Community Pulse Survey

Oct 21, 2016

by David Levine, President/CEO

Every year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond conducts a survey of community-based organizations in its district (one of 12 Reserve Bank districts nationwide) to identify pressing social and economic issues.  You can find the full survey attached here.

With a diverse district spanning six states and the District (DC, West Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia), the survey represents a large cross-section of participants including rural, urban, and urban/rural mixed communities.

In this year’s survey with 393 respondents, the current issue having the most impact in these communities is “Access to affordable housing.”  With over 16 percent of the respondents giving it the top ranking, “Access to affordable housing” came out ahead of the next two current issues, “Availability of local job options” and “Improving the quality of K-12 education.”

In the Survey, too, you can read several of the rationales provided by the respondents for why they chose “Access to affordable housing.”  As one organization in South Carolina noted, “Housing continues to be out of reach for many citizens and the pace of the creation of affordable options does not keep pace with demand.”

The Reserve Bank Survey really puts in perspective the demand for affordable housing.  It is just not in our local service area; but has become a national problem.