Wilma Mankiller's Legacy: Every Day is a Good Day
By Bob Friedman on 04/02/2013 @ 12:15 AM
I remember when I first met Wilma Mankiller, thirty years ago at the first convening on women’s economic development hosted by Jing Lyman and Sarah Gould of CFED at Wingspread. After dinner the first night, one incredible woman after another introduced herself, including Kathy Keeley, who had just founded WEDCO, the first women’s microenterprise program in the country, and Rebecca Adamson, who introduced what would become First Nations Development Institute. But, when Wilma, then Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation, stood up, it was like the world stopped, and centered on her quiet, grounded, visionary voice.
Wilma understood and believed in what I now believe is the most crucial insight in economic development—that common people, including low-income and very poor people -- are capable of leading their own development, as entrepreneurs, students, skilled workers, homeowners, savers, investors and crafters of their own futures. The new movie on Wilma’s life and work, The Cherokee Word for Water, elaborates on this basic insight, even as it tells the story of Cherokee volunteers building an 18-mile waterline. Click here for the movie’s trailer, or visit the movie’s website at www.cw4w.com.
I and CFED continued to learn from Wilma throughout our lives. Having her say that individual allotment of communally held native lands was one of the greatest disservices done to native peoples by the federal government, it was with trepidation that I brought her Michael Sherraden’s idea of Individual Development Accounts. She loved the idea—a not-unimportant judgment given that she led the economic development committee of the Ford Board of Directors while Melvin Oliver, Frank DeGiovanni and Lisa Mensah funded the birth and growth of the assets field, and the American Dream Demonstration.
In 2006, Wilma keynoted our Assets Learning Conference in Phoenix, underscoring that what may be most important about matched saving and asset building is not the money, but the sense of empowerment and possibility that accompanies the money.
As I think about Wilma now, I recall so many of her simple summaries of profound truth, including:
“Every day is a good day,” which is the title of her second book, drawn from her interview with Carrie Dann.
“Things have a way of turning out the way they’re supposed to.” To which my wife, Kristina, would respond, “That’s the way you lost a continent.” To which Wilma would respond with, “I did not lose a continent.” In my old age, I recognize the way she meant her statement, and trust much more in the aspects of this life that I scarcely understand. I remember as well how, when I stayed with her during her last weeks, Spring seemed to hold off as she clung to life. The moment she died, the trees sprung into bloom, the birds into song. It was as if her life had spread to the universe, even, as the tradition held, she climbed the Milky Way, eating strawberries as she went.
It is my hope that all CFEDers and all our friends, when you have occasion to be in the Mankiller Room in our Washington, DC, offices, will reflect a moment on the untapped promise of all people, and the wisdom, humor and faith Wilma conferred.
Asset-Building News Roundup - March 29, 2013
By Veronica Weis on 03/29/2013 @ 06:00 PM
Measuring Financial Health
We've teamed up with the CFPB to understand what combinations of knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes help consumers succeed in achieving their own financial goals that will help us improve policies and practices. To build this knowledge, we are working with the CFPB to develop rigorously tested measures of consumer financial knowledge, behavior, wellbeing, and related factors. We hope to learn which elements of financial knowledge have a positive effect on financial wellbeing, and what else contributes to financial wellbeing. We will share the critical elements we identify with other financial educators and help them build it into their work. More information here.
Mississippi KIDS COUNT 2013
The latest MS KIDS COUNT report has been released. This edition specifically addresses the effects of housing and employment on the economic well-being of children. To download the full PDF, click here. Be sure to check out their housing and employment, health and wellness and education infographics, as well.
April is Financial Literacy Month
April is a time for planting gardens and watching things bloom. It’s also Financial Literacy Month, which makes it the perfect time of year to consider savings options from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help grow your savings and take control of your future.
Whether you are an experienced investor or someone who is just starting to save money, the Treasury Department’s safe, affordable and convenient savings options can help you reach your goals.
Make an effort during April Financial Literacy Month to visit the Treasury Department’s Ready.Save.Grow. site – www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow – to learn more about Treasury savings options. You can create your free online TreasuryDirect account today and build tomorrow’s savings.
Pittsburgh-Area School Offers Incentives to Save for College
Students at Propel charter schools in Pittsburgh now have an incentive to set some extra money aside for college. Called Fund My Future, the program sets up savings accounts in the child's name and offers raffles for gift cards as incentives to make deposits. The plan is designed to make savings fun and simple for low-income students and their parents.
From the Assets & Opportunity Network
Maryland CASH posted a call to action regarding a new gas tax. It calls for the state to increase the refundable EITC to offset the negative individual economic impacts on low- and moderate-income workers of the increases in the gas tax. Read more here.
The Illinois Asset Building Group is honoring Women's History Month by recognizing the gender wealth gap. In a recent blog post, they note the many gender disparities with regard to income, credit card debt, median wealth of full-time workers, homeownership rates and overall assets.
National Study: Manufactured Home Mortgages are Excellent Loans
By Juliana Eades, Guest Contributor on 03/29/2013 @ 10:30 AM
EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post is the latest in a series on the new I'M HOME Data Report. It comes to us from our friends at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
It isn’t often that a nonprofit from little New Hampshire gets to speak into a big megaphone. But in 2009 the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund received a national honor, the NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance, for being the first organization in the US to make real mortgage loans for manufactured homes (sometimes called mobile homes) located in cooperatives.
You might be surprised to learn that manufactured homes are usually financed like cars, with personal property loans at rates 3 to 5 percentage points higher than traditional mortgage loans. This financing is patently unfair, because not only do these short-term, higher-cost loans limit the affordability of these homes, lack of access to mortgages make them harder to resell.
We had seen the positive effects of offering fixed-rate, real mortgage loans for manufactured homes: Families became more financially stable and their homes gained value. So I used our NEXT acceptance speech to urge a roomful of community-lending peers from across the country to make loans like this in their states, too.
