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Policy Solutions

 
 

Estimating Changes in the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia (Series)

 
 

Mortgage Lending in Philadelphia: Key Take-Aways from the 2021 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data Release

 
 

Child Care Access in Metro Atlanta

 
 

Investor Home Purchases and the
Rising Threat to Owners and Renters: Tales from 3 Cities

 
 

Philadelphia Home Appraisal Bias Task Force Report and Recommendations

 
 

Supporting Locally Driven Community Development: The Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund

 
 

Barriers to Homeownership

 
 

Understanding Infant and Toddler Care in Philadelphia: Capacity, Shortages, and Barriers

 
 

Evidence-Based Policy Making

An analysis of six strategies to stabilize neighborhoods, this report examines policy interventions used to stabilize or revitalize housing markets in low- and middle-income neighborhoods.

 
 

Mortgage Lending in Philadelphia Key Take-Aways from the 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data Release

The release of 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data provide an opportunity to look at the local mortgage lending environment – trends in loan volume, the kinds of loans being made, where loans are made, how efficiently different groups can access credit, and how key features of originated mortgages vary across different racial groups in Philadelphia.

 
 

New Orleans Market Assessment – Analysis of Trends and Conditions

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the affordable housing landscape in New Orleans, and how can policymakers respond? This  report by Reinvestment Fund reviews demographic, economic, and housing market data prior to and immediately following the start of the pandemic, as well as interviews with local experts and stakeholders. The report concludes with a set of geographically targeted policy recommendations.

 
 

Words from the Field: Practitioner Perspectives on Eviction Process Improvements in Philadelphia

Since April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the evictions moratorium have drastically reduced Landlord-Tenant court activity, allowing Philadelphia renters to stay in their homes during a period when an eviction would subject them to risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

 
 

An “All-Out” Effort to Achieve Desegregation and Equality of Opportunity: Assessment of Fair Housing 2.0

Fair housing law is an essential tool to achieving racial and economic integration and realizing the attendant benefits for all types of communities. This brief draws on structured interviews conducted by Reinvestment Fund and the University of Pennsylvania with former officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), local housing officials in New Orleans, Houston, Kansas City (MO), Indianapolis, and Philadelphia, and fair housing experts and advocates.

 
 

Debt Collection in Philadelphia

Reinvestment Fund conducted analysis of Philadelphia Municipal Court records for debt collection cases that were filed in Small Claims court between January 2016 and April 2020. In total, 90,809 case records were obtained for analysis.

 
 

Data-Driven Investments in Early Childhood Education are Making a Difference for Philadelphia Families, Small Businesses and Neighborhoods

Since 2014, Reinvestment Fund’s Fund for Quality (FFQ) and Early Childhood Education Loan Fund (ECE-LF) have been making investments to support the expansion of high-quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) opportunities throughout Philadelphia. From 2014 to 2019, the FFQ and ECE-LF have supported 51 projects at 46 unique centers, which have created or preserved 3,246 ECE high-quality seats across the city. These seats serve a diverse population of high-need families across the city.

 
 

Evictions in Philadelphia: Race (and Place) Matters

Reinvestment Fund’s research report provides new insight into how many Black and Hispanic renters in Philadelphia face an eviction filing compared to other racial and ethnic groups. While previous research has documented the persistent, statistically significant effect of Census tract-level racial composition on filing volume, this is the first look at the racial and ethnic characteristics of the universe of residential eviction defendants.

 
 

Residential Rental Property Owner Perspectives and Practices in Philadelphia: Evaluating Challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic

A research brief by Reinvestment Fund and the Housing Initiative at Penn (HIP) that examines the experiences and perspectives of residential rental property owners and managers in Philadelphia. The brief examines challenges that landlords faced—including how they dealt with evictions—prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; new or increased difficulties stemming from the pandemic; and landlords’ engagement with and attitudes towards programs aimed at stabilizing tenants in rental housing.

 
 

Getting Back to Care: Findings from a Philadelphia Survey on Restarting Early Childhood Education

Reinvestment Fund and its partners – the City of Philadelphia Office of Children and Families, Public Health Management Corporation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey – surveyed parents who have used or intend to use childcare in Philadelphia.

 
 

How Data and Market Analytics Support Strategic Code Enforcement; Mt Vernon, NY

In 2019, the city of Mount Vernon partnered with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Tolemi, and Reinvestment Fund through the Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement initiative (Cities RISE) to begin implementing a strategic code enforcement system guided by robust data and market analytics.

 
 

Understanding 21st Century Gaps in Homeownership Between White and non-White Households in Pennsylvania

In 2019 Policy Solutions partnered with Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to conduct a study of historical patterns of homeownership rates for different racial/ethnic groups throughout the 21st century. The study findings highlight the ongoing persistence of gaps in White and non-White homeownership throughout Pennsylvania.

