Community development finance is a broad term encompassing the varied sources of funding that support stronger and more resilient communities around the country. Community Development staff at the Federal Reserve promote new and established sources of community development finance for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities by working closely with financial institutions, community development organizations, nonprofits, research and policy centers, and government agencies.

Financing community development investments in LMI communities often requires a creative mix of public, private, and philanthropic resources. The Federal Reserve helps community development organizations access the technical and financial resources required to complete these often-complex deals. The Federal Reserve also uses its research and convening capabilities to explore new and emerging sources of capital to support community development finance. In addition, it shares knowledge and insights from around the System on a variety of topics related to community development finance.

Community Development Investments


Related Information

Community Reinvestment Act
The federal bank regulatory agencies with responsibility for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rulemaking published final revisions to "Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment" on November 15, 2013. The Questions and Answers document provides additional guidance to financial institutions and the public on the agencies' CRA regulations regarding community development investments.

Community Development Financial Institutions
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are certified by the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund and support a wide range of community development projects in LMI communities across the country.

Financial Innovations Roundtable
Created in 2000, the Financial Innovations Roundtable creates cross-sector partnerships among conventional and non-traditional lenders, investors, and markets to provide low-income communities with increased access to capital and financial services. The Board of Governors hosted the 2015 Financial Innovations Roundtable in Washington, D.C. in March.

"Pay for Success Financing"
Social impact bonds, which are emerging the United States, hold the social sector accountable for evidence-based results. This idea could have a dramatic impact on community development finance and is further explored in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's publication, "Pay for Success Financing (PDF)."

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
April 12, 2013
Creating Resilient Communities

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
April 29, 2011
Community Development in Challenging Times

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Last Update: July 10, 2015