Sunday, October 14, 2012

Investing in What Works in America's Communities

Last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) released Investing in What Works for America’s Communities. In the midst of a struggling economy in which one in six Americans lives in poverty, this book captures the promising practices and approaches that are being implemented throughout the nation to revitalize neighborhoods and challenges the field – leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors – to continue driving change forward.

The book is a compilation of essays from leading experts in the field of community development, including policymakers, practitioners and academics working in federal agencies, nonprofits and philanthropy. The essays focus on the core elements of healthy communities, such as access to quality housing, education, transportation, healthcare and economic development, just to name a few. The book is divided into three sections:
  • Section I - Community Development Past & Present – captures the history of community development strategies and our nation’s response to poverty in recent decades. 
  • Section II – Voices & Opinions From Leaders in Policy, The Field & Academia – highlights opinions from leaders in various fields that are trying to create innovative approaches to reduce poverty and improve communities by doing things such as addressing race equity, improving access to housing and developing strategies to increase access to quality financial services for low-income individuals.
  • Section III – Synthesizing Themes & Ideas for Next Steps – uses information from the past and present to suggest a plan for moving ahead to transform our nation’s communities. Experts discuss the importance of developing comprehensive community change initiatives – those that focus on various sectors of a community – that utilize data to drive strategies and solutions that will ultimately improve the well-being of children, families and entire communities. 
Throughout the book, the essays capture case studies and provide specific examples of strategies that resulted in positive outcomes for communities. In one essay, United States Secretaries Duncan, Sebelius and Donovan highlight the Obama Administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) and its efforts to combine federal funding streams to develop comprehensive solutions to complex problems. The Administration’s Promise Neighborhoods and Choice Neighborhoods programs – key components of NRI – are highlighted in detail in this section.

A digital copy of the book can be downloaded here.

Stay tuned to our blog as we highlight some of the innovative practices and strategies captured in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities.

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