 
 

Cleveland Tax Abatement Study

Reinvestment Fund completed a study of the City of Cleveland’s residential tax abatement program. The study examined 15 years of abatement activity to identify patterns of where abatement activity has been most concentrated, to understand the fiscal impacts the abatement has had on local tax revenues, and to identify opportunities to update the program in response to contemporary market conditions in the city.

 
 

Resolving Landlord-Tenant Disputes: An Analysis of Judgments by Agreement in Philadelphia’s Eviction Process

In this Brief, Reinvestment Fund reviews the learnings from an analysis of JBAs as well as interviews with tenants and landlords (and their respective attorneys) and court observation.

 
 

Rural Food Access Investment Area Analysis

Across the country, 17.3 million rural U.S. residents lack equitable access to supermarkets. Reinvestment Fund’s new Rural Food Access Investment Area (RFAIA) analysis, uses 2012-2106 Census data to determine 11.3 million underserved rural residents live in areas that could support new or expanded food retail options. Despite the need for improved access to fresh and healthy foods in rural areas, many analyses of food access—and many investments to improve food access—have focused on urban areas.

 
 

Estimating Changes in the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia (2019)

In 2014, with support from The William Penn Foundation, Reinvestment Fund conducted an initial analysis of the supply of and demand for child care in Philadelphia to identify areas of the city where targeted investments could help address shortages of high-quality child care. Now in its sixth update, Reinvestment Fund’s 2019 childcare analysis provides updated estimates to track the change over time in the supply of, demand for, and shortages in child care.

 
 

Mortgage Lending in Philadelphia: Key Take-Aways from the 2018 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data Release

Each year, the federal government releases a comprehensive database on mortgage lending activities across the US based on activity reported by lending institutions under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). This year, there were a number of changes to the database; some changes from 2015 revisions expanded what we can know about mortgage applications (e.g., the age of borrowers) and other 2017-era changes limited that knowledge (e.g., suppressing applicant credit information). Read the report to see what the data reveals about mortgage lending activity in Philadelphia.

 
 

Achieving Durable Mixed-Income Communities through Affordable Housing Preservation: A Successful Model of Scattered-Site Housing Redevelopment in West Philadelphia

In 2020, Policy Solutions co-authored an article for a What Works in Community Development Volume that presents a case study about how to create mixed-income neighborhoods through affordable housing preservation.

 
 

Evictions in Philadelphia: A Data & Policy Update

A newly released study by Reinvestment Fund details the volume and geographic distribution of eviction filings in the city of Philadelphia. The study updates our 2017 Evictions in Philadelphia research brief.

 
 

Community of Practice: Summary Report

On April 9 – 10, Reinvestment Fund and the City of Kansas City, Missouri hosted the second Market Value Analysis Community of Practice (COP) convening. The COP brought together representatives from cities and organizations from around the country who use Reinvestment Fund’s Market Value Analysis (MVA) to inform community and economic development activities in their communities.  This brief presents a summary of the panels, discussions, and key learnings from the event.

 
 

Maybe it Really Does Take a Village: Supporting the Creation of High-Quality Unsubsidized Affordable Rental Housing in Legacy Cities

A working paper exploring the Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) phenomenon. The paper derives learnings from interviews conducted with practitioners, funders, developers and policymakers. Those learnings are also rooted in data on the NOAH stock and the types of markets wherein NOAH seems to be most effectively created. The paper concludes with a thought experiment about how the power of the market could be harnessed to support the production and preservation of NOAH for modest-income households in a way that is both responsive to the realities of the housing market in general as well as to local market conditions.

 
 

HEMAP’s Enduring Impact in Pennsylvania

Throughout its history, the Pennsylvania’s HEMAP has received great acclaim for its design and impact. HEMAP is a program that was designed to provide temporary assistance to families who, through not fault of their own, were seriously delinquent with their home mortgage. Reinvestment Fund released a Research Brief titled “What if Pennsylvania Had Not Had HEMAP?” in 2012. At the time, Pennsylvania, like much of the United States, was climbing out of the throes of one of the most significant recessions in our nation’s history.

 
 

Understanding Infant and Toddler Care in Philadelphia: Capacity, Shortages, and Market Barriers

With support from the Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program™, Reinvestment Fund conducted a first-of-its-kind study to estimate the supply of and demand for care specifically for the infant and toddler sector in Philadelphia. Combining a citywide provider survey and focus groups with providers from center- and home-based settings, this study sought to estimate the shortage of infant and toddler care across the city and to learn more about the providers offering infant and toddler care as well as the barriers that prevent other providers from entering the infant and toddler care market.

 
 

Estimating Changes in the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia (2018)

In 2014, with support from The William Penn Foundation, Reinvestment Fund conducted an initial analysis of the supply of and demand for child care in Philadelphia to identify areas of the city where targeted investments could help address shortages of high-quality child care. Reinvestment Fund’s 2018 childcare analysis provides estimates to track the change over time in the supply of, demand for, and shortages in child care.

