Homeownership

Asset Building News Week, July 16 - 20

July 20, 2012
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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 college financing, housing policy, consumer protection, and asset limits.

Funding Legal Aid is Essential to Preventing Foreclosures

July 19, 2012
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Earlier this summer, I wrote about the significant cuts to the budget of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides funding to around 137 legal aid programs with over nine hundred offices nationwide. These organizations provide crucial services to low-income communities, ranging from foreclosure prevention to domestic violence services to increasing access to public benefits.  LSC-funded programs employ approximately 58% of the attorneys working in the legal aid field. Legal aid programs support asset building by helping clients access basic necessities and maintain their existing assets—including most families’ greatest asset, the home. Unfortunately, insufficient funding has left legal aid organizations struggling, and most families facing foreclosure unrepresented. However, banks have an opportunity to make small changes that could have a big impact with respect to one of legal aid's major funding streams - the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts program.

The Inefficiency of the Mortgage Interest Deduction

July 18, 2012
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Matthew O’Brien over at The Atlantic had a piece up yesterday with the bold headline: “Why the Mortgage Interest Deduction is Terrible.” What he means (and does a solid job at explaining in the piece) is that the mortgage interest tax deduction primarily benefits homeowners in the top fifth of income earners. O’Brien writes, “We spend $100 billion every year -- that's the annual cost of the deduction -- subsidizing bigger houses for the upper middle class. This should be among the lowest of low-hanging fruit when it comes to tax reform. It would be nice to end welfare for the well-off.” He notes that the top 1% of earners (those making over half a million dollars a year) receive more benefit from the mortgage interest deduction than the entire bottom 56% of earners combined.

Asset Building News Week, July 9 - 13

July 13, 2012
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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 financial services, homeownership, and poverty.

Event Summary: Jobs are Not Enough

July 12, 2012
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The Asset Building Program hosted an event Wednesday, July 11 to release the July/August issue of the Washington Monthly. The issue focuses on the importance and applicability of the asset building agenda in the lives of all Americans. Utilizing the magazine's focus as a frame for the event, our panelists tackled critical themes such as savings as a path to higher education, the importance of life-long savings mechanisms, the role of federal policies in promoting prosperity, and a growing political divide between young and old Americans.

The Asset Agenda

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

Over the course of the last two decades, a community of academics, policy wonks, and practitioners has been busy developing and testing ideas for helping ordinary people to save more and build their assets. Here are a few of the signature proposals of what has come to be known as the asset-building movement.

Economic Justice, Subprime lending, and the Erosion of Black Americans' Wealth

July 10, 2012

On Sunday, the Washington Post ran a piece entitled "For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last." The piece effectively chronicles the rise in importance of the credit score, a seemingly neutral measure of a person's worthiness of credit, and the disproporionate impact subprime lending has had on the black community, including the black middle class. As Ylan Miu writes, "For most people, credit is the key to accessing the trappings of the American Dream, such as higher education and homeownership. That makes the scores, and the detailed personal financial reports that accompany them, one of the most important factors in determining financial opportunity."

Event: Jobs are Not Enough - July 11

July 9, 2012
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Wednesday July 11th, the Asset Building Program will be hosting an event focused on the special July/August issue of the Washington Monthly. "The Future of Success" takes a look at current economic conditions, how we got here, the impact of the recession on the wealth of American families, and how we might get out. The editors and writers of the Monthly have taken the asset building perspective to heart and decided that it is a critical tool for restoring the American Dream. The event will feature two panels, one comprised of contributors to the issue, the other of expert commentators on the issues at hand.

Asset Building News Week, July 2 - 6

July 6, 2012
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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 anti-poverty initiatives, access to financial services, and inequality.

Asset Building News Week, June 25-29

June 29, 2012
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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 homeownership, financial security, and inequality in education.

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