In this issue, we find ourselves taking a look at housing programs that aim to move the poor to self-sufficiency.
Sherry Riva of Compass Working Capital describes helping motivated residents move up and out of public housing through financial coaching and goal setting. Meanwhile, Boston Fed researcher Erin Graves questions whether housing programs suffer from unrealistic expectations. She believes the programs are essential for helping the poor get by but suspects that only major systemic changes can help large numbers of people get ahead.
Victoria Fahlberg discusses how truants can be kept in school for a shot at a better life. Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill of Brookings present research to help students from lower-income families make smarter decisions about postsecondary education.
John Banks and Laura Rose Day detail a collaborative model in Maine that emphasizes common interests over differences and has already resulted in reopening a river for improved tourism, fisheries, and tribal uses. Also in Maine, Jane Irish delves into the Genesis Community Loan Fund’s ups and downs helping small mobile-home parks to become resident owned.
In Vermont, Martin Hahn explains how Community Capital approaches due diligence when lending to low-income entrepreneurs. And Peter A. Holland, University of Maryland School of Law, pulls back the veil on debt buyers who sue borrowers despite knowing that purchased consumer data is inaccurate. Kaili Mauricio’s “Mapping New England” shows distances to outlets where food stamp beneficiaries can buy food.
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