 
 

Understanding the Landscape and Estimating Changes in Access to Child Care in Metro Atlanta

In 2017, Reinvestment Fund conducted an initial analysis of the supply of and demand for child care in the five-county metro Atlanta region (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties), to identify areas where targeted investments could help address shortages of high-quality child care. In addition, an interactive web-based tool, the ATL ACCESS Map: Atlanta Child Care and Early Learning Supply, was created to present the results of this analysis.

This report, developed with support from the Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation, presents the results of descriptive and spatial analyses of the child care landscape in the five-county region in 2018 and includes analysis of changes observed since the initial 2017 study.

 
 

Mt. Holly Gardens: A Case Study of Redevelopment in New Jersey

Across the United States, communities are struggling with the challenges associated with neighborhood decline. Practitioners and policymakers are beginning to realize that the task is oftentimes more difficult when the communities facing these challenges are in older suburban areas where: (a) poverty is an increasingly prevalent issue; and (b) the resources and expertise to manage issues associated with poverty and disinvestment that exists in cities are less prevalent.

 
 

Early Learning Supply & Demand in the District of Columbia

A new analysis commissioned by the Bainum Family Foundation and conducted by Reinvestment Fund provides the first comprehensive look at what the District of Columbia has, and what it lacks, in terms of early learning capacity and quality — and which parts of the community are most affected by existing gaps.

 
 

2018 Update of the Limited Supermarket Access Analysis

Despite gains over the past decade, limited access to healthy food continues to affect urban and rural communities across the United States. Financing the construction of new supermarkets and the expansion of existing stores is one of the primary strategies to increase access to sources of healthy food in underserved communities. Reinvestment Fund’s Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) analysis is a tool to help investors and policymakers identify areas across the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia that have both inadequate and inequitable access to healthy food and sufficient market demand for new or expanded food retail operations.

 
 

Reverse Mortgages in Philadelphia: Lending Patterns, Foreclosures & Homeowner Experiences

From 2009 through 2016, Philadelphia was one of the most active reverse mortgage lending markets in the nation. With support from the City of Philadelphia, Reinvestment Fund collected and analyzed data on the frequency, terms and geographic distribution of reverse mortgages. This lending analysis was supplemented with in-depth interviews conducted with Philadelphia homeowners, and their heirs, who obtained a reverse mortgage and subsequently experienced a foreclosure – something they never thought possible. Interviews focused on borrowers’ experiences, from the moment they first contemplated a reverse mortgage through the point that they experienced a foreclosure filing, and then through the resolution of that foreclosure process. This work is part of a larger investigation into the potential fair housing implications of reverse mortgage lending in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

 
 

Childcare Analysis for Metro Atlanta

High-quality early care and learning supports positive development and helps prepare children for success in school and beyond. Quality child care is also critical for families, as it allows parents to maintain employment. With support from the Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Reinvestment Fund conducted a study of the supply of and demand for child care in the five-county metro Atlanta region (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties).

 
 

Estimating Changes in the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia (2017)

In 2014, with support from The William Penn Foundation, Reinvestment Fund conducted an initial analysis of the supply of and demand for child care in Philadelphia to identify areas of the city where targeted investments could help address shortages of high-quality child care. Now in its third update, Reinvestment Fund’s 2017 childcare analysis provides updated estimates to track the change over time in the supply of, demand for, and shortages in child care.  This report presents the results of descriptive and spatial analyses of the child care landscape in Philadelphia in 2017. It details both short- and long-term changes in the supply of, demand for, and gaps in care; the year-to-year changes from 2016 to 2017, as well as shifts since the first analyses were conducted in 2014.

 
 

Mortgage Lending in Philadelphia — Key Take-Aways from the 2016 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data Release

Each year, lending institutions across the country report their mortgage lending activity under a law known as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Enacted by Congress in 1975 and amended several times since, HMDA data are a critical resource to understand how dollars flow into communities to support home purchasing, refinancing mortgages, or making home improvements. Regulators use HMDA for various purposes, which include assessments of lenders’ community reinvestment obligations and adherence to civil rights laws.

The 2016 HMDA data were recently released providing an opportunity to look at the local mortgage lending environment – trends in loan volume, the kinds of loans being made, where loans are made, how efficiently different groups can access credit, what entities purchase the home loans once made, and what lenders are originating mortgages in Philadelphia.

 
 
News November 28, 2017

Proposed Changes to the Mortgage Interest Deduction: Some Simple Facts

 
 

Understanding How Changes to Keystone STARS Ratings Will Affect Gaps in the Supply of High-Quality Child Care

Since 2014, Reinvestment Fund has conducted an annual analysis of the gap between the supply of and demand for high-quality child care in Philadelphia. In June 2017 Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Keystone STARS, initiated changes to the standards for childcare providers across the state.

