Clear all

15 results found

reorder grid_view

Workforce Development for Lower Income Working Women in the Chicago Region: The Research Background

September 1, 2013

The research describes: 1) Changing demography of target populations 2) Array and character of post-high school resources for workforce development 3) Local and national policy, practice, funding and advocacy issues 4) Recommendations for future priorities.

Closing the Gap Between Rights and Realities for Children and Youth in Urban Brazil: Reflections on a Brazilian Project to Improve Policies for Street Children

September 27, 2011

Describes the successful use of Children's Rights Councils to promulgate policies to help children who spend their days (and in many cases nights) on the streets. Examines use of data and networks as well as challenges such as securing youth involvement.

Barriers to Youth Connections to Work: The Case of Young People in the Low-Income Neighborhood of Caju in Rio de Janeiro

January 14, 2008

This paper takes advantage of an unusually detailed family and youth survey conducted by the Institute for the Study of Work and Society (IETS) in Rio de Janeiro in the low-income community of Caju close to downtown Rio. It describes the weak educational background of Caju youth and some of the reasons for that weakness. The results emphasize the precarious nature of low-income youth's educational achievements and their attachment to the job market. They also demonstrate the wide variance in youth characteristics even in a single low-income neighborhood.

Reinvestment Alert 32 - Combating the Perilous State of Lower-Income Workers Retirement Assets: The Recently Reenacted Federal Savers Credit Provides a Modest Opportunity for Asset Building

July 24, 2007

The report documents the decline in personal savings rates while explaining the recent saving incentive for lower-income people created by the federal Pension Protection Act of 2006. While the credit is a modest step in the right direction for providing lower-income people the level of incentives currently provided to middle- and upper-income people, the report recommends that it be made refundable to expand its benefits to all income qualified tax payers.

Reinvestment Alert 31 - Measuring the Provision of Banking Services for the Underbanked: Recommendations for a More Effective Community Reinvestment Act Service Test

May 7, 2007

This alert examines the service test evaluations of Chicago area large banks and thrifts to determine what information on services is collected and analyzed during the test procedures and looks at how regulators use these data to assess service test performance. The alert also discusses the limitations of the available data and makes recommendations for steps that might be taken to improve the effectiveness of the service test performance evaluation.

Full Disclosure: Why Bank Transparency Matters

December 16, 2006

This report seeks to reinvigorate the debate on bank disclosure in the UK and to create a better understanding of why it should be demanded of banks. This analysis is carried out through detailed case studies comparing Charter One Bank in Chicago in the US where banks have disclosed local lending practices since 1975- with its parent company Royal Bank of Scotland in Manchester to review the level of information available and the impact that this has. To do this we evaluate the available information on small-business lending, bank branch availability and basic bank account opening in underserved areas of Manchester. Our analysis indicates that data on these factors is generally difficult to obtain, inconsistent, and in many cases incomplete.

Reinvestment Alert 30: U.S. Household Debt Levels Are Worrying No Matter How You Look at Them

April 24, 2006

This alert analyses a variety of measures of debt to provide an overall sense of changes in U.S. household debt levels and the impact of those changes on different groups of families.

Blindfolded Into Debt: A Comparison of Credit Card Costs and Conditions at Banks and Credit Unions

July 1, 2005

This report analyzes the deceptive effect of credit card terms and conditions and how these terms and conditions massively raise the cost of using credit cards and contribute to rising levels of consumer debt.

Reinvestment Alert 26: Banking on Bounced Checks

October 12, 2004

Bounce protection, a product that is regularly offered to many bank customers as a convenience, has turned into an excessively priced loan program, key features of which are hidden from consumers. This report analyzes the fee structure of bounce protection products offered by several major Chicago region banks.

A Global Survey of Community Reinvestment Laws: The Obligation of the Private Sector to Serve the Underserved in Several Countries

August 1, 2004

Summaries of the community reinvestment legislation in the United States, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa, India, Australia, and Canada.

Increasing the Stock of Affordable Housing: The Value of Different Strategies in a Growing Crisis

February 10, 2004

The United States is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. Rental costs are rising at a faster rate than wages and waiting periods for public rental assistance are increasing. Research by Belsky and Lambert (2001) indicates that during the period 1996-1998, residential rent increased 6.3 percent while wages increased by 3.9 percent. During this same period, the waiting times for the Housing Choice Vouchers, formerly Section 8 certificates, and project-based housing increased by two months. Further, the unassisted development of housing that is affordable to low-income and very low-income renters is increasingly difficult in the face of rising production costs. In 39 states, more than half of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects, the cornerstone of federal affordable housing efforts, must utilize some other form of federal subsidy to make them affordable to low-income renters. Most of these projects also must use state or local subsidies to defray costs further. We are facing a situation in which nearly 13.4 million renter households and 14.5 million owner households, more than 80 million individuals, experience moderate to severe affordability problems. A moderate affordability problem is defined as spending between 30 and 50 percent of income on housing. A severe affordability problem is defined as spending more than 50 percent of income on housing. The estimated national shortfall in affordable housing is approximately 3.3 million units. An additional 3.82 million rental units are at risk of disappearing from the housing stock over the next ten years, including 3 million unsubsidized rental units, 640,000 subsidized rental units, and 180,000 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Units. Further, in no area in the United States can a person earning a minimum wage, full-time salary afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment or home.

Reinvestment Alert 20: CRA and CDFIs Revisitied:The Importance of Bank Investments for the Community

April 15, 2003

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are banks, loan funds, venture capital funds,credit unions, and microenterprise entities that have a primary mission of serving lower-incomecommunities and people. According to the CDFI Fund of the United States Treasury, there arecurrently 71 community development (CD) banks, 333 loan funds, 119 CD credit unions, 20 CDventure capital funds, and 59 microenterprise programs in operation in the United States. There are also 11 CDFI intermediaries and 22 multi-bank community development corporations that are certified as CDFIs. An increasing number of these institutions combine several of these distinct types of financial organizations. Collectively they provide housing, business and consumer loans, investments, and retail banking services to people who are either not served or are underserved by traditional financial institutions, thus helping them enter the financial mainstream. They may help a young couple buy a first house, enable a small business owner to expand her business, provide a low-cost banking account to an unbanked person, or help finance a shopping center or other major development in a neighborhood that desperately needs an economic catalyst to overcome years of disinvestment. CDFIs are started in a variety of ways and with different sources of funding. However, they rely heavily on investments from regular banks and thrift institutions for loans and investments. These loans and investments are made partly because of certain financial institutions' responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). That Act provides that regulated banks and thrifts have an affirmative obligation to help meet the credit needs of their communities, including lower-income neighborhoods. The federal bank regulators are currently considering changes to the regulations that implement the CRA. One change, reducing the current tripartite exam structure for large banks to two exams and eliminating the "investment test," would have a devastating impact on bank and thrift investments in CDFIs. Using a new data source, this alert describes just how important the investments of regulated financial institutions are to CDFIs and, hence, why the investment test should be preserved.