Acting on my request was heard as an act of faith, or wishfulness. Lenders regard owners of manufactured homes as riskier borrowers than other homeowners. Our peers weren’t convinced that our low loss record (1.6 percent—excellent loan performance by any standard) could be replicated outside of N.H.
This week the I’M HOME Loan Data Collection Project released its first report, which analyzed data from 23 organizations (including us) that originate or purchase manufactured-housing loans. It found that these are good loans, as good as mortgage loans for site-built homes. It also found that lenders like us, who accept low down payments, make decisions based on an applicant’s total financial picture (not just their credit scores), and who work with borrower through difficulties, were almost as successful as those with the most-stringent standards.
The national report validates our experience in New Hampshire. Our Welcome Home Loans for manufactured homes in resident-owned communities proved so successful over a decade that last year we started offering them to homeowners on their own land, who weren’t getting fair financing either.
And we’re still urging lenders to recognize that manufactured homes are real homes that deserve real mortgages, and that their owners are responsible borrowers—maybe even more responsible than most.
Juliana Eades is President of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
Making the Case for Long Term, Affordable Mortgage Financing for Manufactured Homes
By Housing Assistance Council on 03/28/2013 @ 04:00 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This brief was authored by The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and can be read here.
On March 21, 2013, CFED released Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes, which reported findings from an analysis of data on $1.7 billion in manufactured home mortgage lending from a variety of lenders and investors who provide long-term home mortgage products to owners and buyers of manufactured homes. The report finds that manufactured home mortgage borrower repayment records are generally comparable to the site-built mortgage market. In some instances, the repayment records of manufactured home mortgage borrowers were better than comparable general mortgage portfolios.
The report’s authors conclude that conventional underwriting criteria such as higher FICO scores, low loan-to-value and low debt-to-income ratios are strongly related to higher loan performance. However, some of the lenders have been able to achieve strong loan performance with manual underwriting of loans with lower downpayment and less stringent credit requirements by maintaining good contact with the borrowers.
Data were compiled by a two-year effort of the I’M HOME Loan Data Collection Project, part of Innovations in Manufactured Homes (I’M HOME), a national initiative managed by CFED. The goal of this effort is to make affordable manufactured home financing available to current and potential low- and moderate-income home owners and a viable alternative to higher cost personal property (chattel) loans.While this effort represents progress in documenting the viability of such financing, more data and further study is needed.
The report includes recommendations to improve the quality of the data, promote product development and innovation among lenders and investors, and organize stakeholders to build recognition of the value of manufactured housing as an energy efficient, lower cost housing option in the mainstream affordable housing policy in the United States.
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Manufactured Home Mortgages Perform As Well As Other Mortgages
By Andrea Levere on 03/27/2013 @ 09:00 AM
EDITOR'S NOTE; This morning, we're sharing the second in a series of blog posts covering the release of Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes, the newest groundbreaking report from our Innovations in Manufactured Homes (I'M HOME) initiative. This post originally appeared in Rooflines, the official blog of Shelterforce Magazine.
The foreclosure crisis. Homeowners “underwater.” Neighborhoods blighted with vacated homes. Tougher credit standards and new regulations making it harder for lower-income households to qualify for a mortgage.
These have been sadly familiar headlines for almost five years. Is there anything new—and positive—one can say about mortgages?
To find that bright spot, we can turn in a surprising direction: toward manufactured homes.
A groundbreaking I’M HOME report released this week by CFED in partnership with the Fair Mortgage Collaborative, titled Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes, analyzes $1.7 billion in loan performance data and finds that, contrary to common belief, mortgages on manufactured homes perform as well as comparable site-built home mortgages.
The study goes on to identify manufactured home mortgage products that actually outperform other loans.
Based on this evidence, more lenders and investors should be convinced to enter or expand their manufactured home mortgage offerings as good business. Home owners will then benefit by finding it easier to obtain affordable, long-term financing.
More than seventeen million Americans rely on manufactured homes for affordable housing. Manufactured homes utilize factory-built technology and cost up to 30 percent less on average than comparable site-built homes. Modern manufactured homes can be highly energy efficient, safe and attractive.
But while the price of the home is one essential ingredient in affordability, it is not the only factor. The cost of financing can be an equal or even greater factor; despite the challenges of the past several years, the U.S. tradition of a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage has been at the heart of achieving the dream of homeownership.
Sadly, millions of owners of manufactured homes don’t have the mortgage option. For up to three quarters of all owners and buyers of manufactured homes, a chattel loan is what they get. They must spend hundreds of dollars more each month to service their chattel loan—dollars that they could otherwise spend on food, clothing, utilities, education and savings. The reason that these households can’t get a mortgage is two-fold: the majority of mortgage lenders don’t lend for manufactured homes, and many manufactured homes are titled under state law as “personal property” like automobiles, and as a result don’t qualify for mortgages.
The good news is that, as shown in the new I’M HOME report, there are a solid group of lenders and investors offering mortgages to owners and buyers of manufactured homes—and these mortgages are performing well.
More good news can be found in the passage of the Uniform Manufactured Housing Act, or UMHA, by the Uniform Law Commission. The UMHA creates a simple and consistent method for owners and buyers who choose to title their manufactured home as real property instead of personal property. In many states today, the process is too onerous or limited to give homeowners a real choice, and UMHA would change that. As personal property, these homes can only be financed with chattel loans; as real property, they may be financed by mortgages. In almost every state, the UMHA would represent an improvement on existing titling law, but each state must introduce and enact the act in order to make freedom of choice a reality for more homeowners. Advocates in several states are considering introducing the UMHA, and Vermont made the first such introduction in February.
So, take heart! There is indeed good news on the mortgage front. First, owners and buyers of manufactured homes may already be able to find an affordable, long-term mortgage (if your home is titled as real property). Some sources you may want to consider include:
- Lenders doing business with your state Housing Finance Agency. Check the “HFA Directory” on the website of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) to find the HFA in your state, and ask for their approved lenders.
- Local credit unions. Resources for local credit unions include Credit Union Locator of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Member Directory of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU).