 
 

Understanding How Changes to Keystone STARS Ratings Will Affect Gaps in the Supply of High Quality Childcare

On June 20, 2017 Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Keystone STARS, initiated changes to the standards for childcare providers across the state. Keystone STARS ratings serve as the primary indicator of center quality used by local stakeholders. At this early stage, it is unclear exactly how the changes to the Keystone STARS system will impact the number of rated facilities and the number of ‘high-quality’ centers in Philadelphia, but some changes to the number of centers rated high-quality seems likely.

 
 

Assessing the Relationship Between School Quality and Home Prices Across the Keystone State

For families, schools play an important role in residential decisions. This study examined the relationship between home values and school performance to measure the way schools contribute to home prices in Pennsylvania.

 
 

Estimating the Supply of and Demand for Early Childhood Education in Passaic County, NJ

In 2016, Reinvestment Fund conducted a study of the supply of and demand for early childhood education (ECE) in Passaic County, NJ. Adapting a methodology developed for a 2014 study of child care in Philadelphia, the study results for Passaic County, NJ suggest that over half of all ECE (57%) is provided in state licensed childcare centers, and 27% is provided in high-quality centers. With support from the Nicholson Foundation and Taub Foundation, Reinvestment Fund created an interactive web-based tool to present the results of this analysis, accessible at www.passaiccountychildcaremap.org.

 
 

Philadelphia’s Middle Neighborhoods: Demographic and Market Differences by Race, Ethnicity, and Nation of Origin

Middle neighborhoods are neither the poorest nor the wealthiest neighborhoods in a city, typically experiencing neither precipitous decline nor rapid appreciation. In many cities, they account for a significant share of residents and are reasonably affordable to middle income households. This research brief examines conditions and trends in Philadelphia’s middle neighborhoods differentiated by their racial, ethnic, and national origin makeup. A deeper understanding of the dynamics at play in different types of middle neighborhoods can help guide policy and investment approaches to shore up the inherent strength in these areas, and also head off decline that could potentially diminish not only residents’ financial health and neighborhood quality of life, but also Philadelphia’s overall wellbeing.

 
 

Documenting the Influence of Fund for Quality Investments on the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia

Fund for Quality (FFQ) helps providers of high-quality early childhood education in Philadelphia reach more families. In 2015, Reinvestment Fund and PHMC created a survey to be administered for each new seat created through FFQ. This white paper presents preliminary findings related to the increased capacity of FFQ-supported providers, along with select survey responses from parents.

 
 

Estimating Changes in the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia (2016) — Summary Update

In 2014, Reinvestment Fund conducted an initial analysis of the supply of and demand for child care in Philadelphia to identify areas of the city where targeted investments could help address shortages of highquality child care. Reinvestment Fund’s 2016 childcare analysis provides estimates to track the change over time in the supply of, demand for, and shortages in child care. The 2016 analysis was the third in the series of analysis by Reinvestment Fund.

 
 
News March 25, 2017

Mortgage Originations in Your City

Mortgage application data, released under reporting requirements in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), are a fascinating source of information for cities and communities. These data help us understand where residents are applying for mortgages to purchase new homes or refinance their existing home.

 
 

Growing a Healthy Food Financing Program: ReFresh and Colorado Enterprise Fund

The goal of Reinvestment Fund’s ReFresh initiative is to increase the capacity of the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry to fund healthy food projects by creating tools and resources, offering technical assistance, and helping peer organizations learn together. ReFresh has been an important partner as Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has grown its portfolio of healthy food lending. In 2016, Reinvestment Fund and CEF collaborated to take a closer look at some of the ways that ReFresh has helped CEF grow its food lending capacity.

 
 
News February 17, 2017

Museums and Libraries as Catalytic Nodes of Strength

 
 
News January 30, 2017

Using the Market Value Analysis to Map Recommended Housing Policies

Policymakers often struggle with the fact that policy options are seldom visualized on a map. Indeed policy decisions depend upon a multitude of variables that are rarely tied to geographical boundaries. Yet, it is often at the geographic level that policymakers want to see an impact. Thanks to the Market Value Analysis (MVA), it is possible to identify the housing market intervention policies that will be the most effective based on geographic characteristics.

 
 

Evictions in Philadelphia

In 2016, Matthew Desmond published his truly extraordinary study of evictions in Milwaukee, WI titled Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Inspired by Desmond’s work we at Reinvestment Fund decided to examine the eviction issue in Philadelphia, PA. This brief includes an overview of select housing market data in Philadelphia followed by a summary of the eviction filings: rates, patterns and areas for further inquiry into the eviction issue in the city of Philadelphia. Eviction filing records for this brief cover the period 2010-2015, inclusive, and originate with Philadelphia’s Landlord-Tenant Court (LTC).

