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October 2016 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Coming this fall…

There are several key reports being released this fall by RAISE Texas and our partners. Through OpportunityTexas, our partnership with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we look forward to presenting our findings on Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) for College. Keep an eye out for announcements about the release of reports on the impact of our work on CSAs for College and what local United Ways are doing to increase financial stability in their communities across Texas.

Are YOU Connected to RAISE Texas?

Our monthly e-newsletters are not the only way that we share and communicate information to our network. We also post key information on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to connect with us if you haven’t already- www.facebook.com/RAISETexas and www.twitter.com/RAISETexas.

RAISE Texas Board Member and Partner Named Vice Chair
RAISE Texas is proud to announce that Ann Baddour, director of Fair Financial Services Project at Texas Appleseed and RAISE Texas Board Member, has been named vice chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board. Congratulations Ann!

Texas News

Affordable Housing Forum on October 13

The Austin Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) is hosting an Affordable Housing Forum on October 13, 2016 from 8:30am-1:00pm at The Norris Conference Center. Forum topics include: State of Austin Housing Market, Affordable Mortgage Options, Resources for Potential Homebuyers, and Affordable Housing Trends and Solutions. The forum is free but advance registration is required. Click here for more information and to register.

New Toolkit to Help Municipalities Fight Payday Lending

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Texas Appleseed released a toolkit, A Toolkit for Cities: Increasing Access to Fair, Low-Cost Loans, to help local municipalities increase access to fair, low-cost loans for their employees and constituents they serve. The toolkit lays out specific opportunities, highlights the benefits to cities and communities, and includes quick facts, tips and case study examples of programs locally and across the nation. Click here to access the toolkit.

Brazos Valley CDC, Inc. Receives CDFI Fund Award

RAISE Texas would like to congratulate Brazos Valley CDC, Inc., a RAISE Texas Member, on receiving a CDFI Fund award. A total of 457 applications were received by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), and 196 CDFIs were awarded $185.7 million in grants. These grants will allow the CDFIs to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities. Click here to see the entire list of awards.

Match the Promise Foundation Scholarships Available- Apply Now!

The Match the Promise Foundation encourages families to save for college by supplementing their contributions to the Texas Tuition Promise Fund®. Approved recipients can receive matching scholarships of tuition units worth up to $1,000 at today's prices, and top-scoring recipients can also receive one-time grants of tuition units worth $2,000 at today's prices.

To apply, children must meet these criteria:

  • Be a fifth through ninth grader
  • Have a family with an annual income of $100,000 or less
  • Be a Texas resident
  • Be enrolled in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund
Eligible applicants may apply for Match the Promise scholarships between Sept. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016. Families may also enroll in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund during this time if they haven't already done so.

National News and Resources

Register for the I’M HOME Conference in San Antonio, Texas Today!

If you care about expanding access to affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families, you don't want to miss the 2016 I’M HOME Conference. This year the conference will be held at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX, from November 14-16 to bring together a growing community that is passionate about tackling the biggest challenges in manufactured housing, the single-largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the US. Check out the program agenda for more information on the event and to read about the dozen breakout sessions available. Click here to register for the conference today!

Take the DISABLE POVERTY Campaign Pledge

The National Disability Institute (NDI) believes that no one with a disability should live in poverty, so they launched the DISABLE POVERTY Campaign. In the next 10 years, NDI is committed to increasing the use of mainstream banking products and services among Americans with disabilities by 50 percent and decreasing the number of working-age adults with disabilities living in poverty by 50 percent. Read more about this campaign or join here.

Free Webinars to Learn How to Use the Your Money, Your Goals Toolkit

During the month of October, CFPB is hosting a series of webinars to train individuals and organizations on how to use the Your Money, Your Goals tools and information in their community. Click on one of the dates below to register for the upcoming webinar.

Relaxing Asset Limits on SNAP Recipients Increases Household Savings

New research by the Urban Institute, The Unintended Consequences of SNAP Asset Limits, confirmed that the asset limits inhibit savings among recipients under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This new research found that relaxing asset limits on the SNAP program increases low-income households’ savings (8 percent more likely to have at least $500 saved) and participation in mainstream financial markets (5 percent more likely to have a bank account). The findings also found that the relaxed asset limits reduces SNAP churn by 26 percent, meaning that fewer people are cycling on and off the program. This decreases administrative program costs. By 2012, 36 states eliminated asset limits for SNAP benefits and four states increased the dollar limits. A few states have reinstated asset limits since, but Texas continues to have asset limits for TANF and SNAP programs. Click here to read the entire publication.