Download the Report
Boston Globe Editorial: How Not to Help the Poor
Boston Globe: Sweeping Welfare Changes on Tap
Metrowest Daily News: Low-Income Families Need More Help to Stay Out of Poverty
Why Asset Develop Matters
Financial instability, poverty, and homelessness (or the constant threat of any
of these) are a way of life for a large – and growing – number of Massachusetts families. Many more are just one lost job or serious health problem away from falling into poverty.
Research shows us that helping families develop assets – such as savings, a house or a car, or education – is one of the most effective ways of helping families get — and stay – out of poverty and achieve economic stability.
However, low-income families face substantial barriers to building these assets. Making the problem worse, many of our programs are set up in such a way that it makes it incredibly hard for families to save, get an education, or buy things like a car to drive to work.
By reforming our current programs and embracing innovative, research-tested new solutions to better promote asset development, we can help low-and-moderate income families take control of their financial lives, reducing their need for government financial assistance in the process. These programs can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to become financially stable.
Asset development programs present enormous opportunities for the Commonwealth: by reducing persistent, cyclical poverty and supporting low and moderate income families in achieving financial stability, we will ultimately help create thriving communities and grow our economy.
About the Commission
Over the past year and a half, the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission, which Senator Eldridge chairs, has studied the economic challenges currently facing Massachusetts families, the structure and availability of current government programs to help low-to-moderate income families, as well as successful asset-building policies being developed across the country.
The Asset Development Commission was created by the Legislature in 2006, and its members include Senator Harriet Chandler, Senator Marian Walsh, Representative Kevin Honan, along with members from financial institutions, anti-poverty groups, labor, academic, non-profit, and community advocates.