ISSUE 184 | November 23, 2022

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

PA among states accepting extra food aid from federal government  

Pennsylvania is among a majority of states allowing maximum SNAP benefits to individuals and families.

A small portion of these states include mandatory work requirements in their programs, but most (including Pennsylvania) do not.

The federal government provides the benefit and splits administrative costs with states.

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Investor home purchases drive up rental rates 

Investor groups purchased more than 32,000 Pennsylvania homes last year – 18 percent of all home purchases in the state and an increase of 60 percent from the prior year.

The purchases are driving up rental rates for single family homes in suburban areas.

Aside from pricing average families out of the housing market, reduced homeownership and absentee landlords can cause challenges for communities. 

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PA is one of a dozen states with no diaper tax  

A dozen states and Washington D.C. eliminated the diaper tax this year and two more will do so in 2023.

Proponents cite inflation, elimination of Roe v. Wade, and diapers as necessities.

Opponents worry about state coffers and inequities created for families that don’t need diapers but do need tax breaks too. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Modern redlining continues history of inequitable outcomes

Leveraging tax dollars to spur development without affordability requirements exacerbated inequities in San Antonio to the extent that lifelong residents were pushed out of their neighborhoods.

Although the development did bring opportunity to improve the community, no safeguards were implemented to ensure affordable housing.

The efforts only widened the wealth gap. 

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Youth and individuals with special needs learn while greening communities 


A Detroit nonprofit offers a student summer program as well as a special needs program for adults with employment challenges, and both programs train individuals in environmental work.

Participants learn new skills while greening their communities as they plant trees throughout the city.

The nonprofit aims to build the workforce and improve environmental health in redlined neighborhoods. 

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Business diversity lending improves equity 


Lending provisions to correct prior discrimination can be used to support entrepreneurship among disadvantaged businesses.

For instance, policy can extend lending thresholds to women and people of color with lower credit scores.

A special purpose credit program such as this is legal under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

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Research Spotlight: What is redlining and what is its impact in Northeastern Pennsylvania? Use the link below to access our 2020 study on this very topic.

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