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    In Pursuit of Financial Well-Being: A Conversation on Fairness, Accessibility, and Empowerment

    In a world of growing financial complexity, predatory products, stagnating wages, and escalating inequality, financial insecurity is a dramatic problem. To kick off our focus on this topic, we gathered a group of leaders who are combating financial insecurity by both working with individuals and changing systems for a conversation on how it all relates and how to balance the big picture and the household-level work.

    Taking part in this conversation with Shelterforce editor Miriam Axel-Lute and NHI executive director Harold Simon, were Holly Frindell, senior program manager, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders; Andrea Levere, president, CFED; Andrea Luquetta-Kern, director of policy and research, California Reinvestment Coalition; Ann Solomon, strategic initiatives manager, Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; and Woody Widrow, executive director, RAISE Texas and NHI board member.

     · 

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    Is Financial Unsteadiness the New Normal?

    A yearlong analysis of 200-plus households suggests that we should add a third leg to the financial security stool along with income and assets—cash flow.  · 

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    The Ripple Effects of Income Volatility

    Research shows a connection between the financial instability of families and the economic health of communities.  · 

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    Fight for Full Time

    Unpredictable hours lead to unpredictable cash flow, which is a barrier to budgeting and saving. One response to this—the Opportunity to Work Initiative—would require that San Jose employers give more hours to part-time employees before hiring new staff.  · 

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    Challenging the Almighty Credit Score

    A majority of mainstream lenders base loan approvals on a hotly debated three-digit score. Are there better, fairer ways to assess risk?  · 

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    College Bound

    Children’s savings accounts for higher education, even those that have accumulated only small amounts of money, can change expectations for low-income students—and they might also provide a vehicle for larger wealth transfers.  · 

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    Financial Inclusion Begins With Our Tax Code

    Changes to tax programs that support low-wage earners will strengthen gains made in the asset-building field.  · 

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    Why Financial Education Should Get Political

    Financial curricula for low-income households often focus on personal choices about budgeting and saving—but if they don’t also address systemic problems, exploitation, and discrimination, they aren’t speaking to their audience’s reality.  · 

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    The Catalyzing Power of Art

    Art can be an economic engine for neighborhoods—but sometimes locally-based artists need some support to kick their “businesses” into gear, and community-based organizations are stepping up.  · 

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    Interview: Sheila Crowley, Past President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

    When word came that Sheila Crowley was intending to step down from her longtime role at the head of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, we knew immediately that we wanted to do an exit interview with her. Crowley has led the organization through dramatic times, keeping a focus on those with the most pressing housing need when many wanted to just talk homeownership, staying the course with the National Housing Trust Fund, and modeling how to do national advocacy that leads with the voices of those directly affected. Shortly before Crowley’s actual departure, we spoke with her about how she got where she is, the state of the field, and what’s coming next.  · 

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    Getting Beyond the Developer Fee

    In tough financial times, community developers are hanging on to their developer fees despite competition, but many are also diversifying their programs and revenue streams.

    “CitiThanks”  · 

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BOOKS

What It’s Worth— Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation. Edited by Laura Choi, David Erickson, Kate Griffin, Andrea Levere, and Ellen Seidman. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco/CFED, 2015, 393 pp., Free.

Download a copy at nhi.org/go/77173

Web Exclusive »

Housing Authority Eliminates Ban of Ex-Offenders

With the approval of new background check procedures, a criminal conviction won’t automatically disqualify a person from receiving public housing or voucher assistance in New Orleans.

Katy Reckdahl  ·  July 5, 2016

ROOFLINES

blogging beyond bricks & mortar
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