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Community Issues and Insights

Community Issues Survey

“Inflation had seriously eroded the financial well-being of many low- and moderate-income families in Erie. These price pressures appear to be easing but the hardships remain, predominantly amongst our low-income families.” —Government entity from Pennsylvania

Twice a year, the Community Development Department at the Cleveland Fed administers the Community Issues Survey (CIS). Its goal is to collect information such as the quote above from direct service providers to monitor economic conditions and identify issues impacting low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in the region. 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.

Read the most recent report.

Figure 2. State of LMI Households

Key Findings from the March 2024 Survey

  • Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that job availability for LMI workers increased in the past 6 months, down from a high of 78 percent who said the same in the March 2022 survey. The majority of respondents (53 percent) said there was no change.
  • Seventy-one percent of respondents said the availability of affordable housing continues to decrease. This is the lowest share since the first CIS in March 2018.
  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents reported that financial well-being for LMI people decreased, primarily due to inflation impacts. The majority of respondents said access to credit is unchanged over the past 6 months.
  • Respondents’ top concerns were rising rents, the lack of affordable housing, and the continued impact of inflation on households’ budgets.
  • Nonprofit organizations report the demand for their services remains high, although lower than the pandemic peak, while both funding and capacity remain steady.

Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Indices

These indices reflect changes in economic conditions in LMI communities. In the indices referenced here, each response to a survey question is categorized as “increased,” “decreased,” or “no change.” More information on how the indices are constructed can be found in the report.

Participate in the Community Issues Survey
Does your organization work directly with low- and moderate-income people? Would you like to receive the report or participate in the survey?