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The Chicago Fed's Community Development and Policy Studies department promotes community development, fair access to financial services and research related to consumer and community development issues.

About Community Development and Policy Studies

The principal mission of the Community Development and Policy Studies division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is to support the Federal Reserve System's economic growth objectives by promoting fair access to financial services and researching issues that impact consumer and community access to financial markets.

Business Units

Community Development & Policy Studies includes the following areas of responsibilities.

Economic Development

  • Promote a better understanding by policymakers, community leaders, and private-sector decision-makers of the processes and resources that support economic development programs at the regional, state, local, and neighborhood levels, with a special focus on low- and moderate-income communities in both urban and rural areas.
  • Bring together economic development practitioners, financial institutions, and other interested parties to collaborate on economic development initiatives including: business development, entrepreneurship, microenterprise support, workforce development, and access to capital, credit, and opportunity for small businesses.
  • Provide technical assistance on Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and fair lending laws, and regulations as they apply to business and economic development issues.
  • Sponsor policy conferences, seminars, and workshops on economic development issues and programs.

Community Development (CA)

  • Foster the active engagement of depository institutions in providing credit and other banking services to their entire communities, including traditionally underserved markets.
  • Promote awareness of the benefits and risk of financial service products, and the rights and responsibilities existing under community reinvestment and fair lending statutes and regulations.
  • Promote a better understanding by policymakers, community leaders, and private-sector decision-makers of the processes and resources that support community development programs.
  • Provide technical assistance on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and fair lending laws and regulations.
  • Provide resource information and regulatory guidance to community-based organizations, government entities, the public, and a wide variety of other organizations engaged in community development.
  • Sponsor conferences, seminars, and workshops that focus on issues relevant to community development, fair lending, or regulatory concerns.

Policy Studies

  • Conduct applied research (primarily) on community and economic development topics, and issues that impact lower-wealth, lower-income, and recent immigrant populations, as well as economically disadvantaged communities.