Reinvestment Partners has joined with many groups across the country in framing in social policy through the lens of assets. Asset policies acknowledge the protective effect that wealth confers upon a family. Assets form a kind of moat against emergencies.
Accountants define an asset as something with worth in the future. This interpretation goes beyond just financial vehicles and includes housing, education, and other social goods.
Reinvestment Partners participates in the North Carolina IDA and Asset Building Collaborative. This partnership of non-profits, government, and university researchers seek to develop policies that encourage savings and asset accumulation in North Carolina families.
- We rank 48th in per pupil spending.
- We rank last in the percentage of children in poverty who are in Head Start.
- We rank 43rd in the percentage of households with non-interest bearing checking accounts.
Asset policy is often buttressed by some of the same findings that underpin the need for better access to housing. They both turn on research that shows that turning America into an “opportunity” society depends upon addressing inequalities in access to many of the regular institutions that make up everyday life.
- 70 percent of low-income neighborhoods do not have a single bank or credit union.
- There is more of gap among races in terms of assets than in terms of income: The average white family in North Carolina earns 1.8 times more than the average African-American family, but has ten (10) times more in assets.
- Almost one in three of North Carolina’s children live in a home with fewer than three months of savings.