Letter from the Editor Letter from the Editor

May 28, 2014

In our ongoing pursuit of insights that can strengthen New England's lower-income communities, we often check out studies from other parts of the country. We hope you will be as intrigued as we were by new research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (on lower-income grandparents struggling to make ends meet when raising grandchildren) and New York's Center for an Urban Future (on the unique needs of elderly immigrants).

Research from Wisconsin shows that black-owned banks provide value to otherwise underserved minority communities. And a study from the Urban Institute parses the data on New Englanders who use payday lenders, pawnbrokers, and similar financial services.

Closer to home, three inspiring Rhode Island women describe initiatives that are quietly benefiting low-income neighborhoods and disenfranchised residents. An article on the Small Town Economic Assistance Program describes how Connecticut helps fund some communities' otherwise unattainable infrastructure projects. Coastal Enterprises Inc.'s CEO describes how the loss of a nuclear plant in Wiscasset, Maine, exposed the dangers of relying on a single employer.

In the workforce arena, an article on a woodworker credentialing program in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont emphasizes collaboration among multiple players. And Barry Bluestone explains why some Working Cities are able to add jobs.

Check out our map on the growth of government-backed mortgages in New England and an entertaining infographic lifting the fog that shrouds overdraft fees.

If you send us letters, we will print them. And we urge you to visit our blog, www.thecentralpremise.org, for more great information. Consider becoming a "follower" there.

Caroline Ellis
Managing Editor

Articles may be reprinted if Communities & Banking and the author are credited and the following disclaimer is used: "The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston or the Federal Reserve System. Information about organizations and upcoming events is strictly informational and not an endorsement."

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