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Community Development Publications




Community Issues Survey

Twice a year, the Community Development Department at the Cleveland Fed administers the Community Issues Survey to more than 600 organizations across our region who have direct knowledge of issues impacting low- and moderate-income (LMI) people and communities. Respondents are asked about jobs, housing, financial well-being, access to credit, and other issues that have a significant impact on the welfare of the communities they serve. The spring survey includes questions to help us understand current trends; the fall survey’s questions help us monitor the changes in these trends.

Findings from the survey are shared two ways: through an annual Community Issues and Insights report and through our biannual update of the LMI Economic Condition Indices. These indices allow us to track trends in certain aspects of the economy over time.

Does your organization work directly with low- and moderate-income people? Would you like to receive the report or participate in the survey? Email us.

Most recent report

Organizations Adapt Approaches to Meet Increased Community Need:

Findings from the Community Issues 2021 Survey

Past reports

LMI Community Indices

These indices reflect changes in economic conditions in low- and moderate-income communities. In the indices referenced here, each response to a survey question is categorized as “increased,” “decreased,” or “no change.”

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Since our survey in March 2021, all four indices show improvement, as indicated by the upward trend, in the availability of jobs and affordable housing, financial well-being, and access to credit during the last six months. The job availability index has continued to rise sharply since March 2021, reaching its highest point since tracking began in March 2018. In fact, 64 percent more respondents reported improving conditions in September 2021; compare this to the 29 percent that reported worsening conditions in March 2021. While the jump in job availability in LMI communities is a promising indication of economic recovery, more respondents continue to indicate decreases rather increases across the other three indices, with the availability of affordable housing particularly seeing very little improvement.

Note: A diffusion index is a compact way of summarizing data to understand trends. An index value greater than zero means that more respondents expressed that conditions were improving rather than worsening. An index value below zero, conversely, indicates that more respondents expressed that conditions were worsening rather than improving.

Related content

Metro Mix
Snapshots of economic conditions and prospects for metro areas in our region.

An Uneven Recovery: Home Lending in the Fourth District by Race and Income
Our researchers examine home lending trends in our region by income and race so that policymakers and regulators may use the data to inform effective and appropriate policy.

Notes from the Field
Informal observations from our outreach team on what they’re seeing and hearing from constituents in our region.