- USDA Rural Development 502 program (in qualified rural areas for eligible borrowers). Contact the USDA Rural Development office for your state to inquire about Direct or Guaranteed loans.
- FHA Title II lenders. Check the Lender List on HUD’s website.
- Community Development Financial Institutions. A helpful resource is the ‘Find a CDFI’ function of the Opportunity Finance Network.
Second, more lenders and investors are to be encouraged to initiate or expand their mortgage offerings for manufactured homes on the basis of the data analysis provided in the report, Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes.
We hope you will join us in realizing the potential of manufactured homes to play a vital role in establishing a stock of permanently affordable and energy efficient housing in the US.
Lost Generations? Wealth Building Among the Young
By Gene Steuerle, Guest Contributor on 03/26/2013 @ 01:30 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared on The Government We Deserve blog and can be read here. Special thanks to Gene for this contribution.
The young have been faring poorly in the job market for some time now, a condition only exacerbated by the Great Recession. Now comes disturbing news that they are also falling behind in their share of society’s wealth and their rate of wealth accumulation.
Signe Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Sisi Zhang, and I recently examined how different age groups have shared in the rising net wealth of the U.S. economy. Despite the recent recession, our economy in 2010 was about twice as rich both in terms of average incomes and net worth as it was 27 years earlier in 1983. But not everyone shared equally in that growth.
Younger generations have been particularly left behind. Roughly speaking, those under age 46 today, generally the Gen X and Gen Y cohorts, hadn’t accumulated any more wealth by the time they reached their 30s and 40s than their parents did over a quarter-century ago. By way of contrast, baby boomers and other older generations, or those over age 46, shared in the rising economy—they approximately doubled their net worth.
Older Generations Accumulate, Younger Generations Stagnate
Change in Average Net Worth by Age Group, 1983–2010
Households usually add to their saving as they age, while income and wealth rise over time with economic growth. If these two patterns apply consistently and proportionately, then one might expect to see, say, a parent generation accumulate $100,000 by the time its members were in their 30s and $300,000 in their 60s, whereas their children might accumulate $200,000 by their 30s and $600,000 by their 60s.
This normal pattern no longer holds for the younger among us. However, this reversal didn’t just start with the Great Recession; it seems to have begun even before the turn of the century. The young increasingly have been left behind.
Potential causes are many. The Great Recession hit housing hard, but it particularly affected the young, who were more likely to have the largest balances on their loans and the least equity relative to their home values. If a house value fell 20 percent, a younger owner with 20 percent equity would lose 100 percent in housing net worth, whereas an older owner with the mortgage paid off would witness a drop of only 20 percent.
As for the stock market, it has provided very low returns over recent years, but those who hung on through the Great Recession had most of their net worth restored to pre-recession values. Bondholders usually came out ahead by the time the recession ended as interest rates fell and underlying bonds often increased in value. Also making out well were those with annuities from defined benefit pension plans and Social Security, whose values increase when interest rates fall (though the data noted above exclude those gains in asset values). Older generations hold a much higher percentage of their portfolios in assets that have recovered or appreciated since the Great Recession.
As I mentioned earlier, however, the tendency for lesser wealth accumulation among the younger generations has been occurring for some time, so the special hit they took in the Great Recession leaves out much of the story. Here we must search for other answers to the question of why the young have been falling behind. Likely candidates for their relatively worse status, many of which are correlated, include
- a lower rate of employment when in the workforce;
- delayed entry into the workforce and into periods of accumulating saving; reduced relative pay, partly due to their first-time-ever lack of any higher educational achievement relative to past generations;
- their delayed family formation, usually a harbinger and motivator of thrift and homebuilding;
- lower relative minimum wages; and
- higher shares of compensation taken out to pay for Social Security and health care, with less left over to save.
When it comes to conventional wisdom and media attention to distributional issues, there’s a tendency simply to attribute any particular disparity, such as the young falling behind in wealth holdings, to the growth in wealth inequality in society. But the two need not be correlated. Disparities can grow within both younger and older generations, without the young necessarily falling behind as a group.
Whatever the causes, we should also remember that public policy now places increased burdens on the young, whether in ever-higher interest payments on federal debts they will be left or the political exemption of older generations from paying for their underfunded retirement and health benefits. At the same time, state and local governments have given education lower priority in their budgets; pension plans for government workers now grant reduced and sometimes zero net benefits to new, younger hires; and homeownership subsidies post-recession increasingly favor the haves over the more risky have-nots.
Maybe, more than just maybe, it’s time to think about investing in the young.
“High Touch” Loan Servicing Pays Off for Lenders, Investors and Homeowners
By Brian Hudson, Guest Contributor on 03/25/2013 @ 04:30 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of blog posts covering last week's release of the new I'M HOME Data Report titled Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes. Special thanks to Brian Hudson, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, for today's post.
At the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), we understand that our public service mission includes an obligation to help our borrowers stay in their homes. More than 20 years ago, we made the decision to bring all of our loan servicing in-house and to use a variety of mostly low-tech, but “high-touch,” techniques to help borrowers in trouble. The effectiveness of this approach is reflected in PHFA’s lower-than-average foreclosure rates.
PHFA’s portfolio of manufactured housing mortgages is included in CFED’s new report, Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes. The report describes an important effort by the I’M HOME Loan Data Collection Project to compile and analyze loan origination and performance data on manufactured home loans. Manufactured homes are an important source of affordable housing for thousands of Pennsylvanians and millions of households across the US, which is why PHFA has invested more than $200 million in manufactured home mortgages during the past decade.
I am aware that there are many investors that, unlike PHFA, avoid manufactured home loans, possibly because they believe that these loans do not perform well. To the contrary, CFED’s new report, based on $1.7 billion of loan originations, finds that manufactured home mortgages actually perform comparably to general mortgage portfolios, and in some cases they outperform comparable site-built home loans.
An outstanding factor correlated in the study with superior loan performance is “high-touch” loan servicing of the sort practiced by PHFA for all of our loans. Steps taken by PHFA to help borrowers are not complicated but involve targeted communications with borrowers. For example, if a homeowner falls more than 12 days delinquent during the six-month period after the loan closes, PHFA staff will reach out by telephone to the customer prior to the 15th of the month.
