Homeownership

Guest Post: Six Tax Reforms to Increase Economic Security for All

April 17, 2014
Publication Image Editor's note: this blog post was authored by Heather McCulloch, Manager of the Tax Policy Project of the Asset Funders Network. It originally appeared on the ACCESS to Financial Security site and is reprinted here with the author's permission.

It’s tax time, the perfect time to consider how tax code reforms can create an America that lives up to its promise of opportunity for all.

Asset Building News Week, March 31- April 4

April 4, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include public assistance, financial products, and homeownership.
 

Upcoming Event: 2014 Color of Wealth Summit

April 2, 2014
Publication Image Mark your calendars for April 30 and May 1: the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative (managed by the Center for Global Policy Solutions) will be hosting its annual Color of Wealth Summit in Washington, D.C. The goal of the event is to bring together political leaders, researchers from a range of fields, advocates, and members of the public for a conversation about “the racial wealth gap, its effect on marginalized households, its impact on the U.S. economy, and solutions for closing the gap.”

Just Published—The Assets Perspective

March 28, 2014
Publication Image I am very pleased to announce the publication of The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and it Impact on Social Policy. It’s a 13-chapter edited volume which I worked on with Trina Shanks and a host of excellent contributors.
 
The book presents a multi-dimensional exploration of how the concept of asset building has taken shape over the last two decades. Many of the chapters were originally presented at a 2012 symposium designed to consider the impact of Michael Sherraden’s seminal book, Assets and the Poor, originally published in 1991. Sherraden’s insights, which focused on the factors that impact long-term socio-economic outcomes rather than short-term income or poverty, inspired a new generation of practitioners to apply the assets perspective to efforts creating new pathways up the economic ladder for families with low incomes and few resources. It was time to examine how the emergent “assets perspective” has impacted the way social policy is now conceived, designed, and delivered.
 
Topics covered in the book include the evolution of public assistance programs, the racial wealth gap, the impact of the Great Recession on the family balance sheet, the challenge of affordable homeownership, the history of financial services, children’s savings initiatives, and the potential of policy reform. Our goal was to produce a book that could serve as a valuable resource for those looking to learn more about the asset-building field and also how this framework is shaping contemporary policy discussions. It is designed to be relevant for those engaged in social policy and anti-poverty work, including practitioners, researchers, and policymakers alike.
 
Here is the table of contents:

Asset Building News Week, March 17-21

March 21, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the housing, economic mobility, and financial products.

Rebalancing the Scales

  • By
  • Rachel Black,
  • New America Foundation
March 19, 2014
The 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty naturally prompts reflection on how much progress has been made and how to chart a path forward. While there is a marked divergence in the diagnosis of poverty’s roots and the policy prescriptions necessary to address them, a consensus is emerging that new efforts are needed to promote opportunity, economic mobility and to ensure that the American Dream remains attainable.
 

Asset Building News Week, February 17-21

February 21, 2014
Publication Image  The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include postal banking, housing, income inequality, and public assistance.

Obama Cares about Improving Economic Mobility – But Where are the Specifics?

February 3, 2014
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama called on Congress to play a role in reversing persistent trends of stagnant wages, deepening inequality, and stalled upward economic mobility. Obama asked to see renewed efforts to "build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class." And while he offered a few tangible and important solutions to these profound challenges (such raising the minimum wage, introducing a new mechanism for retirement savings, opening up the Earned Income Tax Credit to assist single workers without children), he failed to get into the details - the nitty-gritty of what these "new ladders" should look like. He also skimmed over any explicit acknowledgment of the work already happening across the country to build economic opportunity at the community level. 

Asset Building News Week, January 20-24

January 24, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include inequality, economic mobility, and poverty. 

Americans’ Racially Divergent Experiences with Homeownership

January 22, 2014
Publication Image A new report out this week by Zillow (in collaboration with the National Urban League) documents ongoing disparities in homeownership rates and experiences for Americans of different racial groups. Shaun Donovan, the U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, sat down Wednesday for a public conversation with Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries, to discuss the findings. Secretary Donovan noted that while the U.S. has made progress toward more equality in homeownership, there is room for improvement. The report, A House Divided: How Race Colors the Path to Homeownership, documents two overarching themes: first, that Americans of color (particularly black and Hispanic households) have less overall access to homeownership, and second, that they typically realize fewer of the financial benefits associated with owning a home.  
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