Urban Institute researchers evaluate federal, state, and local government programs and policies. Early on, we pioneered performance-management techniques government agencies still use to evaluate and improve public services, from economic development to garbage collection. And now we're adapting those strategies for the nonprofit sector—at home and abroad. Read more.
The Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was designed to build organizational capacity of faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) so they could contribute to economic recovery and help ensure that information and services available through ARRA reached disadvantaged populations. An extensive evaluation undertaken by the Urban Institute assessed SCF services, promising practices, and challenges that emerged during the two-year SCF initiative. It found many FBCOs assisted through SCF reported expanding their organizational capacity, however measuring SCF's return on investment was inconclusive because of the relatively short timeframe that SCF operated.
The Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was part of the Federal government’s response to the recession. Because people often turn to nonprofit organizations for assistance in difficult financial times, SCF was designed to build organizational capacity of faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) so they could better serve people in need and contribute to the economic recovery. SCF helped create and retain jobs for SCF grantees and FBCOs that delivered ARRA-related services. It also enabled FBCOs to provide information about ARRA benefits. SCF offers lessons to help shape future capacity-building programs.
GSE credit has become very tight, with a significant increase in the average credit score of approved loans. How Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are enforcing their Representations and Warranties (Reps and Warrants) rights is playing a significant role in this phenomenon. In this paper, we use the recently released Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan level credit data and find that put-backs are having an outsized chilling effect on lower FICO/higher LTV loans.
Over the past eight months, a broad consensus has been emerging on the future of housing finance. Under several plans, private-sector entities would continue to originate and service mortgages, with other private-sector entities providing credit enhancement for mortgage-backed securities. A public entity would be the guarantor of last resort, absorbing catastrophic risk. Collateral composition, house price experience, and diversification significantly affect credit risk, and thus the capital requirements. If capital requirements are too low, the government guarantee will be invoked too often; if they are too high, banks will shift the ultimate risk of their lower-quality loans to the government.
On August 22, the six regulatory agencies proposed rules for risk retention under Section 941 of the Dodd Frank Act. In this comment letter, we focused on one aspect of the proposal, the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) definition for residential mortgage backed securities.