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Capital and the Common GoodHow Innovative Finance is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems$
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Georgia Levenson Keohane

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178020

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178020.001.0001

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Innovative Finance in Communities Across the United States

Innovative Finance in Communities Across the United States

(p.148) 5 Innovative Finance in Communities Across the United States
Capital and the Common Good

Georgia Levenson Keohane

Columbia University Press

examine whether some of the place-based investment strategies, like the Community Reinvestment Act and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit—which have unlocked billions of dollars in private capital for real estate, affordable housing and enterprise development—lend themselves to more people-centric services. We look at innovations in financial inclusion and asset building, approaches intended to create wealth for the poor, often by simply connecting them to resources they are already eligible for, like the Earned Income Tax Credit. We also investigate the U.S. experience with social impact bonds (SIBs), pay-for-success contracts between local government, nonprofit service providers, and private investors whose capital underwrites preventive services. The idea is that if the interventions succeed, the investors will be repaid out of the social savings. The SIB industry is still new in the US and the track record is mixed. However, the larger lessons about good governance, evidence-based policy-making, and blended capital are relevant for innovative finance in U.S. communities for a growing set of capital investments that fuse the place and people lenses. Like development projects that link affordable housing with community health centers. In this paradigm, mobility is critical to economic opportunity, and investments in physical and social infrastructure are mutually reinforcing.

Keywords:   United States, Investment, Community Reinvestment Act, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, social impact bonds

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