Community Dividend

Community Affairs Officer's note - Fall 1998

Community Affairs Officer's note - Fall 1998

JoAnne Lewellen | Community Affairs Officer

Published October 1, 1998  | October 1998 issue

Spanning more than 1,300 miles, the Ninth Federal Reserve District contains communities of all sizes that face a wide array of economic and community development challenges. From straw bale houses to small business incubators, many of these communities have developed successful strategies to address their needs. In Community Dividend, we share some of these success stories so you can benefit from the knowledge and diversity of experience in our district.

In this issue, we take a fresh look at housing issues that many of you struggle to address in your communities. Our cover story on straw bale homes describes how developers used alternative construction technologies to create affordable and energy-efficient housing. While straw bale houses are not the answer for every community, this story offers an interesting look at how developers, community partners, and banks worked together on an innovative project to create housing.

If affordable housing has recently emerged as a critical issue in your community, you may wonder why the solutions are so challenging and complex. Our story on why the affordable housing crunch persists in many communities should help you better understand some of the issues in your local housing market.

As a special feature, we highlight the recent trip of Federal Reserve Governor Alice Rivlin to the Twin Cities. Governor Rivlin had the opportunity to visit two south Minneapolis neighborhoods during her trip.

Community development is difficult, but we can all make it easier by sharing and learning from our struggles and successes. We hope that you learn something from this issue of Community Dividend that helps you to think in new ways about meeting the challenges in your community.