Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President and CEO Charles Evans delivered welcoming remarks at OFN’s 2018 Conference. During his speech he noted, “we at the Fed are aware the benefits of growth in the national economy have been slow to reach many of the communities that your organizations serve. Low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color are lagging the national economy in measures of employment, labor force participation, wage growth, and household net worth. Moreover, housing affordability in these communities remains one of the many growing challenges.”

Evans highlighted the work of the Federal Reserve to address the economic challenges faced by workers, families, and businesses in economically struggling places. He provided an example of recent research conducted at the Chicago Fed that looked at the long-term impacts of how “the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) created residential security maps in the wake of the Great Depression to delineate where the federal government would commit financial resources in cities across the country—and where it would not.”

Evans also referenced a recent tour of Chicago’s South Side hosted by a number of CDFIs including Accion, the Chicago Community Loan Fund, Community Investment Corporation, IFF, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Neighborhood Housing Services. He expressed appreciation for “the range of assets and opportunities that CDFIs offer to improve the lives of the people residing in those places.”

The full text of his speech is available here. More information—including videos, photos, and session material—is available on the 2018 OFN Conference recap page.


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