Institute on Assets and Social Policy
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a Community Development Discussion Paper that examines the extent to which family financial transfers occur among Boston residents of color. Family Financial Resources Among Boston Residents: Flow by Race and Ethnicity reveals new data collected for the Boston metro area, as part of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey, for the first time provide detailed information on financial assets that allow analysis to be broken down beyond the traditional black-and-white divide at the metropolitan-area level.
Authored by IASP's Tatjana Meschede, visiting scholar in the Bank's Regional & Community Outreach department, the study targets U.S.-born blacks, Caribbean blacks, Cape Verdeans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans, findings show that households of color consistently receive fewer financial transfers than whites, while at the same time providing more financial assistance to their families and relatives. Particularly striking are differences in parental payments toward higher education expenses and financial support for the down payment of a home. Immigrant status further explains differences between white and nonwhite households as well as between households of color.
Recently, the Provost awarded grants to support research across Brandeis University. Five researchers from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management were awarded funding for their projects. The Institute on Assets and Social Policy received two awards:
IASP Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, received funding for "Outsourced at Home: The Impacts for Job Quality, Public Resources, and Family Well-Being". IASP Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, received funding for "Homeless Families: Can Targeted Workforce Development Improve Employment and Housing Outcomes?"
Other Heller researchers who received funding were: Andrea Acevedo (Institute for Behavioral Health), Maureen Stewart (Institute for Behavioral Health), and Jon A. Chilingerian (Schneider Institute for Health Policy, MD-MBA Program).
All families hope for lasting financial security, but today many families in the United States struggle to make ends meet, let alone prepare for their financial future. In the sixth brief in the Leveraging Mobility Series, “Navigating an Unclear Path: Preparing for Retirement in the 21st Century”, a mixed-methods approach is taken to analyze the long-term financial well-being of middle-aged households as they plan for the future and approach retirement.
Notably this research suggests that establishing a secure, long-term financial position does not occur in a vacuum. Instead, neighborhood and family resources, as well as institutional setting, are key resources in creating a financial foundation for a family. By understanding the sources of security and the key vulnerabilities families face, policy can be proposed and structural solutions suggested that expand long-term later life security to a greater numbers of families.
To learn more about the Leveraging Mobility Series, please click here.
In 2012, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation, in partnership with the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), spearheaded a new service model for homeless families that integrates employment and housing services to provide holistic support to families in crisis. This model, called Secure Jobs, piloted in five cities in Massachusetts in the spring of 2013. Met with widespread support since its inception, Secure Jobs has expanded to two more cities in Massachusetts, is launching in Connecticut, and has been showcased nationally.
This research and policy brief introduces the second phase of Secure Jobs model and documents changes to the model in the second phase of the initiative. Subsequent briefs will focus in on specific program elements, offering information on their impacts and recommendations for best practices. For more information about this project, please contact Tatjana Meschede at (781) 736-8678.
Developed by IASP and the Asset Funders Network, with the generous support of the Citi Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, Strategic Philanthropy: Integrating Investments in Asset Building offers compelling evidence and examples for achieving stronger and more sustainable outcomes by combining asset building with a variety of public and private sector community partners including employment, education, healthcare and affordable housing.
A promising approach for addressing these challenges is utilizing a framework that more effectively ties together and shapes the disparate policies, investment structures, practices, and stakeholders to leverage resources and impacts. The strategic framework of asset development helps to create an effective, integrated, and sustainable system, enabling families to move through safety nets into financial security and opportunity. Asset building integration shifts investment goals from remedying deficiencies to building on strengths by increasing capability, access, and opportunity. It enables foundations to integrate and expand the scope, scale, and long-term impact of their work, shifting the focus from families' vulnerabilities to their opportunities for success.
For more information, please contact Janet Boguslaw at (781) 736-3738.
A vast amount of research has focused on how public policy addresses economic disparities but there has not been a systematic analysis of the types of public policies that offer the greatest potential for reducing the racial wealth gap, until now. In The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters, researchers from IASP and Dēmos collaboratively designed a new tool—the Racial Wealth Audit—to evaluate the impact of housing, education, and labor markets on the wealth gap between white, black, and Latino households. This tool assesses how policies and outcomes in these areas affect the racial wealth gap. To greatly reduce the racial wealth gap, policymakers must confront its historic and policy root causes.
Indicators such as growth in employment rates and gains in the construction and housing sectors signal that the national economy is on the road to recovery. Yet, with the economy recovering there has been no significant improvement in senior security. In the 7th brief in the Living Longer on Less series, Post-Recession Senior In-Security Remains High, IASP explores the obstacles seniors face and the pitfalls Policymakers should avoid.
For more information, please contact Tatjana Meschede at (781) 736-8678.
Credit Suisse, in collaboration with IASP, released “Wealth Patterns Among the Top 5% of African Americans” highlighting the distinctive investing behaviors within the top 5% (as measured by net worth) of the African-American community. The study showed that the top 5% of African Americans invest a greater proportion of their wealth in lower-volatility assets relative to a white comparison group, including insurance, savings bonds, and CDs. Click here to read more.
For more information, please contact Tatjana Meschede at (781) 736-8678.
Workforce development initiatives traditionally focus on increasing access to education and training for low-income individuals. IASP's research on the health care sector in New Hampshire indicates that a successful response to changes in demographics and the health care environment includes an increased focus on preparing the workplace, together with cutting-edge preparation of the workforce. Strengthening New Hampshire's Health Care Workforce: Strategies for Employers and Workforce Development Leaders (link) presents four key strategies to enhance the workforce, including a new concept of inter-organizational pathways for advancement. Developing a diverse health care workforce in order to deliver quality care to all will require the collaboration and investment of employers, educational institutions, workforce development agencies, and community organizations.
This brief represents the third publication in a series of research products developed by the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative funded by the U.S. HHS Administration for Children and Families. For more information, contact Sandy Venner at (781) 736-8688.
People are drawn to neighborhoods for various reasons—family ties, connections to friends, attachment to institutions—yet, the financial and social resources that a family has access to within these neighborhoods affects a family’s well-being and ability to gain social and economic mobility. In “Location, Location, Location: The Role Neighborhoods Play in Family Wealth and Well-Being”, the Institute on Assets and Social Policy examines the disparities in neighborhood opportunity. This brief delineates between high opportunity and low opportunity neighborhoods, explains the disparities in neighborhood opportunity and reveals the reasons why families are sorted by race and class into different quality neighborhoods.
Drawing on longitudinal survey and interview data, this brief seeks to understand how families negotiate the diverse structure of neighborhood opportunity and explores their experiences of living in different types of neighborhoods. National-level longitudinal quantitative data illustrates the consequences of where a family lives and highlights why families place so much emphasis on gaining access to the “right” neighborhood.
The history of racial segregation in the United States has laid the foundation for ongoing neighborhood opportunity segregation. Policy has helped structure the segregation of opportunity by race and class, and so policy clearly has a critical role to play in helping to create a fairer distribution of opportunity by neighborhood.
For more information, please contact Thomas Shapiro at (781) 736-4671