October 2017 Newsletter
RAISE Texas News
Convening Began Conversations on Homeownership, Healthcare, Financial Capability and More!
In September, Prosperity Now, CDC of Brownsville, RAISE Texas, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and United Way of Southern Cameron County held a convening in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) to raise issues affecting many living there and how new partnerships can increase impact. Prosperity Now’s Scorecard and the University of Texas School of Public Health found several devastating facts about the population in the RGV including: almost 60% of the residents live in liquid asset poverty, 60% do not have health insurance, and one in three has been diagnosed with diabetes. This convening brought together committed community advocates from the Rio Grande Valley and other practitioners, funders and groups from around Texas and the nation to discuss solutions and ways to greatly impact these statistics. The conversation focused on homeownership, healthcare, financial capability and workforce opportunities. Read Prosperity Now’s blog post, Deep in the Heart of South Texas: Client-Centered Design, Empowerment & Innovation, for reactions and details from the event.RAISE Texas would like to thank all of the convening partners and those that attended the event for their commitment to increasing the financial health of Texans in the Rio Grande Valley. We look forward to hearing about ideas and findings from other convenings to be held across the country.
Reminder: Toolkit Available to Help Texans Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Parts of Texas were devastated by Hurricane Harvey over a month ago, but the recovery and rebuilding efforts will take time. Once the most urgent needs are met, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a toolkit to assist victims in taking steps to take care of financial obligations by providing trusted resources and information. Find the toolkit here.
NeighborWorks Training on Disaster Recovery Counseling with Tuition Cost Covered
On October 24, 2017, Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation is offering a one-day training, Navigating the Road to Housing Recovery: Training the Counselor. Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, this training will feature a comprehensive Consumer Resource Guide to help counselors navigate the state and federal programs available to disaster victims. Information about housing recovery options for renters and homeowners will also be discussed. Seating is limited so register today. Use the invitation code PBTChase7 when you register and JPMorgan Chase will cover the cost of tuition for the course and lunch. The deadline to register for this training is October 18, 2017. Click here to register.
CDFI Fund Announces FY 2017 Awards
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) provides awards to CDFIs across the nation to increase lending and investment activity in low-income communities. Through the CDFI Program for FY 2017, 265 organizations in 46 states and the District of Columbia were awarded $171.1 million in Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance. Congratulations to all of the Texas organizations awarded including Border Federal Credit Union (Del Rio), GECU (El Paso) and Mountain Star Federal Credit Union (El Paso). Click here for the entire list of awards.
City of Austin Wins Appeal of Municipal Court Preemption DecisionRecently the Travis County Court at Law Number 2 ruled that the Austin payday lending ordinance is not preempted by state law. The two opinions in question revealed two credit access businesses (CABs) violated the city ordinance which requires “any extension of credit that a CAB obtains or assists a consumer in obtaining to be payable in no more than four installments, with each installment repaying ‘at least 25% of the total amount of the transaction, including the principal fees, interest, and any other charges or costs’ that the consumer owes to the CAB” (see Austin City Code § 4-12-22(D) ). Customers reported both CABs to the Regulatory Monitor of the City of Austin which reviewed the transaction and found probable cause for city code violations. These violations were ultimately upheld in court. This is a big victory for the city ordinances that protect Texans in many cities throughout the state from predatory lending practices. Click to read the two opinions: ACSOOpinion and MoneyStoreOpinion.
National News and Resources
Final Deadline to Apply for the CFPB Your Money, Your Goals 2018 Cohort This FRIDAY
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is looking for approximately 40 organizations nationwide that are interested in using the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit and other resources to help build the financial well-being of the people they serve. Organizations in the Your Money, Your Goals 2018 cohort will receive training, materials and technical assistance. The deadline to apply for the 2018 cohort is coming quickly on October 6, 2017. Apply today!
Webinar on Advancing Financial Inclusion Through Innovative Financial Products 10/12
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is hosting a webinar on October 12 to discuss financial products and solutions that organizations across the country are using to address income volatility and financial inclusion. These solutions and products are helping families manage cash flow, build savings, increase credit and confidence. Hear from experts about research, current initiatives and best practices to help address the challenges low-income households face in the financial marketplace. Click here to register now!
New Tax Time Savings Report Released
Prepare + Prosper and Center for Economic Progress released a new report that sheds new light on how tax time can be leveraged to weather emergencies and promote financial stability. The report, “Moving People to Save at Tax Time: Lessons from the Field”, used surveys, focus groups, on-site observations and analysis of data to offer key findings and recommendations for practitioners in the field to facilitate savings and to help people build financial stability. Key findings include: refund size influences the decision to save more than income does, and some people save their refund after they receive it. Click here to read the report.