OLYMPIA, September 7, 2007 – Governor Chris Gregoire today announced $604,000 in support to 12 communities to develop and expand the work of local asset building coalitions that benefit low income Washington families.
“This support is a smart approach to help promote financial security for Washington families,” said Governor Gregoire. “These local organizations have worked hard to establish relationships in the communities they serve and I am pleased to support their ongoing efforts to help Washingtonians.”
The Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) is supporting the asset building proposals to support innovative local asset building work. Asset building is an approach to fostering financial independence that provides individuals with tangible incentives to save, helping them gain financial success.
Asset building includes financial literacy training, savings and individual development accounts, home and small business ownership, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and tax preparation, and programs to assist in credit repair and avoiding high-cost loans. These kinds of actions help residents reach their personal and financial goals that may include buying a home, starting a business or going to school.
“Too many households survive from paycheck to paycheck and asset building can help individuals and families move beyond that pattern of existence,” said Juli Wilkerson, CTED Director. “These local coalitions will be a support for saving and investing, smart borrowing and smart spending to ensure working families are healthy and secure.”
Local coalitions typically include leaders from banks and credit unions, housing and social services organizations, United Ways, community action agencies, debt and credit counseling groups and other private and public entities.
These state funds will leverage over $3 million in local funds and will significantly expand asset building actions and outcomes across Washington.
- Making Connections (White Center and Boulevard Park, King County): $40,000 to help continue to build capacity, support the region wide expansion of the EITC and free tax preparation campaign and help families make informed decisions about financial products and services.
- Washington Appleseed (Seattle & King County): $85,000 to help the organization provide financial skills and planning for housing authority households and promoting banking and savings programs.
- Spokane County United Way: $85,000 to The CASH (Creating Assets Savings Hope) Coalition so it can expand its work beyond EITC and tax preparation campaigns toward a broader set of asset building services to help financial education and matched savings accounts.
- Snohomish County Human Services Department: $85,000 to work with several parents to advance asset building activities and provide financial education to more than 500 clients and expand EITC and free tax preparation campaigns.
- Pierce County Associated Ministries: $85,000 to expand its pioneering asset building work to increase EITC and free tax preparation as well as expanding education and debt reduction services through Pierce County Saves social marketing campaign.
- Lower Columbia Community Action Programs: $75,000 to expand asset building services in South Washington, including EITC outreach, financial literacy and planning services to more than 200 low income residents.
- Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCap): $44,000 to increase the number of tax assistance sites, help fund an ongoing EITC campaign as well as offering financial education classes.
- North Columbia Community Action Council: $40,000 for the agency and several partners will continue its “Prosperity Center” in rural Eastern Washington for low-income and disadvantaged clients to get Earned Income Tax Credit education and assistance as well as financial, bank account and homeownership education.
- Okanagan County Community Action Council: $20,000 to develop and expand a range of asset building services into the Okanagan area that includes free tax preparation, EITC and small business preparation.
- United Way of Thurston County: $20,000 to help create an integrated information network that links and expands existing asset building programs and develop a community wide program to promote to those programs.
- United Way of Mason County: $15,000 to work with a wide range of local private, public and non-profit partners to launch a new asset building coalition in Mason County that will build on already existing asset building programs.
- Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council: $10,000 to strengthen the agency’s asset building coalition resources by doing a financial literacy inventory and identify any gaps while raising community awareness about the importance of asset building.
Contact: Governor’s Office, 360-902-4111
Alt Contact: Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development: Paul Knox, 360-725-4140