Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network
Increasing Asset Acquisition for Low-Wealth Hoosiers

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Steering Committee Member Provides Testimony

The Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network's steering committee member Kathleen Taylor, the Convener and Policy Director for the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED)  provided testimony yesterday at the Indiana State House  during the Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy on state tax incentives. Included in the testimony was a one-page fact sheet concerning the long-term benefits and impacts of Children's Savings Accounts, as well as support for Indiana Development Account tax credit, Low-Income Housing Exemption, and the Neighborhood Assistance tax credit. Why Did They Meet?  "The Legislative Services Agency (LSA) authored this thorough tax incentive evaluation following 2014 legislation (HB 1020) mandated the creation of process by which a bipartisan Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy to review and evaluate state and local tax incentives awarded by the state, counties, cities, and towns to encourage economic development or to reward or subsidize a particular action by businesses or other entities receiving incentives." IACED blog post

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JPMorgan Chase Foundation Supports Asset-Building Coalition

The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED) announced today that it has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to support the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network (Indiana A&O Network), a statewide coalition co-led by IACED, the Indiana Institute for Working Families (IIWF) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

The Indiana A&O Network aims to increase asset acquisition for low-wealth Hoosiers and to strengthen local economies through policy advocacy and capacity building, in partnership with local organizations and coalitions.

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Network UpdatesKelsey Clayton
I Invite You to Reflect

This month, I am celebrating my one-year anniversary at United Way of Central Indiana as Director of Income. What an awesome year it has been! This was a newly created position at UWCI that came about as a result of our transition to become more focused, aligned, and intentional around four areas of community impact – Education, Income, Health, and Basic Needs. While UWCI has always been a partner, ally, and convener in asset-building work, we’ve really taken a “deep dive” into this field over the last year. Professionally, this has been my busiest year yet. UWCI is working closely with our partners, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), to transition management and oversight of the local Center for Working Families network to UWCI.

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Network UpdatesKelsey Clayton
Promise Indiana Receives National Recognition

Promise Indiana, a Child Savings Account (CSA) initiative, has received national recognition for its innovative efforts in changing the cultural mindset about continuing education. Promise Indiana began as Wabash County Promise, pioneered by CEO Clint Kugler of the Wabash County YMCA and dedicated allies who saw a need to encourage economic mobility for children in their community.  During school enrollment, students K-3 opened CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Accounts with a $25.00 seed deposit from the enrollment sponsor

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Time to Act on Payday Lending … Happy Birthday Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

It has been five years since the enactment of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Today, the Bureau is working on rules to curb the abuses of the payday lending industry. In Indiana, payday lenders drain $70.5 million from residents annually. This is a loss to local economies. Payday lenders charge, on an average 14 day loan, 356 percent.

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Unleashing Entrepreneurial Opportunities For All Hoosiers

Included in a recent report from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce – ‘Indiana Vision 2025: A Plan for Hoosier Prosperity‘– was the Kaufman Index, a measure of entrepreneurship in the U.S. According to the Index, Indiana ranked 44th in 2015, up from 48th in 2014. Just 0.23% of the Hoosier adult population becomes an entrepreneur in a given month (that’s 230 out of every 100,000 Hoosier adults). The top state is Montana with a rate of 0.54%. Vermont, Alaska, New Mexico and California round out the top five, and nearly half of U.S. states have a rate of 0.30% or greater.

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The Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network is set for success

Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED) is pleased to announce an award of $50,000 from The Indianapolis Foundation, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) affiliate, to support the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network. (Indiana A&O Network) The Indiana A&O Network is a statewide coalition co-led by IACED, the Indiana Institute for Working Families (IIWF), and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The Indiana A&O Network aims to increase asset acquisition for low-wealth Hoosiers and to strengthen local economies through policy advocacy and capacity building, in partnership with local organizations and coalitions.

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Payday Lending…No Good For Consumers

Just yesterday I mentioned abusive payday lending practices to a friend of mine. He stated he used the loans a few times in his early 20s because he was irritated with his bank at the time. He had accrued multiple overdraft fees through his bank account, and never received adequate notice of the fees and quickly was in over his head with debt. He closed his account and vowed never to use the institution again. I began asking all the questions concerning the foundation issues of the payday loan business model. “How much interest did you pay per loan, did you ever get stuck in the cycle of churning your loans, what made you stop using them?”

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Indiana Desperately Needs to Focus on Job Growth, Ranked 40th in the Nation

February 2, 2015__Although reports indicate the U.S. economy is growing steadily, Hoosiers continue to suffer from a lack of economic security and job growth. A comprehensive report recently released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), based in Washington, D.C., shows that only 1.3% of Indiana residents own their own small business, receiving on average $1,492 for a small business start-up.[i] Many families struggle to meet their basic needs of food, child care, housing, health care, and transportation. Head of households are working multiple part-time jobs in an effort to make ends meet. It is time to focus not only on building assets to get by but to support families in building wealth for their long-term stability. The 2015 CFED scorecard provides rankings for all 50 states and District of Columbia on both the ability of residents to achieve financial security and policies designed to help them get there. Indiana has only adopted 1 of 10 policies that would help Hoosiers move up the economic ladder in the category of businesses and jobs.

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