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The 2017 Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality—the 13th one—is June 22 and 23. Why organize the Policy Summit?

Mary Helen Petrus
Mary Helen Petrus, Community Development Officer

As appeared in the Cleveland Fed Digest's Ask the Expert on 05.30.2017

Issue #3 | May 30, 2017

It was convened originally with the idea that policy discussions shouldn’t be limited to Washington DC—they should be something that people in different regions have access to and a voice in. An example is the foreclosure crisis: Many solutions being designed at the time were based on what was occurring on the 2 coasts and not on the experience of the weak housing markets in places including our region.

We did play a part in giving voice to the fact that the differences required different policy solutions. Here, we needed more tools to reclaim distressed property and address blight and vacancy in the wake of subprime lending and the incidence of mortgage fraud. Land banks are a good example.

One of our roles as a community development function is convening. We get people together, expose them to the most recent research, and give them an opportunity to discuss and debate the issues that are particularly relevant to them at the time.​​

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Mary Helen Petrus leads the Cleveland Fed’s Community Development Department as acting community development officer. The team conducts applied research, analyzes data and trends, and informs stakeholders of best practices and policies impacting the economic well-being of lower-income communities and individuals. The department is planning the 2017 Policy Summit.


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