Resource Guidebooks

The Resource Guidebook is an analytical tool that identifies and leverages existing data sources and pertinent resources on a specific locality. It serves as an introduction to the community and provides a working context for public, private, and philanthropic actors seeking to make investments in the region, including financial institutions fulfilling their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements. It also aims to guide readers, including CRA examiners, to understand current and future challenges and opportunities in the area. It includes qualitative information collected through listening sessions and interviews on the ground and quantitative data from public sources, including the New York Fed’s own analysis.

Our second Resource Guidebook covers New Brunswick and Perth Amboy in Middlesex County, New Jersey.

Our first Resource Guidebook covers Elmira, New York.

About the Community Development Finance Initiative

The Resource Guidebook is part of the Community Development Finance Initiative (CoDeFi). This initiative supports the transformation of communities in the Second District by working closely with regional organizations and helping to increase the effectiveness of community development investments. CoDeFi also leverages the Federal Reserve System’s role in overseeing financial institutions’ compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)—which requires banks to lend, invest and offer services to low- and moderate-income communities in the areas where they operate.

To achieve our mission, we created a community development finance progression model. We have partnered with our colleagues in the Supervision Group, who lead CRA examinations of financial institutions, to inform and develop the model, which leverages three key New York Fed strengths in community development:

  • Analyze—develop independent data-driven analysis on key issues
  • Educate—teach community organizations and local actors how to play an active role in community development finance and the CRA
  • Connect—convene and encourage collaborations between financial institutions, capital providers, community organizations, social entrepreneurs, academia, foundations and economic development agencies, among others

The progression model is comprised of four steps, which include a series of listening sessions and interviews, the Resource Guidebook, training on the CRA and community development and connecting organizations and agencies looking for funding with financial institutions and other capital providers. Learn more.

Download the Resource Guidebooks

Each Resource Guidebook, comprised of three parts, is customized to the specific geography’s priorities. The first part provides a snapshot of local economic and social conditions. The second addresses the most critical community development challenges and opportunities for the area’s low- and moderate-income population. The third offers relevant resources about the specific locality.

Resource Guidebooks encapsulate our role as conveners and catalysts for economic development in a concise practical instrument. It is an independent, data-driven, and accessible tool to help guide investment in these communities.

Download the New Brunswick & Perth Amboy Resource Guidebook.

Download the Elmira Resource Guidebook.