Another example is that staff attempting to reach unresponsive homeowners will hand write addresses and use colored envelopes to avoid a formal business look. Postage is also applied by hand and not run through the office mail machine. The messages inside are handwritten in a friendly, informal tone and address borrowers by their first names. This not only raises the odds that the message will be read, but it also increases the likelihood the borrower will not be intimidated by the correspondence and will contact us. The goal is to let the borrower know that our staff cannot help them if they ignore the situation.
Since 2003, PHFA has helped nearly 1,100 borrowers, including owners of both manufactured and site-built homes, who would have otherwise certainly lost their home to foreclosure. We use a variety of tools, including lowered interest rates and extended repayment plans. The typical household helped by this program is a family of three with a remaining loan balance of about $70,000. A recent review of the special-treatment loans shows that 59 percent remain current with payment, 38 percent are delinquent and only 3 percent are in foreclosure.
I encourage you to read the new CFED report for its full analysis, findings and recommendations about manufactured home mortgage performance. Affordable mortgages for manufactured homes can produce positive returns for investors and lenders and are essential for homeowners. More investors and lenders should take a serious look at investing in manufactured home mortgages as good business. A “sustainable and responsible expansion of affordable mortgages for manufactured homes” will be an essential element of a comprehensive approach toward finding affordable housing solutions that benefit our neighborhoods and households around the state and around the nation.
Brian A. Hudson, Sr. is Executive Director and CEO of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Commonwealth’s leading provider of capital for affordable homes and apartments. PHFA is one of the largest housing agencies in America. He is also President of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), a national membership organization of state housing finance agencies.
Asset-Building News Roundup - March 22, 2013
By Veronica Weis on 03/22/2013 @ 06:30 PM
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a new feature of The Inclusive Economy that will share the top news and developments of the week from the asset-building field.
Education Sequester Will Hurt Poor and Special-Needs Kids
The National Education Association estimates that 7.4 million students and 49,365 school personnel will be affected by the sequester cuts if Washington does not reach a compromise on budget cuts.
Federal funding for education is expected to see a 5.1 percent decrease. The majority of these funds go to to Title 1, special education, Head Start and programs to support school lunches, improvements, and aid. Two groups of school kids -- the poor and the disabled - will therefore be the ones who suffer the most. Title 1 and Head Start stand to lose $740 million and $406 million, while special education will lose $644 million. Other cuts include: $58.8 million in Impact Aid, $126 million in Teacher Quality State Grants, $59 million in 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and $9 million in rural education.
Hawaii Senators Introduce Measures to Help Make Homeownership More Attainable for Native Hawaiians
Hawaii’s Congressional delegation, led by Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, introduced various measures to make homeownership more attainable for Native Hawaiians. Schatz proposed three amendments to the Native Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA), which will expand housing program eligibility and succession authority to those who are one-quarter Hawaiian. It also authorizes the Hawaiian Homes Commission to set interest rates on home loans based on market conditions. Senator Hirono is an original co-sponsor of the bill.
Hirono proposed the Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act, legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant. This bill provides an avenue for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries to secure financing to purchase a home on Hawaiian Home Lands.
Is Income Inequality Increasingly Permanent?
A new paper published by The Brookings Institute as part of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity asks the question, “Rising Inequality: Transitory or Permanent?” The researchers looked at pre- and after-tax incomes from 1987 to 2009 and concluded that income inequality is increasingly permanent in America. The data only considered male and household earnings and did not break out women’s income.
"Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry" Event
Our friends at the New America’s Asset Building Program hosted author Helaine Olen for an event featuring her new book, Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry. Olen critiques the personal finance industrial complex and makes the case that our systems and structures for achieving financial security are broken or badly damaged, and that profiteers have exploited the desire to for personal financial control and turned it into a profit center for their own benefit. To watch a live recording of the event, click here.
Assets & Opportunity Network Blog Updates
Education is One Way to Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap
By Carl Rist on 03/22/2013 @ 10:00 AM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared on the 1:1 Fund's blog and can be read here.
For generations of Americans, graduating from college has been the surest route to achieving the American Dream. Indeed, in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last September in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Obama noted, “Education was the gateway to opportunity for me.” Yet, the price tag for attending college continues to rise. With tuition and fees for resident students at public four-year colleges and universities rising at an annual rate of 5.6% (from 2001-2011), one has to wonder what this financial barrier means for the future of economic and social opportunity in the United States.
A new report from Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy sheds some light on this question, and the emerging answer is a growing wealth gap, especially along racial lines, resulting from unequal education opportunity. In their report, The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide, the Brandeis researchers find a growing wealth gap between white and African-American families. The main driver of this wealth gap is homeownership, but the Brandeis researchers also identify educational inequality as another key factor, and a major cause of this is paying for college. For example, financial considerations such as rising college costs, the need to work while in school rather than attend full-time, and the concern about taking on high levels of debt result in more African-American students (compared to whites) dropping out of college without a degree. Ultimately, the Brandeis researchers estimate that educational inequality is the fourth most important driver of the racial wealth gap, behind only homeownership, household income and unemployment.
So what’s the solution? Certainly, controlling college costs and ensuring that need-based aid keeps up with inflation are strategies that we, as a nation, must pursue. But there are also things that students, families and communities can do. Since we know that students with a savings account are much more likely to attend and finish college, we need to encourage all families to start saving money early for their children’s higher education. That strategy will have a positive impact on individual families’ financial health, their children’s job prospects and economic opportunities, and the overall health and prosperity of our country. As a nation, though, we’re not great savers, and for students from low-income families, who often are students of color and who will be affected most by the financial hardships of college, the challenge is even greater.
