The mission of the Asset Building Program is to significantly broaden access to economic resources through increased savings and asset ownership, thereby providing families with enhanced economic security, a direct stake in the commonwealth, and the means to pursue their aspirations.

the post-ownership society

Asset Building

How the “sharing economy” allows Millennials to cope with downward mobility, and also makes them poorer.

Upcoming Events

Paying the Price

EVENT July 13, 2015 06:30 PM– 08:15 PM

Monday July 13, 2015

06:30 PM – 08:15 PM


[u'156 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor', u'New York, NY 10010']

Once seen as the Great Equalizer, the value of higher education in the era of soaring college debt has come into serious question. Rather than patching up the student debt system, can we pay for college in a way that lives up to America's ideals?

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The Real College Debt Crisis

EVENT July 15, 2015 09:30 AM– 11:00 AM

Wednesday July 15, 2015

09:30 AM – 11:00 AM


[u'1899 L Street NW, Suite 400', u'Washington, DC 20036']

In their new book, "The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream," authors William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue that our current system of financial assistance imposes debt debt on vulnerable students in exchange for the promise of a college degree that may never materialize. Join New America for a discussion about education, making it in America, and new approaches to get students to, and through, college fully prepared for life.

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in the news | June 08, 2015 | Asset Building

wealth and generations

Yet the flip side of the “sharing” economy is the “gig” economy, in which more and more of us, and particularly the young, are no longer employees but, rather, contingent workers who become responsible for buying and maintaining tools, equipment, and places of business, as well as securing health and retirement benefits, that, in previous eras, were furnished by employers. The Uber driver, for example, has responsibility for purchasing and maintaining the car he uses to work for the “ride-sharing” company, just as the contract white-collar worker must often finance and maintain her own office space, IT systems, career training, and other hard and soft assets necessary for her work. Both are also on their own when it comes to traditional employee benefits, and because they cannot count on a regular paycheck, they have an extra need for building savings to cover the increased volatility in their earnings. Though difficult to measure, the increasing uncertainty and contingency that surrounds today’s employment has to be counted as a net negative for most workers’ standard of living.

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policy paper | June 04, 2015 | Asset Building
BUILDING MILLENNIALS' FINANCIAL HEALTH VIA FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

BUILDING MILLENNIALS' FINANCIAL HEALTH VIA FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

This report compares financial capability, financial inclusion, and financial education to financial exclusion. The categories were also compared to one another, for example, asking whether significant relationships emerged or were stronger when Millennials were financially capable as compared to financially educated or included. Indeed, as the findings throughout this report will reflect, financially capable Millennials also had significantly better metrics of financial health when compared to their financially included, educated, and excluded counterparts.

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in the news | May 21, 2015 | Asset Building

Why Marco Rubio should embrace his money issues and ‘feel your pain’

Justin King, the policy director of New America's Asset Building Program, part of a left-leaning think tank, told me the going theory is that about 25 percent of Americans with a 401k-type retirement plan have tapped into those accounts before retirement. So when King heard about Rubio’s cash-out, his initial reaction was that this could actually be a moment that sparks an important national conversation.

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in the news | May 12, 2015 | Asset Building

States Rethink Asset Tests for People on Food Stamps

At the same time, national groups such as the CFED and the New American Foundation started arguing against asset tests, saying they encourage SNAP households to spend down their resources in order to qualify for the benefit. That message, according to these groups, flies in the face of municipal initiatives like financial empowerment centers and Bank On programs that try to get low-income families to save for future expenses that could be critical in exiting poverty. "You want families to be saving and then they hit this limit and they can't get food stamps anymore," said Kathy Fisher, policy manager for the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. "It can be a real impediment to that family achieving sustainability down the road."