A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting at and attending the bi-annual conference held by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (or CFED, since everything in government and policy has to have an acronym). CFED‘s mission is to empower low- and moderate-income households to build and preserve assets by advancing policies and programs that help them achieve the American Dream, including buying a home, pursuing higher education, starting a business and saving for the future.
I can’t help but feel that their mission has become even more relevant over the past several years with rising poverty, high unemployment, and an increase in foreclosures brought on by changes in economic circumstances. In the recently released Census data, we saw that child poverty and overall poverty rates in Nebraska saw no improvement over the past year.
One of the things that asset building can do is to provide a pathway out of poverty. The economic circumstances of the past several years caught many families off guard and has hopefully increased awareness about the importance of building resources that promote long term financial security.
CFED’s work is based on the recognition that income alone does not create financial stability and it is only when families have things like savings for retirement and home equity that they can truly become financially stable.
At the conference, CFED officially launched a new national network committed to promoting the building and preservation of assets, aptly named the Assets and Opportunities Network. The network is a new resource to connect state and national advocates, researchers and practitioners in asset building. It can be used for information sharing, technical assistance, and collective support of policies and programs.
Take a look at this new network, and consider joining in on efforts to help rebuild the American Dream.
More information on the Assets and Opportunities Network as well as how to join is available here.