The Promise and Responsibility of Community Finance
By Ellen Seidman, Mark Huelsman, New America Foundation
New America Foundation | March 2009Many communities in the United States face devastation from the current housing crisis, exacerbated by the deep recession, but communities served by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have been hit harder than most. This is particularly distressing since many of these communities were brought back to health over the past 30 years through the diligent, consistent, respectful efforts of CDFIs and other community financial institutions, and their customers, clients and partners. In order to continue to serve the neighborhoods and people that so need them, community financial institutions will need to work together as never before. The case needs to be made that these institutions can deliver quickly, intelligently and responsibly—and can do so as well or better than others who are receiving government help. To have this opportunity, CDFIs and their brethren will need new strategies to tell the story of their successes—with supporting detail—loudly and clearly.
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