MINNESOTA ASSET BUILDING COALITION
Research from the Corporation For Enterprise Development (CFED) indicates that one in four – more than 1.5 million Minnesotans -- are “asset poor” -- that is, they are unable to meet basic needs for three months if a bump in the financial road (like a job loss or a health crisis) causes a sudden and unexpected reduction in income. Assets matter. They provide the means to weather the inevitable financial setbacks we all endure, while offering hope and opportunity for a better future.
They allow financially fragile individuals and families to work toward the goal all Minnesotans share: to achieve financial stability and prosperity. Asset building policies exist along a continuum. They: (1) help Minnesotans learn to become financially literate; (2) provide opportunities to earn a sufficient amount to support a family; (3) foster saving and investment; and (4) protect acquired assets from predatory financial practices. They ensure families have adequate health care, sufficient child care, and affordable housing.
Asset building strategies include ensuring an appropriate safety net, fostering college savings funds, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), expanding small business and entrepreneurial opportunities, providing more access to retirement accounts, helping individuals build credit, and creating opportunities for home ownership. They work to close the unacceptably large racial and cultural disparities that plague Minnesota in many asset building areas.
Michele Smith, vehicle program and FAIM participant with Community Action Partnership of Ramsey/Washington Counties (CAPRW) testifies before the MN Senate Jobs, Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, March 11th, 2015. Next to Smith is Senator Tom Saxhaug, chief author of the "Getting to Work" bill. Seated on the left is Maiya Yang, vehicle program director with CAPRW, who also testified.