Region & Communities
Community Development

Community Development at the Chicago Fed strives to improve socioeconomic prospects in the Seventh District by helping remove barriers to upward mobility for lower income and underserved households and communities and by promoting access to credit, investment, and financial services that help them thrive.

Community Development Articles

The Chicago Fed publishes research into the Seventh District and discussion and analysis of topics important to the District. Publication channels include articles on Chicago Fed Insights and economic research through the Chicago Fed Letter, AgLetter, Economic Perspectives, and working paper series.

Most Recent Articles

Spotlight on Childcare and the Labor Market

In our discussions across the Midwest, both employers and workers describe the challenges created by a lack of affordable, reliable, and accessible childcare. Workers with small children must find quality affordable childcare that aligns with their work schedule. While for employers, limited local options for childcare make it more challenging to attract and retain workers. In response, staff at the Chicago Fed are leveraging our community engagement, policy analysis, and analytical capacities to better understand the dimensions of this challenge across the range of industries and communities in the Seventh Federal Reserve District.

This Spotlight on Childcare and the Labor Market is consistent with the Federal Reserve's mandate to maximize employment given that addressing the childcare challenge has the potential to promote job growth and participation in the labor force. Check back here or join our email list for updates on our Spotlight on Childcare and the Labor Market.

Lead Service Line Replacement

In the Upper Midwest, the widespread presence of lead service lines delivering water into homes poses elevated risks of lead exposure to millions of people. As federal and state policies push communities to accelerate replacement of lead lines, staff at the Chicago Fed are using our expertise in public policy, finance, and community economic development to help communities find ways to pay for the rapid replacement of lead service lines.

An image depicting a lead service line going into a home.

Peer City Identification Tool

This tool identifies cities experiencing similar trends or challenges. Identifying a municipality's peers can give needed context to policymakers and practitioners and promote dialogue between cities. To identify peers, click on the map or enter a city name, select a theme, and scroll down to explore the results. Learn more about this tool.

What is the Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act, enacted in 1977, requires the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they do business, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

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