Financial Well-Being

“Income is how you get out of poverty; assets are how you stay out.” How do we build policies, programs, and products that reduce systematic inequality and advance financial security for all?

When The Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses Fought Back

Financial Justice is the untold story of how a diverse group of progressive organizations took on the powerful financial lobby, pushed Congress to create a strong new consumer protection agency and against the odds, won.

Homeownership Without a Net

Despite some new reforms, low-income households buying homes outside the traditional mortgage market are still at tremendous risk—and often legal limbo.
Does shared-equity homeownership build assets? Yes. And keeps them safer than traditional homeownership does. Various graphs and charts follow to back up this assertion. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Does Shared-Equity Homeownership Build Assets?

A: Yes! And keeps them safer than traditional homeownership does.

Extending a Bank Branch to the Community

The systemic closing of bank branches in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods is followed by payday lenders, pawnshops, and check cashing services stepping in to fill the void.

Does the Current Reliance on Credit Scores Deny Deserving Applicants?

Last week, we asked readers if credit scores were too much of a driver in home loan approval. You answered overwhelmingly that yes, credit scores prevent often worth applicants from receiving loans, and that...

Disappearing Act

Facing financial difficulties as new technology takes customers away, the United States Postal Service reviewed 3,300 branches to find those that could be deemed disposable. In low-income communities, just how disposable are the final 162?

CRA Modernization:  A Critical Moment for Underserved Neighborhoods

The Community Reinvestment Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act hold great promise for the creation of a more financially inclusive nation, but both depend on critical "moments in time" in Congress that will determine whether they become good laws or are weakened beyond recognition

Food Banks: Another Crisis Casualty?

Last week, when a prominent and long-standing central New Jersey soup kitchen went to the newspapers as a last resort to inform the public that demand was up, donations were down, and that it...

Discouraging the Voter

We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again, but, in Michigan—which is shaping up to be a crucial swing state in the presidential contest—we’re already seeing a mounting campaign to scare off potential...

Breaking Asset Poverty: Better Homeownership—and More

Rather than abandoning homeownership as an asset-building strategy the next administration must pursue alternative strategies: bringing back “good homeownership,” supporting quality affordable rental housing, and developing other ways to help families of modest means invest for themselves and their future.
panoramic view of Pittsburgh

Border Patrol

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released Income, Earnings, and Poverty Data from the 2007 American Community Survey, and with it announced a new class of America’s poorest big cities: Toledo, Memphis, Newark, St. Louis,...

From the Social Welfare State to the Social Investment State

The welfare state at the start of the 21st century appears to be in the midst of a transformation. The original consensus was that, if the market economy was sufficiently productive, it could be...

Almost Home

Shortly after her 18th birthday, Cindy (not her real name) left her group home in the Bronx to live with her mother. Although under New York laws she could have stayed in the foster...

Building Assets to Fight Poverty

As asset-building policy continues to expand, inclusion of the poor is the greatest challenge. Homeownership, as the fundamental American Dream, should be at the center of asset-building policy and community development.

The Reports are In: Homeownership Rising, Renters Suffering, Income Gaps Growing

City Life, Homeownership, and the American Dream Americans' impressions of cities are improving, according to Fannie Mae's 1997 National Housing Survey, City Life, Homeownership, and the American Dream. Where the 1991 survey found that more...

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