CF Insights asks a very simple but important question: "What if each community foundation could know what all community foundations collectively know?" This collection features research produced and funded by community foundations, and other resources relevant to the field. Contact us at and visit us at

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Producing, Protecting and Preserving Housing Affordability in Central Texas: Philanthropic Opportunities

May 1, 2021

Having a place to call home is essential not only for the wellbeing of individual families and community members, but also to ensure Central Texas' continued economic growth and success. The effectiveness of Austin's response to its housing affordability crisis will determine its future — and there is still time to prevent it from experiencing the woes of other regions and provide the platform for vibrant, diverse, and economically healthy communities. In recognition of this, the Austin Community Foundation commissioned this report with funding from JPMorgan Chase, National Instruments, and St. David's Foundation to increase funders' understanding of housingrelated issues and present ideas for consideration.

Centering Community in a Pandemic: The Impact of COVID-19 on East Bay Nonprofits and the Community They Serve

June 10, 2020

With the rapid acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, it was imperative to understand the immediate impact on local nonprofits in the East Bay and the communities they serve. The East Bay's diversity is one of its strengths. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens residents who have built community, but not wealth, for generations. It also threatens to further erode a strained and fragmented nonprofit ecosystem. Maintaining a healthy and viable nonprofit community is essential to create a Bay Area in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

HousingASAP Final Evaluation

October 1, 2017

This report evaluates the three-year effort to apply a network approach to improving services and systems for family homelessness in Hawaii. From 2014-2017 Hawaii Community Foundation funded HousingASAP, a group of eight homeless family service provider organizations who committed to a two‐year network plan aimed at moving more homeless families into permanent housing.

Boomtown/Hometown: What the Numbers Say about Income, Housing and Education in Cambridge Today

March 1, 2017

A new report by Cambridge Community Foundation charts the impact of trends in housing, education and income disparity that threaten the city's prized culture of diversity and inclusion, even as its enviable role in a regional innovation economy drives soaring levels of prosperity. A review of relevant data raises questions about whether this growth actually benefits city residents–or whether a growing financial disconnect means many residents can no longer afford the city they live in.Fully 78 percent of current low-income households in Cambridge are "cost burdened," spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Over half spend over 50 percent of total income on housing. They qualify as "severely cost burdened."In 2015, Just 4 percent of the city's rental housing stock was affordable for a family with two workers earning $75,000 a year in total – in a community with a median annual household income of just over $79,000. The cost of buying a home is inevitably further out of reach: just 2 percent of single-family homes and 9 percent of condominiums are affordable for a family earning $75,000 a year total.Closely related to the housing situation is a growing income gap as the city moves toward a divide between rich and poor with those in the middle squeezed out. One consequence: the number of low- and middle- income residents in the city has declined in recent years while high–income residents have dramatically increased as a proportion of the whole.The report, titled Boomtown/Hometown: What the Numbers Say about Income, Housing and Education in Cambridge Today, was developed with data contributions from the city and from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. It identifies a serious threat to a tradition of cohesiveness and inclusivity, signatures of this small city with its long history as a global education center, immigrant destination and creative industrial sparkplug.

Home Insecurity 2012: Foreclosures and Housing in Ohio

April 3, 2012

Analyzes trends in the number of new foreclosure filings, developments in prevention efforts, and data on mortgage defaults and negative equity. Makes policy recommendations for strengthening stability among individuals, families, and communities.

Open to All? Different Cultures, Same Communities

January 1, 2011

Produced for the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs with the support of the Chicago Community Trust, this report aims to better understand immigrants living in the northern suburbs of Chicago -- who they are, where they live in relation to housing patterns and conditions, and the extent to which they exert political influence on local housing decisions. It was produced as part of The Chicago Community Trust's three-year Immigrant Integration Initiative, which began in 2007 to come up with strategies that could help immigrants successfully integrate into the civic and economic fabric of their new communities. A goal of this report is to provide a firm foundation for important discussions -- and decisions -- facing our communities.

Foreclosure Crisis in Metro Atlanta

September 30, 2010

Summarizes the impact of the foreclosure crisis on metropolitan Atlanta by county, lists potential solutions, and profiles area nonprofits focused on addressing the crisis and community development.

