CRA Regulators, Joint Final Rule – Effective January 19, 2011, provides CRA credit for supporting Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) projects. The regulatory agencies that enforce the Community Reinvestment Act will give favorable consideration to lenders’ community development activities in Neighborhood Stabilization Program target areas. See Federal Register Dec. 20, 2010.
Federal Home Loan Bank: Programs for Community Investments (PDF) Community Developments Fact Sheet describes a variety of programs that can finance housing and other rural development projects.
FHLBank Community Development Lending Final Rule - Community financial institution (CFI) members (members with assets of less than $1 billion over the past 3 years) of the Federal Home Loan Banks may use community development loans as collateral for FHLBank advances, and FHLBanks may make long-term advances to CFIs for community development activities. The rule also defines “community development” and related terms. See Federal Register, December 9, 2010. Contact Thomas E. Joseph, FHFA, (202) 414-3095.
Map Your Community is a web-based mapping tool that allows users to create custom maps of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Tenth District communities, counties and states using key economic and demographic indicators. These custom maps provide valuable information for economic and community developers, future small-business owners and local residents. There are 31 different data indicators including educational attainment, demographic trends, various types of lending activity and homeownership rates.
National Main Street Center has been working with communities across the nation since 1980 to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. Based in historic preservation, the Main Street approach was developed, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to save historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities' built environment, but has become a powerful economic development tool as well.
OCC’s New Markets Tax Credits: Unlocking Investment Potential (PDF) (June 2013) This updated report describes new markets tax credits (NMTC) and how banks and thrifts can use NMTCs to support community and economic development activities.
PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fund have launched the Healthy Food Access Portal that connects community leaders, healthy food retailers, policymakers and advocates to an extensive array of resources, strategies and ideas to improve and increase access to healthy food retail—from grocery stores to corner stores, farmers' markets, and mobile produce trucks—in underserved communities. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the three organizations created the nation’s first comprehensive healthy food access retail portal and learning community designed to promote healthy food retail efforts in regions across the country. Access the Portal here.
Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zones - USDA sponsored pilot for rural revitalization and community development in REAP Zones. The REAP Initiative was established to address critical issues related to constraints in economic activity and growth, low density settlement patterns, stagnant or declining employment, and isolation that has led to disconnection from markets, suppliers, and centers of information and finance. The REAP Zones were extended through September 2018.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will launch its "StrikeForce" initiative in 10 additional states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia. The primary goal of the StrikeForce initiative is to increase partnership with rural communities and leverage community resources in targeted, persistent poverty areas. Read more by clicking here.
USDA has released a report on the growing importance of food hubs in rural America. The new report is titled “The Role of Food Hubs in Local Food Marketing” and finds that the success of food hubs is rapidly expanding, with well over 200 hubs now operating in the United States. Download a free copy here.
USDA Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program (CFGLP) - Through the CFGLP, USDA Rural Development partners with private lenders to finance essential public facilities in rural areas. The guarantee permits a reduction in lender capitalization requirements, may meet community reinvestment act requirements, and may be sold on the secondary market. Borrowers under the CFGLP are public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as nonprofit and tribal governments.