Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities


Measuring the Health Value of Community Development: An Interview with Doug Jutte on MeasureUp

Last month, the Build Healthy Places Network (BHPN) launched MeasureUp, a new online portal that features a wide range of tools to help measure the health impact of community development efforts. The Ideas Blog editors recently interviewed BHPN’s Executive Director, Dr. Doug Jutte, to…

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New Working Paper – Weathering the Great Recession: A CDFI Case Study in Patient Capital

Unlike many other financial institutions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) came through the recession not only successfully, but stronger. A new case study examines the experience of the Low Income Investment Fund, a CDFI that practices a proactive and disciplined …

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How Can We Create Job Opportunities for the Formerly Incarcerated?

In the wake of several high-profile incidents of police misconduct, criminal justice reform has become a popular topic throughout the nation. Last month, President Obama issued orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners charged with nonviolent drug offenses and became the first sittin…

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The Data Divide: What We Want and What We Can Get

This post originally appeared on the Living Cities blog and is part of a series on working with data in community development. The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) are partnering with Living Cities to better understand how to preserve af…

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Disarming the Great Affordable Housing Debate

In a new blog post on Urban Wire, Urban Institute researchers Solomon Greene and Margery Turner respond to Thomas B. Edsall’s latest column in The New York Times. His piece, entitled “Where Should a Poor Family Live?”, criticizes the affordable housing industry for building hous…

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Leveraging the Power of Place

The following post is related to Leveraging the Power of Place: Using Pay for Success to Support Housing Mobility, a new working paper published through the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Read the paper here. Recent research on “neighborhood effects” and events in Baltimore an…

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Sharing Data for America’s Communities

By Ellen Seidman This blog post originally appeared in Urban Wire, the voice of Urban Institute’s researchers and staff. As late as the early 1990s, people working in and for America’s low-income communities relied primarily on the Decennial Census for information. The Census was the …

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Purpose Built Communities and the Importance of the Community Quarterback

By Carol Naughton, President of Purpose Built Communities When we started Purpose Built Communities in 2009, our mission was to help transform struggling neighborhoods into places that helped low income families reach their full potential by improving housing, education and wellness. …

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A Prescription to End Homelessness

By Joshua Bamberger, MD, MPH Last week my world slowed down enough so I could escape for a leisurely walk in the green hills of Berkeley, California. As is my habit, I listened to one of my favorite podcasts called Radiolab. In this episode, the hosts discussed a fundamental topic: th…

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‘Healthy Neighborhoods’ Convening Looks for the Ounce of Prevention to Save a Pound of Cure through Collaborations for Collective Impact

More than 120 experts from across a wide range of fields explored the role of collaboration in transforming neighborhoods into healthy, vibrant places at the inaugural Health Neighborhoods Regional Convening in Oakland, California on February 6. More than 120 residents and leaders of …

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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.