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Rental Unaffordability, Homelessness, and Declining Resources Identified as Key Challenges in Housing and Neighborhood Development

By: the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Published: March 30, 2017

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Outlook Survey (COS) monitors trends affecting the well-being of low- and moderate-income (LMI) households and communities in the Third Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Delaware, southern New Jersey, and the eastern two-thirds of Pennsylvania. Each quarterly survey focuses on one of four topical areas: housing and neighborhood development; workforce and economic development; health, wellness, and family services; and household financial stability.

The 1Q 2017 COS, focusing on the theme of Housing and Neighborhood Development, was sent to participants in January 2017. Survey responses were welcomed from representatives of community-based organizations, direct service providers, and public agencies engaged in housing and neighborhood development activities in LMI communities. A total of 24 organizations responded, with 58 percent from Pennsylvania, 21 percent from New Jersey, and 21 percent from Delaware. Respondents were asked to describe the most pressing challenges in their neighborhoods in a series of open-ended questions.

Qualitative research methods were used to identify key challenges and promising solutions reported by survey respondents. The findings are summarized here and include direct quotes from the respondents.

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