The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
Regional & Community Outreach connects the Bank to Main Street via structured dialogues and two-way conversations on small business, mortgages, and household credit.
Economic Education improves public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System, monetary policy implementation, and promoting financial stability through the Museum and programs for K-16 students and educators, and the community.
Through its Community Affairs function, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York provides financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations and others with information and technical assistance on issues related to community and economic development, access to capital and credit for low- and moderate-income communities and the Community Reinvestment Act.
Community Affairs is currently working on the following initiatives:
The Earned Income Tax Credit Program: Using the EITC as a Tool for Banking the Unbanked and Promoting Saving
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit available to low-income individuals and families. Many eligible individuals and families fail to claim the credit; others fall prey to commercial tax preparers whose high fees and high interest rates for "refund anticipation loans" significantly reduce customers' tax refunds. During the 2003 and 2004 tax seasons, ORCA has worked with a group of New York City financial institutions to offer savings accounts to unbanked clients of the free taxpayer assistance program run by FoodChange. ORCA recently completed the study Householder Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit: Path of Sustenance or Road to Asset Building 46 pages / 386 kb.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCE
Access to capital for the cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfield sites is key to the revitalization of many Second District communities. Recent changes to State and Federal brownfields laws, as well as the development of innovative financing tools targeting brownfields sites, should significantly reduce the complications and risks once associated with developing these properties. ORCA has been monitoring the development of new legislation and financial products which facilitate these redevelopment efforts, and facilitating the dissemination of pertinent information. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Brownfields
Investing in the Historic Preservation Future of Upstate New York Communities
Older cities have a supply of historic buildings which are underutilized. ORCA, in collaboration with its Buffalo Branch, is exploring ways that these communities can capitalize on the historic structures and leverage public and private resources to promote community and economic development and neighborhood revitalization. New
Markets Tax Credit Program Community Development
Financial Institutions ››
Rural Development Resources
Rural communities comprise a large percentage of the counties in New York State. While rural communities afford a high quality of life and scenic amenities, they are faced with challenges, including poor telecommunications and transportation infrastructures, out-migration of skilled and young persons and a lack of economic opportunities. The Buffalo Branch and ORCA are involved in strategic outreach and information gathering and dissemination on issues pertaining to rural Upstate New York. Kansas City Fed Regional Research Rural Policy Research Institute
State of the Upstate New York Micro-Lending Industry
Microenterprises (businesses with five or fewer employees) have been promoted for the past 20 years in this country as a tool for helping to provide economic opportunity and alleviate poverty. The Buffalo Branch is conducting a study to explore patterns of distribution and demand for microenterprise loans among minorities, women, and low-income populations in upstate New York, while considering a range of program goals and constraints.
Data will also be collected and reviewed to point to effects of these loans on personal wealth and business growth.
Creating Affordable Housing Solutions in the Hudson Valley
The lack of affordable housing is a growing concern in the Hudson Valley. ORCA is exploring opportunities to identify and facilitate the development of a regional approach to affordable housing issues in the Hudson Valley. Policy Link
Community Development Councils
These Councils, convened by ORCA, are information exchange forums for bankers, not-for-profit executives, Federal Reserve Bank of New York community affairs and compliance examinations staff to discuss community development issues. Members of the New York City-based Council meet on a quarterly basis.