 
 

A Prospective Study of the Spatial and Economic Connections within New England’s Meat Industry

In 2016, Reinvestment Fund conducted the Supply Chain Matrix (SCM) analysis for the red meat industry in New England. Reinvestment Fund originally developed the Supply Chain Matrix (SCM) in 2013 to better understand the food production system and identify opportunities at multiple stages in the food supply chain to promote access to healthy, sustainable food.

 
 

Feeding the Line, Or Ending the Line? Innovations among Food Banks in the United States

Across the country, food banks are looking at their mission through a number of new lenses: health, education and technical assistance, farming, economic and workforce development, business enterprise, and community empowerment and advocacy. Feeding the Line, Or Ending the Line? Innovations among Food Banks in the United States, a new report by Reinvestment Fund and Bank of America looks at how food banks are adopting a variety of approaches within each of these categories to feed the hungry and permanently end food insecurity.

 
 

West Philadelphia Scattered Site Model: An Affordable Housing Impact Study

A study by Reinvestment Fund and May 8 consulting to understand how the scattered site rehabilitation of more than 1,100 affordable housing units has impacted the West Philadelphia neighborhoods in which they are located, and determine whether the approach offers cost efficiencies or revitalizing impacts that differ from developments that produced a similar number of affordable units on a single site.

 
 
News December 13, 2016

Using Market Categories to Assess and Further Fair Housing

In 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a new requirement that jurisdictions conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) planning process in support of the Fair Housing Act’s mandate to “affirmatively further fair housing.” Policy Solutions—along with Enterprise Community Partners, Abt Associates, and PolicyMap—was part of the technical assistance team that aided the City of Philadelphia with data and analysis to inform the local AFH. The MVA was a critical tool in this effort and I wanted to share just a few of the ways that the City incorporated the MVA into the AFH: https://goo.gl/lmkMnL

 

 
 
News November 29, 2016

New Research On Scattered Site Affordable Housing

New report from Reinvestment Fund and May8 Consulting on the impact of different approaches to Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development (i.e., single-site multi-family versus scattered-site single family) in Philadelphia.

 
 
News November 11, 2016

Market Value Analysis, Practitioners, and Private Investors: A Story from St. Louis

A reflection on St. Louis’ journey to embed neighborhood market types into our private sector community development practice and a summary of our journey to date, while unfinished, is at the following link: https://goo.gl/NWRFnn.

 
 

Estimating the Supply and Demand for Child Care in Newark, NJ

High-quality early learning experiences support positive child development and help prepare children for success in school and beyond. Quality child care is also critical for families, as it allows parents to maintain employment. To better understand gaps in the supply of child care, and high-quality care in particular, Reinvestment Fund conducted a study of the supply and demand for child care in Newark to identify underserved areas. Findings from the analysis are provided in this report.

 
 
News September 28, 2016

Homeownership and Neighborhood Markets in New Orleans

One commonly held view among housing practitioners and policymakers is that building homeownership is essential to building strong communities. Home equity has historically helped build wealth, and homeowners are stabilizing forces, who are more likely to invest in home maintenance. However, our experience building MVAs suggests that rental markets can also be sources of opportunity and strength, especially when they are near job centers, transportation hubs, or other amenities.

 
 
News September 8, 2016

A New Look at Middle Neighborhoods

“Middle Neighborhoods” or middle markets are an important focus for many of the cities in which we have conducted MVAs. These areas fall somewhere on the MVA spectrum from relatively strong to showing only modest levels of distress. They are home to many city residents, oftentimes the majority of a city’s population, and they tend to be more racially integrated than other parts of cities. But they are generally not places where federal programs or philanthropic attention is focused.

 
 
News August 15, 2016

Interesting Publication on Preserving Housing Affordability in Changing Neighborhoods

Back in May, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia hosted a conference titled “Gentrification and Neighborhood Change.” Other sponsors of the event were the NYU Furman Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and HUD. There were several pieces of research presented on topics related to gentrification. (Conference website: http://bit.ly/2bqazKE)

 
 
News July 8, 2016

Using the MVA to Inform Delaware State Housing Authority Programs

As part of the State of Delaware’s 2015-2020 Housing Needs Assessment, the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) partnered with Reinvestment Fund to complete an MVA covering the entire state of Delaware.

 
 
News June 19, 2016

The MVA as a Vehicle of Community and Governmental Engagement: Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s Experiences in Jacksonville, FL

In many of the cities where we work, the MVA is both a strategic tool to guide community investment and a framework to raise data-informed awareness about housing and community development needs and opportunities. The MVA we completed in Jacksonville, FL last year was an exemplary case of a foundation (Jessie Ball duPont Fund) and city officials using the creation of an MVA to engage local stakeholders in new ways and to lay the groundwork for a re-energized approach to housing and community development efforts.

