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April 2019 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Children’s Savings Accounts Now Opening in North Texas

After a number of years of piloting Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) Programs in Texas, the first CSA Program has officially launched! United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Communities Foundation of Texas are partnering with Lancaster ISD to offer the Dollars for College Program for all kindergarten students in the district. In the first month we have had overwhelming success in getting parents to agree to have a college savings account opened for their children. RAISE Texas continues to provide technical assistance to support the partners in this program in order for all of us to get a better understanding of what makes a successful CSA Program. We will keep our network updated on this program as it moves forward, and also on any other CSA program(s) launched in the coming year.

Texas News

Register TODAY for the FINCAP Summit 2019

Register now for the Financial Wellness and Innovation Summit hosted by the Financial Literacy Coalition of Central Texas in partnership with the Austin Public Library and the Dallas Fed. This event will gather community leaders, nonprofits, financial institutions and government agencies to explore collaborative solutions to improve Texans' financial capability and well-being. The event will take place on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 8am-4pm at the Austin Public Library Events Center.

Speakers include:
Jennifer Medina, Prosperity Now
Irene Skricki, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Leslie Jones, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Woody Widrow, Executive Director of RAISE Texas, will be a presenter on a panel at the event on, “Why Financial Capability Matters? Bridging the Racial Wealth Gap.” Click here for more information or to register for the event.

Texas Organization Selected for Your Money, Your Goals 2019 Cohort

Congratulations to the 40 organizations that were selected by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be part of the 2019 Your Money, Your Goals cohort! RAISE Texas wants to say a special congrats to one of those selected the Community Enrichment Center (CEC) in the Tarrant County area of North Texas. We look forward to hearing about how well the Your Money, Your Goals tools benefit your clients as part of you wrap-around service model.

RAISE Texas Members Release Report on Effects of Payday Loans on Texas Veterans

Texas Appleseed, United Way of Greater Houston and United Way of Central Texas released a report Thank You For Your Service: The Effects of Payday and Auto Title Loans on Texas Veterans. It explores how Veterans can be vulnerable to payday and auto title loans that are sold as “easy money” due to financial hardship resulting from the transition to civilian life and health challenges from their time in service. Report findings include:

  • Basic needs drive veteran use of payday and auto title loans;
  • Veterans get caught up in payday or auto title loans at high rates;
  • Veterans face illegal threats and harassment related to payments and collections of payday and auto title loans, which is illegal;
  • High-cost payday and auto title loans often pull veterans into an ongoing cycle of debt and financial hardship.
Click here to read the entire report.

National News

Protect Kids from Identity Theft and Fraud

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a blog about the new federal law that lets parents, legal guardians and child welfare representatives of people under 16, request a security freeze, or credit freeze, on their behalf. This is a free way to help protect a young person from identity theft and fraud. Click here for more details.

Buying a Home Earlier in Life can Benefit You Later

The Urban Institute released a new study that finds the younger you buy a home, the wealthier you will be by the age of 60 years old. The study shows “a $72,000 difference in the median housing wealth of those who bought their first home between ages 25 and 34 and those who waited until they were 35 to 44.” Click here to read the entire report.

Report: Shortage of 7 Million Apartments for the Nation’s Lowest-Income Renters

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, which finds a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters. Unfortunately, Texas is one of the states found to have 30 or fewer rental homes affordable and available per 100 extremely low-income renter household. The shortage of affordable homes leaves 71% of extremely low-income renter households severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their limited incomes on housing. The vast majority of extremely low-income renters are seniors (26%), people with disabilities (22%), or people in the labor force (39%). Find the entire report here.