Asset-building strategies for families in social housing: options for social housing providers in BC

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Numerous studies conclude that social housing provides a stable platform for economically disadvantaged families to rebuild their lives. Many families in social housing, while adequately housed, are unable to escape from poverty. Asset-building strategies may be one method to address this policy problem. This study examines two approaches that can assist families in social housing to increase their assets and become financially self-sufficient. The Family Self-Sufficiency program helps families accumulate savings as their rents increase due to increased earned income. Individual Development Accounts encourage low-income families to save money and build assets through matching funds. A case study of the GOALS program delivered by Home Forward in Portland, Oregon, examines both approaches and concludes they are effective and complementary. Implementing both programs in British Columbia would benefit families with low incomes. Interviews with social housing providers in BC found some support for these initiatives.
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