Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities


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  • What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities
  • What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation

It’s Harder to Get Affordable Housing Than to Get Into Harvard

A recent Planet Money story demonstrates just how hard it is to get affordable housing if you’re poor—it’s even harder than getting into the nation’s most elite universities. The story profiles Shanay, a mother with a six-year-old daughter in Connecticut, who after a long period witho…

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In South Dallas, Local Leaders are Driving Big Changes

Dallas is known for big business, big houses, big hair and a big can-do spirit. Perhaps lesser known is its big, rapidly growing poverty rate – the third highest among the nation’s largest cities. At a time when national leaders seem polarized and paralyzed, local leaders are taking a…

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How Can We Give Children the Best Chance to Succeed?

Segregation and place-based inequality hurt our children’s future health and prosperity. A steady stream of studies continues to show that where a child grows up is one of the strongest predictors of her health and economic success (e.g., “Growing Up in a Bad Neighborhood Does More Ha…

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What Works News Round-Up – April 5, 2016

In the News Here is some of the latest poverty and community development news from this past week. The Washington Post (4/5/16) Sending Nurses to Work with Poor Moms Helps Kids. So Why Don’t We Do More Of It? This kind of support, with trained nurses coaching low-income, first-t…

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Huffington Post Op-Ed on the Community Reinvestment Act

A recent op-ed by Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network, examines the Community Reinvestment Act’s (CRA) declining influence. Enacted by Congress in 1977, the CRA encouraged banks to reinvest in the communities they serve and was intended to address years…

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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

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The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.