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Community Issues and Insights

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.

Low and Moderate Income (LMI) 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.”

According to the September 2023 survey, job availability remains elevated but has returned to prepandemic levels, while both affordable housing availability and financial well-being are near their lowest points. Regarding housing, survey respondents expressed concerns over rising rents, a shrinking supply of affordable units, and fewer landlords accepting Section 8 vouchers. For financial well-being, many respondents expressed concern over inflation’s continued strain on LMI households’ budgets, as well as impacts from the expiration of pandemic-related assistance programs.

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?