Here at the 1:1 Fund, we believe in the importance of saving for college and want to bring this opportunity to all children, especially students of color and those from lower-income backgrounds. In San Francisco, our partners at Kindergarten to College (K2C) work with every kindergartner in the San Francisco Unified School District, whose students are 41% Asian American, 23% Latino, 11% white, 10% African American, 1% Native American, and 14% other or declined to state. Of all SFUSD students, 26.5% speak English as a second language. In Mississippi, 100% of our student savers are African American and low-income. While the rising cost of college and the limits of need-based aid must be solved at the federal and state levels, individual families and their communities can help offset the financial burden of higher education by saving early and often – the 1:1 Fund exists to help them do just that. Please consider donating to the cause, and matching students’ savings, at www.1to1fund.org.
Seven Strategies for Starting a Successful Social Enterprise as a Means for Job Creation
By Brian Spero, Guest Contributor on 03/21/2013 @ 03:30 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: At CFED, we often tout the positive impact starting a business can have on one's long-term financial security. Today's blog post extends that idea by making the case for starting a social enterprise.
As the job market slowly continues to awaken from its long slumber, many young Americans remain searching for quality employment. For those who have struggled to find work, are underemployed or are unfulfilled by a current career path, starting a social venture may be the answer. Becoming a social entrepreneur doesn't hold the potential of a financial windfall like many other pursuits, but it can be a means to sustainable long-term employment that's personally rewarding and leaves a positive impact on society.
For those who hear the calling of this noble life choice, consider these sound strategies for starting a successful social enterprise:
- Lead With Your Heart. Starting a social venture takes passion, commitment and endurance, so it's essential that you choose an initiative that inspires you. This is your chance to finally do something that you love for a living, and reap the satisfaction knowing your efforts mean even more to the community it serves. It's important to look deep within to learn not only what moves you to action, but also that which will continue to hold your ongoing attention.
- Check Your Head. It's called "social entrepreneurship" because it takes entrepreneurial business acumen to get a social venture off the ground. Make a real assessment of what you are capable of by taking inventory of your skills, your experiences and your core attributes. If you feel you are lacking in any area, be it handling accounting or managing logistics, it could mean you need to find a business partner who complements your organizational needs, or perhaps you are better suited to work as part of an ensemble team.
- Choose Wisely. The success of your enterprise starts and ends with the central mission. While stopping worldwide hunger may be your ultimate wish, an approachable goal, such as feeding hungry local children, may be a more realistic place to start. Some of the most effective social ventures focus squarely on something that can and should be changed, such as malaria plaguing people in developing nations, and providing a straightforward solution, such as supplying those in need with mosquito nets to protect them from the pests that spread disease.
- Make It Your Business. Don't let the altruistic element of social ventures fool you - the essence of what you are doing is starting a business. If you have hopes of making things work, you have to not only make a considerable time commitment, but also carefully create a plan to build your organization. Branding, marketing, building internal infrastructure and managing outbound logistics are just several of the tasks you may have to account for to give your venture the structure to endure.
- Capitalize on Advantages. As with many nonprofit or charitable organizations, opportunities exist to help your venture thrive, from tax advantages to funding grants. Educate yourself on every program you could potentially benefit from, and legally structure your organization to maximize tax relief. There are many organizations like CFED that support, fund and mentor social entrepreneurs. Other examples of these organizations include the Skoll Foundation, Acumen Fund, and Draper Richards Foundation.
- Walk Before You Run. The downfall of many promising ventures is when it expands too rapidly. Keep your goals realistic and train your focus, resisting the urge to grow before your foundation is firmly established. Position yourself for a sustainable future, while defining yourself philanthropically. If you are doing good work, growth will occur naturally.
- Put Yourself Out There. Social entrepreneurs are resourceful, innovative and creative, fearlessly lobbying for action to achieve change. Asking for help, whether it's in the form of a financial contribution, strategic partnership or the commodity of time is never easier than when you are asking for others. Always be on the lookout for ways to promote your cause, utilize efficient online marketing techniques like social media, and value the contributions of friends, family and like-minded individuals.
Social entrepreneurship is a viable alternative to the workforce grind, providing a platform to find financial stability through helping others. By choosing a worthy cause, creating a sound business structure, and generating the ideas and energy necessary to succeed, you can create new opportunities for yourself and others while effecting real change.
What other tips can you provide to those who wish to engage in social entrepreneurship?
Brian Spero is a contributor for the online resource, Money Crashers Personal Finance. He writes about ideas related to economic policy, small business and money management topics.
Cradle to College: Exploring How Children's Savings Accounts Pay Off
By Sean Luechtefeld on 03/20/2013 @ 11:15 AM
EDITOR’S NOTE: CFED’s own Leigh Tivol will be speaking as part of this PolicyLink webinar next Tuesday. If you’re available, we’d love it if you could join Leigh!
Join PolicyLink and a panel of experts discussing promising new developments in children’s savings accounts. This webinar will explore the ways that accounts not only contribute to saving for college, but also improve educational outcomes, and the odds that low-income students and students of color enroll in college.
Hear from Jose Cisneros, Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco, about the nation’s first universal children’s savings account program for kindergarteners. He will be joined by Dr. William Elliott, Assistant Professor and Director of Assets and Education Initiative at the University of Kansas, Leigh Tivol, Director of Savings and Financial Security at CFED, and Reid Cramer, Director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation. They will describe the latest research, models we’re seeing across the country and opportunities to support national policy advocacy.
To register for the webinar, click here.
Wealth Inequality: Its Causes and Cures
By Bob Friedman on 03/19/2013 @ 03:15 PM
The video, Wealth Inequality in America, went viral last Tuesday, scoring more than two million hits in less than a week.
Why the interest? A compelling video to be sure, albeit with data that has been around for awhile. It is the wealth gap that is truly stunning; the gaping chasm in wealth between virtually all Americans and the very richest one percent who control more than a third of all wealth. The wealthiest quintile of Americans owns more than 85% of all wealth. Perhaps the greater surprise is at the other end of the spectrum, with the poorest 80% of Americans (270 million people) owning less than seven percent of the nation’s wealth.
The trends are even more sobering (if that were possible): in the last 30 years, the wealthiest five percent of Americans amassed almost three-fourths of all gains, while the bottom 60% of the American people actually lost share (-5.4%).