Regional Review of the ARRA for Northeastern Illinois

June 1, 2010

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of public policy intervention. Unprecedented strategies and investments were deployed to address the most severe recession since the Great Depression. The policy and programming solutions implemented by the ARRA were designed to not only stop economic decline, but also to build a stronger foundation for long-term economic prosperity. With over a year since the ARRA programs and policies came into effect, we can now assess initial progress, learn from accomplishments and challenges, and work to address obstacles to support better future success. It is critical we utilize this opportunity to ensure a successful recovery and lay the groundwork for effective future investments.To help our region capitalize on this opportunity and support long-term success, CMAP and the Chicago Community Trust convened the Regional ARRA Coordinating Council to develop targeted strategies for maximizing ARRA resources throughout the region, specifically for housing, energy, weatherization, and workforce development. The participating agencies include: The Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago Jobs Council, Community and Economic Development Association, Grand Victoria Foundation, Housing Action Illinois, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Metropolitan Planning Council, Metropolis 2020, and the Recovery Partnership. Drawing on the insight and knowledge of these agencies, we are able to obtain a detailed understanding that will enable our ability to succeed. The purpose of this report is to utilize the expert knowledge available through the Regional ARRA Coordinating Council in order to better understand the status of selected ARRA programs, identify opportunities, develop strategic responses to address challenges, and help ensure that these resources and future resources are used effectively and have a long-term impact. The ARRA is comprised of a complex and comprehensive set of investments. Several reports have recently emerged on the impact of these investments and policies, including Vice President Biden's Annual Report. Highlights from this report, an overview of the State of Illinois implementation of major ARRA programs, and key observations are summarized to help establish a context to better understand the factors that affect ARRA implementation. A regional overview of progress based on the most current data available is provided for the following programs: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), Weatherization, Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP), Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding, competitive workforce development grants, and transportation formula and competitive funding. In addition, overviews of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1), which was enacted through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, and its successor, NSP2, which was funded through ARRA, are included. Foreseeable issues and recommendations on potential strategies to address challenges and support success are also provided.

Creating a Chicago Regional Building Energy Efficiency System

December 1, 2009

The Chicago area's homes and offices must be brought up to 21st century standards for energy efficiency, both to save money and to reduce climate altering green house gas emissions. Federal money available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) can jumpstart the creation of a market and infrastructure for accomplishing this, while utility and other financing can sustain the work over the long term.In launching this effort, the Chicago area does not need to reinvent the wheel; successful programs in other states offer principles and models for how to proceed. The Chicago area should immediately begin a two-track process for creating a Chicago Area Building Energy Efficiency System. The first track would identify funding, including ARRA funds to quickly ramp up existing programs to launch significant weatherization initiatives in appropriate locations around the seven-county region. The second track would begin designing the network or institution to carry on this work over the long term.While there are significant hurdles, creating such a system would meet the needs of homeowners, municipalities, utilities, suppliers, and citizens. By strategically combining available resources and existing knowledge, the Chicago area can undertake the massive work of making its physical structure more energy efficient, in the process bringing environmental and economic benefits to the eight million people who live in this region.

RHOPI Action Plan: Addressing the Foreclosure Crisis in the Chicago Metro Area

April 21, 2009

The Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (Regional HOPI) is the Chicago metropolitan area's integrated approach, dedicated to building capacity, galvanizing support, and expanding resources to exert a collective, measurable impact on the foreclosure crisis.Regional HOPI has attracted a broad base of support and participation from organizations across the region and across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The collaboration was channeled into four task forces examining foreclosed/vacant properties, financial products, counseling and legal services, and research -- to assess the problem on a regional scale and contribute to creating actionable solutions.From August to October 2008, the task forces of Regional HOPI convened to develop strategies and action plans. This process produced innovative ideas, encouraged greater regional collaboration, and created a solid platform from which to combat foreclosures.This document summarizes the progress of Regional HOPI and presents a Regional Action Plan to address foreclosures. Regional HOPI has transitioned from the planning stage to action.

The Chicago Region's Foreclosure Problem Continued to Grow in 2008

January 28, 2009

This report summarizes key foreclosure trends in the Chicago region for 2008 and updates Woodstock Institute reports and fact sheets released previously that illustrated key aspects of the foreclosure crisis such as the spread of the crisis to suburban communities, the potential impact of the foreclosures on Chicago's affordable rental housing market, and the growing number of foreclosures that were becoming bank-owned properties and likely sitting vacant. The report includes detailed appendices with data for City of Chicago community areas and municipalities in the Chicago Six County Area.

Supportive Housing in Illinois: A Wise Investment

January 4, 2009

This study reports on 177 supportive housing residents around Illinois, comparing their use of publicly-funded services two years before entering supportive housing to two years after entry. Data were collected from Medicaid-reimbursed services, state mental health hospitals, substance use treatment, state prisons, and various county jails and hospitals. The study found an overall cost savings of over $850,000 in the two years after entry into supportive housing, a little over $2,400 per person annually. There was a drastic reduction in state prison, county jail, and state mental health hospital overnight stays. There was a shift from using expensive inpatient services before housing (nursing homes, inpatient care, state mental health hospitals) to less expensive outpatient services after entry into housing (outpatient medical and psychiatric care, case management). Supportive Housing in Illinois: A Wise Investment was researched and written by the Heartland Alliance Mid-America Institute on Poverty with support from the Illinois Supportive Housing Providers Association and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.