In 2007, CFED began a campaign to look at and compare states’ policies and performances from an asset-based perspective as part of its policy advocacy work. The goal is that the scorecards will educate policymakers, the media, and the public on the state of affairs in their respective states and on asset-building policies that will help improve the various measures explored in the scorecards. The scorecards look at wealth, poverty, and financial security of families in each state and the District of Columbia, based on an examination of 92 outcome and policy measures. The measures are grouped into 6 areas – Financial Assets & Income; Businesses & Jobs; Housing & Homeownership; Health Care; Education; and Community Investment & Accountability Policies.
NC scored an overall “D” grade, and had the largest increase in asset poverty. According to CFED, a household is asset poor when it does not have sufficient resources/net worth to subsist at the poverty level for 3 months after losing the source of income. Perhaps not surprisingly, NC’s strongest policy areas were payday lending protections, predatory mortgage lending protections, and first-time homebuyer assistance. The policy areas where CFED feels NC can improve are: 1) strengthen financial security by campaigns to bank the unbanked, eliminate asset limits in food and income support programs, and increase the state EITC to 15% or more of the federal EITC; 2) stabilize affordable and accessible housing by expanding the Housing 400 program for individuals with disabilities, continue to fully fund the foreclosure prevention program, and invest more in the Housing Trust Fund; and 3) encourage entrepreneurs by expanding funding and training for microenterprise development, support CDFIs, and allocate at least 10% of state purchases to minority, women, or disabled-owned businesses.
By way of comparison, 10 states received “A” grades, 10 received “B” grades, 16 received “C” grades, 10 received “D” grades, and 5 states received “F” grades.
Click here to see the full NC scorecard.
Click here for the CFED Scorecard homepage to view other states’ scorecards and to learn more about the research methodology, definitions of terms, and campaign.