Last week, Thomas Shapiro and his associates released a study of the causes of the tripling of the black-white racial wealth gap from $85,000 to $236,500 over 25 years. The prime determinants of the increase: duration of homeownership, household income and unemployment over the period.
Why is wealth inequality—and asset poverty—so great, and what should and can be done about it?
It is easier to assert that income inequality is at least somewhat earned—a reflection of work and merit. After all, salaries are reflected here, a clear tie to hours worked, and, arguably, to productivity as well. Earnings disparities due to wealth inequality are harder to justify, let alone explain. Does anyone think that the average billionaire contributes 400 times more to the common good than the average teacher, fire fighter or police officer?
One reason wealth inequality has grown to such an extent is because we fail to tax wealth gains, and we actually penalize low wealth people from pursuing exactly the paths they must to acquire a minimum of wealth: stability and hope.
Last year—like many years before last year—we awarded half a trillion dollars in tax breaks to homeowners, retirement savers and successful investors. Virtually all of these rewarded the richest 40-20-5-1%. At the same time, we denied the 60%--a majority of Americans—any incentive on their savings. In fact, for the poorest Americans, we went the other way, penalizing them for saving for their education, businesses, homes and futures.
There are many policies that have been suggested by New America Foundation newamerica.net, the Brandeis Institute on Assets and Social Policy iasp.brandeis.edu, the Center for Social Development csd.wstl.edu, the Initiative on Financial Security of the Assets Institute aspeninstitute.org, CFED cfed.org and others. But, since such a large part of current subsidies for wealth inequality pulse through the tax system, and since tax reform still appears on the political horizon, we must not miss the opportunity of tax reform to reduce and rationalize savings and asset-building tax incentives. Most crucial: provide a savings incentive to the poorest 60% of taxpayers who, as has been proven by well-documented demonstrations and history, will save, start businesses, buy and keep homes, go to college, create their futures and ours. This can be done for a fraction of the half-trillion dollars we spend annually with questionable effectiveness to incent saving and asset building by the wealthiest 20% of Americans.
We should encourage saving and asset-building—entrepreneurship, education, homeownership, employment—for many reasons, not just because it is fair and productive, but because it is the key to economic growth that we so need. We know that having even a few hundred dollars in savings makes kids 6-7 times more likely to aspire to and attend college, enables individuals to start their own businesses, allows the ill-housed to enter the ripening homeownership market. Research by John Haltiwanger and his colleagues at the National Bureau of Economic Research has established that almost all job growth in the past 30 years has come from new and young businesses—overwhelmingly businesses less than one year old. But investment in new businesses mostly comes from individual savings and savings of friends, families and associates; savings that have been largely wiped out over the last several years. This decimation of savings is a likely reason why job creation by new businesses has fallen from a high of 3.6 million annually before 2008 to a low of 2.2 million in the years since.
If we want to seed the next economy, lets open its doors to all, enabling them to build the skills, businesses and jobs of our future.
State Policymaker Champions Asset Agenda
By Nancy Brown, Guest Contributor and Jennifer Brooks on 03/15/2013 @ 10:00 AM
Nevada has the dubious distinction of ranking dead last overall in the 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. Both in terms of how families are faring and the strength of our policies, we have a long way to go.
To our advantage, however, we have a policymaker who is using her perch as state treasurer to take on the tough issues that stand in the way of financial security and opportunity. Nevada Treasurer Kate Marshall gave a keynote address at the Assets & Opportunity Summit, which the Financial Stability Partnership of Northern Nevada hosted on February 28 in Sparks, NV. In those remarks, the Treasurer spoke both of our victories and what else must be done.
- Building on the Silver State Matching Grant Program, which since 2010 has provided matching grant dollars to deposits made by qualifying Nevada families in a 529 account, Treasurer Marshall announced a new initiative to open college savings accounts for every kindergartener in 13 of Nevada’s rural counties. The initiative will serve between 2,500 and 2,800 kindergarteners.
- The Treasurer recognizes that as important as having money in the bank is, equally important is having the skills to effectively manage your finances and navigate an increasingly complex financial market. That’s why she advocated for legislation, which the governor signed, that requires personal finance be taught to all high school students.
- Treasurer Marshall also wants to do more to ensure that lenders can’t take advantage of consumers by charging sky-high interest rates to consumers. She wants to replicate Pennsylvania’s Better Choice program, which is a partnership between that Pennsylvania Treasurer and the credit union association to provide lower-cost alternatives to predatory payday loans.
- She is also passionate about removing the harmful savings cap in Nevada’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF). The Treasurer reached out to Governor Sandoval last fall and requested that he eliminate the TANF asset test. The response was an incremental step forward: the state will exclude college savings from counting against the limit and the human services department is committed to working toward removal of the savings cap.
In a state like Nevada—which even before the recession—has been plagued by periods of boom and bust, Treasurer Marshall’s leadership is a critical arrow in our quiver to make sure Nevada’s policies support family economic security and families’ ability to save for the future.
The Ladder of Giving
By Bob Friedman on 03/14/2013 @ 12:00 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared on the 1:1 Fund's blog and can be read here.
“The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.”
– Maimonides, 12th Century Jewish philosopher
The creation of the social safety net during the 20th Century – in the U.S. and Europe – represented major progress in the attempt to eradicate poverty. It is and was the essential move against hunger and homelessness and hopelessness. But its limits have also become clear: not only are benefits inadequate, but recipients are often penalized if they seek economic independence through education, training, home ownership, saving, or entrepreneurship. Perhaps most discouraging, dependence on benefits undermines recipients’ faith in themselves and the view of the public toward them: recipients often are viewed as dependents without skills, dreams, pride or promise.
I believe that the quest of the 21st Century is to build the ladder from poverty to self-sufficiency and prosperity, ensuring that the poor have a reasonable chance to save, go to college, and become skilled employees, entrepreneurs, homeowners and citizens – creators of wealth.