 
 
News June 15, 2016

SBA Loans in MVA Cities

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency created through the Small Business Act of 1953. In the Act, Congress stated:

“The essence of the American economic system of private enterprise is free competition. Only through full and free competition can free markets, free entry into business, and opportunities for the expression and growth of personal initiative and individual judgment be assured… It is the declared policy of the Congress that the Government should aid, counsel, assist, and protect insofar as is possible the interests of small-business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise…”

 
 
News June 2, 2016

Calculating “Condo Adjusted Sales Prices” for the MVA

We’re always looking for new ways to improve the MVA. Most recently, owing to issues observed during our field validation in Indianapolis and Philadelphia, we made an adjustment to the way we calculate median home values to account for the growing number of condos appearing in our data. This post gives some background behind our new methodology; we call it “condo adjusted sales prices.” This is not something we’ll do in every city, but where the market calls for it, we have a new tool in our box.

 
 
News May 24, 2016

Measuring displacement risk in gentrifying neighborhoods

A study just released by the Pew Charitable Trusts (http://goo.gl/S2Mufe) uses Reinvestment Fund’s Displacement Risk Ratio (DRR) to analyze gentrification and other types of neighborhood change in Philadelphia since the year 2000. The report found that gentrification, when defined as a neighborhood’s shift from a mostly low-income population to a middle or high-income one, was relatively limited. It also found that the speed and scope of the process varied substantially from one gentrified neighborhood to another. The DRR (referred to as the ‘affordability index’ in the report), was essential to understanding those variations, and the implications for longtime residents

 
 

Investigating Philadelphia’s Uncertified Childcare Providers

Reinvestment Fund’s ChildCare Map provides information about the location, size, and quality of early childcare centers operating in Philadelphia. When ChildCare Map launched in 2014 researchers identified a large number of “uncertified providers”—childcare centers operating in Philadelphia, but not listed in the state’s OCDEL database.

 
 
News May 6, 2016

Measuring the Impact of Arts and Culture on Neighborhood Revitalization

A study just released by the Pew Charitable Trusts (http://goo.gl/S2Mufe) uses Reinvestment Fund’s Displacement Risk Ratio (DRR) to analyze gentrification and other types of neighborhood change in Philadelphia since the year 2000. The report found that gentrification, when defined as a neighborhood’s shift from a mostly low-income population to a middle or high-income one, was relatively limited. It also found that the speed and scope of the process varied substantially from one gentrified neighborhood to another. The DRR (referred to as the ‘affordability index’ in the report), was essential to understanding those variations, and the implications for longtime residents

 
 
News May 1, 2016

New Data on Mortgage Markets in Your City

Mortgages are the lifeblood of the real estate market. Since 1975, Mortgage lenders have been required to collect data on the characteristics of mortgage borrowers and to disclose that information to the public. These data provide a wealth of information about who in your city is applying for purchase and refinance mortgages, who is being denied mortgages, and the names of the top lenders in your city.

 
 
News April 15, 2016

Advice for Measuring Access to Early Childhood Education

Earlier this week I posted about our recent work mapping access to childcare. I asked our research staff to write a few lessons learned for folks interested in performing a similar analysis in their city:

There’s nothing simple about supply. In Philadelphia we discovered a large number (about 27% of the total supply of childcare) of “uncertified” providers flying under the state’s regulatory radar. To help map their contribution to childcare supply we had to rely on business records from third-party providers like the National Establishment Time Series (NETS) and InfoUSA. Business records are messy, but helped provide a deeper insight into each city’s market for early childhood education.

 
 
News April 4, 2016

New Data Tool to Measure Access to Early Childhood Education

Although it’s not directly related to real estate, I thought the group might be interested in some new tools we just released to map and measure access to early childhood education. Improving access to high quality education is a critical part of making cities and neighborhoods more desirable places to live. Moreover, all states under the Child Care and Development Block Grant program must measure and address access to childcare shortages.

 
 
News March 15, 2016

A Preview of the Reinvestment Fund’s Chapter on Middle Neighborhoods

Making informed choices about neighborhood improvement strategies is an important agenda item for city governments and other stakeholders concerned with neighborhood improvement. Over the past eight months, I have been working with the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and the American Assembly, to produce a book of readings from experts regarding neighborhood improvement strategies in America’s legacy cities.

 
 

Investing in Community Change: An Evaluation of a Decade of Data-Driven Grantmaking

In 2014, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation engaged Reinvestment Fund and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America to jointly evaluate the impact of its grantmaking and related programs from 2003 to 2013, to determine if practices in its approach could be transferred to other regions, and to assess its influence in the field.  The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation has a well-established continuum of grantmaking and technical-assistance programs designed to improve the quality of life for children and families living in low-income communities in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. The evaluation examined lessons from 140 grants, totaling $41.69 million, that enabled hundreds of projects in the region and leveraged $231.5 million in direct and indirect neighborhood investment.

