TRF reinvestment in PolicyMap pays dividends for developers, researchers and citizens
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014| by Sandy Smith
Like any good investor, The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) looks for places where its investments in communities can produce a positive return. But it seeks a return of a different kind from the one usually associated with investing: as an investor with a social mission, it looks for projects that can change lives for the better in low-income communities that are often starved for resources.
“We’ve been around for 25 years and have done a lot of investing in affordable housing, supermarkets, charter schools, and shopping centers,” said Maggie McCullough, president of PolicyMap at TRF. “We had become heavy into mapping and wanted to see what the impact of our investments were.”
So it gathered mountains of data on neighborhood demographics, income, housing characteristics and more to help inform the decisions it made. Then it realized there were others out there who could benefit from access to all this data – and to mapping software that allows them to place and analyze this data in space.
Thus was born PolicyMap, TRF’s data mapping package for the general public.
“We were doing this one-off on the fly, and that became the impetus for PolicyMap,” she said. “We figured others would want to do this too.”
Read the rest of Sandy Smith’s article on the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.