Over thirty years, CFED and our many allies, partners and friends, have proved – often with rigorous, random assignment, control group experiments – that, given a reasonable chance, low-income and even very poor people (and therefore, middle-income people) will save, go to college, buy and keep homes, start and grow businesses, and build futures for themselves, their children and the country.
The public sector has begun to respond – at the federal, state and local levels – with innovative programs like the Assets for Independence Act (Individual Development Accounts) and San Francisco’s pioneering Kindergarten to College program.
We created the 1:1 Fund with the belief that private individuals would also embrace this approach, and would be willing – even eager – to match the savings and efforts of low-income children and their parents who are doing the hard work of saving to prepare financially for college. Moreover, unconstrained by legislative restrictions, private matches could unleash the creative power of non-profits and low-income people to demonstrate new uses for matched savings beyond just college savings.
Maimonides – like leaders of many faiths – recognized that giving the gift of livelihood was the highest form of charity. The challenge for us at the 1:1 Fund is to make giving livelihood easy and widespread.
New Report Finds Car Title Loans Cost Consumers $3.6 Billion Annually
By Sean Luechtefeld on 03/13/2013 @ 01:00 PM
All too often, we hear the horror stories of consumers trapped by payday lenders, looking for a way to make ends meet and ending up in a vicious cycle of high interest rates and dwindling paychecks.
Equally problematic but less dominant in discourse about predatory lending is the impact car-title lenders have on American consumers. A collaborative study released last week by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) finds that car-title loans—small-dollar loans secured by the title to one’s own vehicle—cost U.S. consumers $3.6 billion in interest annually on $1.6 billion in loans.
The report, which you can read in full here or in Executive Summary-form here, finds that there are nearly 8,000 auto-title lenders in 21 states. On average, borrowers who use these outlets renew their loans eight times, paying a total average interest amounting to $2,142 on $951 of credit. In other words, the APR on the average title loan is a whopping 225%.
Never has the need to broaden access to safe financial products been more pronounced. Whereas having access to a no- or low-cost checking or savings account may not be the silver bullet for solving predatory lending practices, so many consumers are forced into predatory outlets because they lack access to mainstream financial services, either due to a troubled history of banking or because they lack the information necessary to make sound decisions relating to how they access their money.
Programs like Bank On work to change reverse this trend by increasing access to both safe financial products and quality financial education. With the right tools, consumers can (re)enter the mainstream banking industry and access their money without paying egregious interest.
If you have a minute, I recommend checking out the joint CRL/CFA report. It brings to light another dark spot in the predatory lending field while providing a thoughtful reflection on how we can improve financial access for all Americans.
2013 Action to Eliminate Asset Limits
By Ethan Geiling on 03/12/2013 @ 04:30 PM
Many public benefit programs— like cash welfare, Medicaid and food assistance—limit eligibility to those with few or no assets. Yet, these asset limits force low-income families to “spend down” personal reserves in order to get any government help. These reserves are precisely the kind of personal safety net that can keep families from falling deeper into poverty and help them move to financial security and opportunity.
Inconsistencies in the treatment of assets also mean confusion and a patchwork of complex rules with no overarching logic. And most importantly, asset tests send a signal that the poor should not save.
Many advocates across the country are pushing policymakers to take action on asset limits. In 2013, we’ve already seen significant (and almost all positive!) movement in ten states:
- Hawaii: Advocates in Hawaii have been pushing asset limit reform for many years with mixed success. However, last year, Hawaii enacted legislation requiring the Department of Human Services to study the impact of eliminating asset tests (read the report). This year, the Hawaii legislature introduced SB 1099 and HB 868 to eliminate asset limits in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The current TANF asset limit is $5,000.
- Nevada: The Department of Health and Human Services, at the urging of the State Treasurer Kate Marshall, recently announced that it will exclude 529s from the TANF asset test. The Department has also committed to re-evaluating the state’s asset limit policies, and may ultimately decide to completely eliminate the TANF asset test in the coming months.
- Massachusetts: The Midas Collaborative is working with State Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representative Linda Dorcena Forry to pass legislation that would increase the TANF asset limit (read a blog post).
- Nebraska: Voices for Children Nebraska is pushing legislation that would align asset limits in the TANF and child care subsidy programs with the SNAP asset limit, which was raised to $25,000 in liquid resources in 2011 (see a presentation about Nebraska asset limit reform from the 2012 Assets Learning Conference).
- Illinois: The Illinois Asset Building Group has helped introduce two bills (SB2319 / HB2262) that would remove the asset test in TANF. See these fact sheets for more information.
- Minnesota: Last year the Minnesota legislature required its Department of Human Services to study the impact of eliminating asset tests (read the report). The report concludes that if the state truly wants to support “greater stability and longer-term self-sufficiency …, current asset limit requirements [should] be eliminated completely…”
- California: Advocates in California are advancing legislation to exclude vehicles from the TANF asset test.
- Oregon: Oregon has introduced a bill to exclude modest retirement savings for IDA Initiative participants (check out Neighborhood Partnership’s summary here).
- Arkansas: Southern Bancorp Community Partners just released a new policy report examining state asset limits. Advocates plan to aggressively pursue asset limit eliminating this session.
- Oklahoma: Oklahoma is the only state where we’ve seen negative action so far. A bill is moving through the legislature (HB2017) that would reinstate the SNAP asset test at $5,000.
Since 1996, there has been a huge push to tackle this issue. Twenty-four states have eliminated Medicaid asset limits entirely, and all remaining states will be required to eliminate the Medicaid asset test by 2014 as part of the health care overhaul. Six states have eliminated TANF asset limits and 36 states have eliminated SNAP asset limits.
Two states have substantially increased the asset limits in their Medicaid or TANF programs, and 36 states have excluded important categories of assets from these limits in one or both programs.
Check out our Scorecard Resource Guide for more information about what states have done, research showing the effects of asset limit elimination, and case studies from states that have successfully eliminated their asset tests.