 
 

Food Access Market Analysis for Maryland

In Maryland, limited access to nutritious food is a statewide issue that affects both urban neighborhoods and rural communities. In low- and moderate-income communities in particular, the absence of supermarkets results in limited access to healthy food options. The following are results from a study by The Reinvestment Fund aimed at understanding the inequity of access in Maryland and providing a framework for the State as it works to address the issue.

 
 

Approaches to Healthy Shopping and Eating: A Meta-Analysis of Intervention Strategies

This report examines programs that aim to influence individual food choices, provides context to understand the related issues and presents a summary of evidence-based strategies that encourage healthy shopping and eating habits in populations for whom the issue of access has been resolved. Through a review of the relevant literature this document summarizes research findings, offers recommendations for further research—with particular focus on intervention strategies within the personal food environment—and highlights programs that, based on the literature, we think have promise. This research was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation under its Civic Sites initiative.

 
 

Reinvestment Fund: Lending, Research and Practice

Presentation by Ira Goldstein, Reinvestment Fund’s President of Policy Solutions to the Women in Real Estate (WREN) on CDFIs, lending, research & practice.

 
 

Using the Market Value Analysis to Analyze Markets, Set Strategy and Evaluate Change

Presentation by Ira Goldstein at the Center for Community Progress 2013 conference on Reclaiming Vacant Properties. Dr. Goldstein presented on a panel  titled “Filling out the Tool Box: Market-Smart Approaches for Dealing with Vacant Houses.”

 
 

The Supply Chain Matrix: A Prospective Study of the Spatial and Economic Connections within the Region’s Meat Industry

This report seeks to identify new areas for lending and technical assistance that would have a direct impact on how a local industry sources its products. More specifically, this report provides tables and graphic illustrations of the potential geographic and economic flow of meat products, as they move through the supply chain. The model does not represent the actual flow of products through the supply chain, but rather identifies economic relationships that would minimize the distance that meat travels from farms to processors (at multiple stages) before it is distributed to wholesale and retail outlets.

 
 

Camden Food Economy Strategy

Presentation made to the Campbell’s Soup Food Advisory Committee as part of Reinvestment Fund’s research on Camden, New Jersey’s food economy. Topics include an overview of Reinvestment Fund’s food-related work in Camden, an analysis of Camden’s socioeconomic characteristics relative to peer cities, and an economic base analysis of Camden, with particular attention to food-related industries and strategies for increasing economic output.

 
 

Five Years of Foreclosure Diversion

Reinvestment Fund’s Ira Goldstein presented data on the 5-year accomplishments of Philadelphia’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program at the anniversary celebration on June 12, 2013. Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, headlined the event alongside a homeowner in foreclosure whose home was saved by the program. The event was attended by several hundred people and was covered by numerous media outlets including ABC News and Philly.com.

 
 

PA Fresh Food Financing Initiative: Case Study of Rural Grocery Store Investments

Part of training materials prepared for the CDFI Fund and the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) for the Financing Healthy Food Options initiative. The initiative was designed to build the CDFI industry’s capacity to finance projects that increase healthy food options in underserved communities. Based on Reinvestment Fund’s healthy food financing experience, we developed a curriculum for training workshops and created an implementation handbook advising CDFIs how to underwrite supermarkets and capitalize such initiatives.

 
 

PolicyMap and Using Limited Supermarket Analysis in Your Target Market

Part of training materials prepared for the CDFI Fund and the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) for the Financing Healthy Food Options initiative. The initiative was designed to build the CDFI industry’s capacity to finance projects that increase healthy food options in underserved communities. Based on Reinvestment Fund’s healthy food financing experience, we developed a curriculum for training workshops and created an implementation handbook advising CDFIs how to underwrite supermarkets and capitalize such initiatives.

 
 

Philadelphia Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program: Initial Report of Findings

With grants from the Open Society Institute and the William Penn Foundation, Reinvestment Fund assessed the outcomes and impacts of the Philadelphia Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. As part of the study, we reviewed Court Orders on nearly 16,000 cases handled by the Diversion Program from inception through March of 2011 and conducted interviews with homeowners as well as experts.

 
 

Searching for Markets: The Geography of Inequitable Access to Healthy & Affordable Food in the United States

Reinvestment Fund’s 2011 Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) analysis estimates that 24.6 million Americans live in areas with inadequate access to supermarkets. This analysis was conducted with support from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), as part of its Financing Healthy Food Options Track, in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network. Read the summary report to understand the analysis and read highlights or download the full report.

 
 

Housing and Homeownership in Cumberland and Perry Counties in PA

The Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the County of Cumberland (RHACC) contracted with Reinvestment Fund to gather and analyze housing and economic data descriptive of Cumberland and Perry counties. The data is tabulated and mapped / charted in this presentation. A summary of the report is also available.

