On November 30, 2010, Lisa Mensah, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security (Aspen IFS) spoke at the Opportunity Funding Corporation’s (OFC) Economic Stabilization White Paper Series Launch. The White Paper Series recommends post-crisis policy proposals to repair the foreclosure crisis and rebuild wealth in America’s communities of color.
Mensah was on hand to assert future policies to promote sustainable homeownership must focus on the savings side of the ledger – namely, building the savings necessary for a robust downpayment. Home Accounts, Mensah explained, are a way forward.
Home Accounts are innovative savings accounts designed by Aspen IFS to help more Americans save for downpayments. By offering a modest government matching incentive of 50% (up to $5,000) to eligible savers, Home Accounts would encourage millions of low- and middle-income Americans to accumulate assets for a downpayment on a first home. Home Accounts would not only help fund millions of new home purchases, but they would also work to empower millions more American taxpayers to qualify for more affordable loan terms, working to ensure more Americans are on the path to sustained homeownership.