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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System


Across the nation, communities have identified promising ways to target increasingly scarce resources to jumpstart and sustain neighborhood investment, and thereby help to promote economic recovery. The most innovative communities have deployed new sources of data, new ways of using data, new technologies, and new partnerships to maximize the impact of their work. In this way, they have built a data infrastructure that can inform public and private investment to stabilize neighborhoods hard hit by population loss, foreclosure, unemployment, and loss of revenue.

The purpose of this publication is to share examples of the innovative ways in which communities are building data systems and then using them to improve knowledge of local demographic trends and help steer their limited resources to most effective use. This compilation of work offers cases studies and best practices to municipalities, universities, nonprofits, funders, and other local partners who want to increase their capacity to gather, analyze, disseminate, and use data to inform and support neighborhood stabilization decisions and activities. It provides replicable information on how cities and other jurisdictions are building coalitions to develop a local data infrastructure and how they are using information from these systems to analyze trends and make key investment decisions.

This project is part of a larger effort by the Federal Reserve System, in partnership with the Urban Institute, The Reinvestment Fund, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, and others who have been working on the local level, to help communities develop the infrastructure and data sources they need to make strategic policy decisions with respect to neighborhood stabilization.

Through the Federal Reserve's network of 12 Reserve Banks across the country, the partners in this project are sharing their expertise and experience with community leaders who want to expand their use of data. In addition to building data sources and infrastructure, the partners are also focusing on helping communities use available data most effectively in their neighborhood stabilization decisions. This project will highlight communities where this has been done well.

The Federal Reserve System continues to respond to the foreclosure crisis on "Main Street" by leveraging the System's research, community affairs, and supervision and regulation functions to support innovative foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization strategies at a local level. Over the past three years, the Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors of Federal Reserve System have collaborated to inform and engage policymakers, community organizations, financial institutions, and the public on possible solutions. This publication is one of many Federal Reserve projects designed to share best practices with local communities that are working to improve the conditions of neighborhoods affected by the foreclosure crisis. (For more information about the Board's efforts and links to Systemwide foreclosure prevention and stabilization resources, see or visit the Reserve Banks' websites.)

We are pleased to present this volume as part of a broader effort to promote neighborhood recovery. We hope you find this publication useful and pass on its lessons.

Elizabeth Duke
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

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Last update: April 4, 2012