Income and Wealth in America Across Generations
By Sean Luechtefeld on 03/11/2013 @ 12:45 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: We received notification of this first-of-its-kind tool from the folks at the Pew Charitable Trusts. We think it's a great way to show the cross-generational economic mobility of American families. Credit to the Pew Charitable Trusts for the content of this blog post.
This interactive tool by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ economic mobility project displays not only which Americans are more likely to exceed or fall short of the income and wealth held by their parents, but—for the first time—by how much. It provides a unique way to analyze absolute mobility in America and drill down into the specific effects of education level, race, and number of earners present in a household. Select findings include:
- 83 percent of Americans exceed their parents’ family income by at least $1,000.
- Half of Americans exceed their parents’ family wealth, and 47 percent have at least $5,000 less wealth than their parents.
- Having a college degree is associated with absolute upward mobility at all income and wealth thresholds and is especially important for upward wealth mobility from the bottom.
- Blacks are less likely to experience absolute upward income and wealth mobility than are whites.
- A greater proportion of dual-earner families surpass their parents’ family income than do single-earner families.
To check out this exciting, interactive new tool, visit the Pew Charitable Trusts' website.
Nevada Announces Groundbreaking New Children’s Savings Initiative
Last week, Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall announced a new initiative to open a college savings account for every incoming kindergartener in 13 of Nevada’s rural counties. The initiative will serve between 2,500 and 2,800 kindergarteners. Treasurer Marshall made the announcement at the Financial Stability Partnership of Northern Nevada’s statewide Assets & Opportunity Summit, held on February 28 in Sparks, Nevada.
The savings accounts will be seeded with a $50 initial deposit that can be used to pay for postsecondary education expenses at any U.S. Dept. of Education approved educational institution. Funding for the $50 deposits will come from program manager fees; no state taxpayer dollars will be used. An omnibus account will be administered by Upromise, the Nevada College Plans Programs program manager. This groundbreaking initiative builds on a previous innovative education program introduced by Treasurer Marshall. In 2010, the state of Nevada created the Silver State Matching Grant Program, which provides matching grant dollars to deposits made by qualifying Nevada families in a 529 account.
The Nevada initiative is part of a growing national movement to help low-income children save for college and learn how to manage their finances. The City and County of San Francisco paved the way for large-scale children’s savings programs when it launched the Kindergarten to College program in 2010, providing a $50 deposit to public school kindergarteners. In late 2012, Cuyahoga County in Ohio announced a similar initiative to open a college savings account for every incoming kindergartener in the county. Similar pilot programs are underway in Mississippi and Colorado.
Replication of these programs demonstrates the growing recognition by local and state governments that even a small amount of savings can have a dramatic impact on long-term expectations, particularly for low-income children who may otherwise grow up believing college is out of reach. Research shows that students with a college savings account are seven times more likely to attend college, regardless of how much money is in the account. This research reinforces what CFED has often said about savings accounts: they are hope in concrete form.
Take Action on Hunger with 'A Place at the Table'
By Veronica Weis on 03/07/2013 @ 11:00 AM
Most headlines concerning nutrition in America focus on rising obesity rates, especially among children. However, little attention is paid to the problem of food insecurity that leaves about 50 million low-income Americans victims of hunger, including nearly 17 million children. That's one in four kids.
To shed light on this important issue, A Place at the Table, a film concerning hunger in the United States, was released on March 1. As it points out, obesity and hunger are actually interrelated problems. Low-income families struggle to afford healthy, more expensive food despite having jobs, leaving them with empty calories and poor nutrition. To deal with obesity, we also need to tackle hunger.
One notable mention in the film is the role of federal food assistance through food stamps, otherwise known as SNAP, in curbing food insecurity. It suggests that these programs need to be reformed and expanded in order to combat the very solvable problem of hunger in this country. The documentary’s website offers a SNAP alumni gallery that features notable public figures who were once dependent on food stamps and rose out of poverty with the support of federal programs.
A Place at the Table shows the public that hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all. As in the past, if the American public decides that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all, we'll be able to tackle this problem together.
The conversation doesn’t stop with the film. The producers and team see it as a call to action. Their website serves as a resource for all kinds of hunger-related advocacy. Take a look around and learn how you can become an advocate to end hunger in America!
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The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide
By Tatjana Meschede, Guest Contributor on 03/06/2013 @ 11:00 AM
EDITOR'S NOTE: CFED invited Tatjana to offer this guest blog post on IASP's groundbreaking new study on the burgeoning racial wealth gap.
Wealth inequality has become central to the debate over whether our nation is on a sustainable economic path. New research by Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) shows the dramatic gap in household wealth that now exists along racial lines in the United States. The IASP study, “The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide,” followed 1,700 working-age households over what is now a 25-year period – from 1984 to 2009. This approach offers a unique opportunity to understand what happens to the wealth gap over the course of a generation and the effect of policy and institutional decision-making on how average families accumulate wealth.
This new study found the wealth gap almost tripled from 1984 to 2009, increasing from $85,000 to $236,500. The median net worth of white households in the study has grown to $265,000 over the 25-year period compared with just $28,500 for black households. The dramatic increase in the racial wealth gap has accelerated despite the country’s movement beyond the Civil Rights era into a period of legal equality and the election of the first African-American president. The resulting toxic inequality now threatens the U.S. economy and indeed, American society, the study concludes.
Setting out to determine what is driving the disparity today, IASP was able to statistically validate five fundamental factors that together account for two-thirds of the proportional increase in the racial wealth gap. Those five factors include the number of years of homeownership; average family income; employment stability, particularly through the Great Recession; college education; and family financial support and inheritance. While marriage is another factor that was studied, its impact is quite small. Unmistakably, the rise in racial wealth inequality cannot solely be attributed to personal ambition and behavioral choices, but rather reflects policies and institutional practices that create different opportunities for whites and African-Americans.
The report recommends that policymakers take steps such as strengthening and enforcing fair housing, mortgage and lending policies; raising the minimum wage and enforcing equal pay provisions; investing in high-quality childcare and early childhood development; and overhauling preferential tax treatments for dividend and interest income and the home mortgage deduction.
Currently reading page 3 of 47.