 
 

Estimating the Percentage of Students Income-Eligible For Free and Reduced Price Lunch

Findings of a study conducted for the School District of Philadelphia designed to estimate the percent of Philadelphia public school students who are income-qualified for free or reduced price lunches. Eligibility was based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s “Income Eligibility Guidelines.” Both the report and a summary version can be found here.

 
 

Impacts of Changes in the Home Mortgage Market on Hispanic Homeowners in Pennsylvania and Delaware

Commissioned by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLB) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Reinvestment Fund studied the impact of changes in the housing and mortgage markets on Hispanics in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The analysis focuses in Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and New Castle County in Delaware. Together these counties are home to more than 60% of the Hispanics in the region.  Also included in this study was a review of the available housing counseling resources, and counseling specifically available to those persons for whom Spanish is their primarily language. Reinvestment Fund’s research partner on this project is the National Council of La Raza.

 
 

Commercial Market Value Analysis: City of Baltimore

Analysis of Baltimore’s commercial real estate markets conducted with the City of Baltimore as part of its efforts to develop a citywide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Reinvestment Fund helped create a method for indexing all of Baltimore’s commercial corridors to provide the public and private sectors an analytic tool to understand the nature and strengths of each.

 
 

Economic Crisis, Civil Society & Creativity

Remarks to the Association of Performing Arts Presenters addressing the counter-cultural logic of creativity in an economic crisis.

 
 

Protecting and Restoring Neighborhoods in Today’s Changing Environment; Setting the Stage

Presentation shared at the Wachovia Regional Foundation Grantee Conference. The presentation, given by Ira Goldstein, compares today’s economic environment to past years, highlighting unemployment rates, personal income, and median home purchase mortgage amounts.

 
 

Reclaiming Vacant Properties: Property Interventions and Restoring Neighborhood Confidence: West Oak Lane

Presentation by Ira Goldstein given at the “Reclaiming Vacant Properties: Building Leadership to Restore Communities” conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The session “Property Interventions and Restoring Neighborhood Confidence” looked at real life examples of neighborhood confidence-building strategies. Dr. Goldstein’s presentation focused on the West Oak Lane Neighborhood in Philadelphia.

 
 

Rediscovering a Public Purpose in Financial Services

Paper co-authored by former our CEO Jeremy Nowak and Ellen Seidman of ShoreBank for the Opportunity Finance Network.

 
 

Vital Neighborhoods: Taking a Closer Look at Why Middle-Income Markets are Critical to Our City’s Future

Presentation by Ira Goldstein given at the “Philadelphia’s Vital Neighborhoods: Taking a Closer Look at Why Middle-Income Markets are Critical to Our City’s Future” convening hosted by Neighborhoods Now. The presentation offers an approach to understanding how to identify and deploy resources to the city of Philadelphia’s vital, middle-market neighborhoods in an effort to preserve the stability and enhance attractiveness to existing and new Philadelphia residents.

 
 

Stabilizing Neighborhoods with Concentrations of Vacant Properties

Ira Goldstein’s presentation shared at the Federal Reserve System’s Community Affairs Officers Conference held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The presentation was part of a panel discussion outlining the current challenges in stabilizing neighborhoods impacted by high foreclosure rates.

 
 

The Road Ahead: Rental Housing Needs and Markets; Taking Account of the Local Factors

Ira Goldstein’s presentation at the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Forum. The session “The Road Ahead: Rental Housing Needs and Markets” looked at rental housing needs, population trends and examines new strategies that communities are implementing to leverage properties as assets. This presentation highlights PA population trends and the housing needs for different income levels.

 
 

Mortgage Foreclosure Filings in Maryland

Study of mortgage foreclosure filings in Maryland on behalf of the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition (BHPC). Led by Ira Goldstein, the study provides an in-depth look at the City of Baltimore, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. A detailed executive summary is also available for download.

 
 

From Creative Economy to Creative Society

Brief authored by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, uses a social policy lens to look at the impact and potential of the creative economy for urban neighborhoods. While the growth of the creative sector is helping to regenerate regional economies, it is also exacerbating economic inequality and social exclusion among urban residents. This brief reviews current trends and proposes a new model–a neighborhood-based creative economy–as a way to move the 21st century city toward shared prosperity and social integration.

 
 

Migrants, Communities and Culture

Brief authored by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, uses the Philadelphia experience to explore whether culture can help engage new immigrants with other social institutions. The brief looks at the role of migrant cultural expression in urban neighborhoods, existing institutional barriers, and how migrants’ adaptation to their social marginality is changing “mainstream” culture.  A century ago, the settlement house movement used culture to link immigrants to opportunities in education, employment, and health care. Can the arts play a similar role in Philadelphia today?