Asset Policy and Community-Based Economic Development
One of HACBED’s primary goals is to advocate for policies that support families and communities in building assets that allows for greater choice and control over their futures.
HACBED focuses it’s advocacy efforts by facilitating a loose network of government representatives, community organizations and families to create community and family investment. Asset Building is an approach to fostering financial independence. It provides individuals with tangible incentives to save, helping them to gain financial success.
HACBED works simultaneously to develop a statewide coalition of organizations and advocates to advance the asset policy agenda while also organizing and working with families and communities to explore how best to structure asset building opportunities. To support this approach HACBED convened a statewide gathering entitled, “Redefining Wealth and Poverty in Hawaii” in 2005 and recently published The Ho`owaiwai Initiative – Asset Building Policy for Hawaii in 2007 and a more detailed Asset Policy roadmap in 2008 (download the pdf here). The Hawaii Asset Policy Network has successfully advocated for the following policies:
2005: Grant in Aid to AUW to support statewide Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) network.
2005: Joint Resolution asking auditor to review payday lending regulation.
2007: (HB 928) Provides $500,000 FY07-08 & FY 08-09 for section 8 and family self-sufficiency programs that support families transitioning from rental assistance to homeownership.
2007: (HB 1007) exempts FSS escrow accounts that help families buy homes from benefit eligibility tests.
2008: (SB 2840) Requires DBEDT to establish and update a Self Sufficiency Standard for Hawaii.
2008: (SB 2838) Allows taxpayers to request their tax refunds be split into up to 3 checking or savings accounts to help families save and build assets.
2008: (SCR 92/SR 52) Establishes the Asset Building Task Force to create policy recommendations for (1) financial education, (2) asset limits, and (3) universal matched savings accounts for newborns.