel

The Jobs-Housing Hamster Wheel

A deeper dive into the cause of high housing prices reveals that it is not the price of lumber, bricks, or labor that accounts for high or low housing prices—the controlling factor most often is the price of land.
johns hopkins medical library

In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Seeks to Be a Good Neighbor

The current HopkinsLocal effort, a three-year program launched in September 2015, is also clearly a response to the death of Freddie Gray and the events that followed.
participatory budgeting fliers

Participatory Budgeting: Why Not Fix Everyone’s Sink?

Participatory budgeting offers a glimpse of how a more civically engaged society might work, but it’s also a distraction.
ladders

Measuring the Right Things: “Mobility from Poverty” Is More than Finances

How would you measure someone making progress toward escaping poverty? If you've been tuned in to the asset-building movement you might look at their accumulation of assets and preparation for a financial emergency. You might also want to look at cash flow. But can poverty-fighting be solely measured by money?
rusty door knock

Panacea or Problem? The Possibilities in Opportunity Zones

With Opportunity Zones, the potential is there for great benefit, but it is not yet clear where, how, and to whom any benefits will accrue. People who care about connecting residents and businesses in distressed communities with opportunities need to act now so they fulfill their promise.
old and new buildings in Harlem

New York City Needs to Stop Negotiating Rezonings From an Uneven Playing Field

What is the underlying dynamic that leads so many council members in low-income communities of color to approve neighborhood rezonings, despite community opposition and the likelihood of increased displacement pressure on existing residents?
cleveland streetscape

Remember Slavic Village? It’s Back

A Cleveland neighborhood made famous as an epicenter of the foreclosure crisis works its way back to stability. Here’s how.
person holding Amazon delivery box

The Amazon Opportunity to Revitalize Urban Communities

It's not too late for cities competing to be the next home to Amazon to raise the issue of employer-assisted workforce housing.