Ownership & Assets

Will GAO Examine Savings Bond Policy?

June 24, 2014
Publication Image We've long been in favor of expanding access to savings bonds. They're well-known, secure and historically have been available to everyone. Unfortunately, that's not really the case anymore. The Treasury Department eliminated retail sales of paper bonds a few years back and also ended a payroll purchase program. Treasury seems to have preferred to try to skip a generation by moving all sales online, through their TreasuryDirect portal. Unfortunately, this creates all manner of issues for Americans.

Investing in Children

  • By
  • Terri Friedline,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Nik Schuetz, University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare
June 24, 2014
Properly designed and integrated Child Development Accounts (CDAs) can have lasting, positive effects on children's educational development and can improve their long-term economic outcomes.

Asset Building News Week, June 16-20

June 20, 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 children's savings, retirement savings, financial services, inequality, and housing.

Children's Savings: How Far We've Come

June 18, 2014
Children's Savings Accounts have received a great deal of attention in 2014. The incoming Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), made a splash when he highlighted CSAs as one of his top priorities upon taking the gavel.

Children's Savings Accounts

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Rachel Black,
  • Justin King,
  • New America Foundation
June 18, 2014
The American Dream is built upon the enduring values of equal opportunity and personal responsibility. Ensuring that this dream remains attainable depends upon America being able to promote these values among rising generations. Research and experience in the field consistently supports the thesis that children's savings accounts (CSAs) can provide a vehicle to support these objectives.

Asset Building News Week, June 9-13

June 13, 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 education, income, wealth, and housing issues.
 
Education

Bringing College Savings Within Reach?

June 13, 2014
Publication Image Saving is hard. We know that all too well. It's one of the reasons that only about 3 percent of American families use tax-advantaged savings accounts (529s and Coverdells) to save for college. Saving is even harder when you're told you have to choose between putting food on the table and putting some money away for your child's college education.

Guest Post: Senate Housing Bill Expands Reach of Self-Sufficiency Program

June 10, 2014

Editor's note: This piece was authored by Barbara Sard, Vice President for Housing Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It originally appeared on CBPP's blog, Off the Charts. Click here to learn more about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. 

We’ve noted several areas where the Senate Appropriations Committee-approved bill to fund the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) improves on its House counterpart.  Here’s another:  the Senate bill would enable more families with housing assistance to participate in HUD’s effective but underutilized Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program; the House bill wouldn’t.

Under FSS, created in 1990 based on a proposal by the first Bush Administration, participants sign a contract with the public housing agency detailing their plans to acquire educational or vocational training and their interim or longer-term goals, such as getting a job or a higher salary or starting a business.  To complete the program (which generally takes five years), the head of the household must be employed and, if the family receives welfare benefits, each family member must become independent of those benefits and remain so for 12 months.

Asset Building News Week, June 2-6

June 6, 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 poverty, employment, and retirement.

Using Concepts from the Field of Cognitive Science to Improve Self-Sufficiency Programs

June 4, 2014
Publication Image Maya Brennan with the Center for Housing Policy has published a fascinating new report entitled “Strengthening Economic Self-Sufficiency Programs: How Housing Authorities Can Use Behavioral and Cognitive Science to Improve Programs.” Brennan uses concepts from the fields of behavioral and cognitive science to evaluate strategies public housing authorities (PHAs) and other providers of housing assistance can utilize to better support their low-income participants. This work has the potential to improve the efficacy of programs designed to support increased earnings and broader upward mobility for recipients of housing assistance.
 
Research from the field of cognitive science helps explain the ways that experiences with “frequent or extended episodes of poverty, trauma, and social bias” affect the decision-making, long-term planning, and other abilities of families receiving rental assistance. Incorporating an awareness of this dynamic into program design at the PHA level therefore can help families participating in programs accomplish their goals and achieve self-sufficiency.
 
Specifically, the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is well-situated to tackle these issues because it has design elements that already reflect an understanding of what kind of support is needed to help families get on track.
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