Low-income families have scant savings to cushion a job loss or illness, and can find economic mobility impossible without funds to invest in education, homes, or businesses. And though a lack of resources leaves such families vulnerable, income-support programs are often closed to those with a bit of savings or even a car. Considering welfare-to-work reforms, the increasingly advanced skill demands of the American workforce, and our stretched Social Security system, such an approach is inadequate to lift families out of poverty. Asset-based policies—allowing or even helping low-income families build wealth—are an increasingly popular strategy to facilitate financial stability.
Project: Poor Finances: Assets and Low-Income Households
McKernan, S.-M., & Sherraden, M. (Eds.). (2008). Asset building and low-income families. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.