New England Community Development

Issue 3 (2008) Issue 3 (2008)

New England Community Development | 2008 |Issue 3 (2008)

Promoting Banking Services among Low-Income Customers

Many low-income people rely on payday lenders, check cashers, and other alternative financial service providers to get by. But the high costs make it hard for families to save. A 2008 Brookings Institution report highlights the reasons that the so­called unbanked turn to such services. It also suggests solutions−including both expanded bank offerings and increased access to government programs that stabilize incomes and reduce the need for emergency, high-cost credit.

by Rebecca M. Blank

New England Community Development | 2008 |Issue 3 (2008)

Using New Markets Tax Credits to Mitigate the Impact of Foreclosures on Communities

The author presents an overview of what is being done and offers community development practitioners’ ideas about how to refine and strengthen the federal program. One example: change the program to allow a separate, additional allocation of tax credits for the purchase and resale of foreclosed property in low-income areas.

by Anna Afshar Steiger

New England Community Development | 2008 |Issue 3 (2008)

Massachusetts’ Efforts to Address Foreclosed Properties

Massachusetts has been ahead of the curve in combating neighborhood deterioration as real-estate-owned (lender-owned) foreclosed properties increase. Affordable housing developers, community groups, municipal and state officials, and nonprofits have created a Foreclosed Property Task Force and an online database that is accessible by all the partners. The database is already improving decision making about where resources would have the most impact.

by Prabal Chakrabarti