Financial Resources for Immigrants and Low Income Families

It’s unfortunate, but true: new federal actions are threatening the economic security of low-income families across the country.

Several California community organizations responded to this new threat by hosting an event last week for nonprofits that serve low-income families.  Speakers focused on how front-line staff members at nonprofits can work with families to connect them to money and other resources to help prepare for future emergencies- or to meet present needs.

Tickets for the event, held at the Alameda County Social Services Agency, were sold out.

Experts from the National Immigration Law Center, International Rescue Committee and Bay Area Legal Aid answered questions about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the new California Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Care Tax Credit, and other safety net benefits.

EITC

Participants learned how to help their clients use and apply for ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) to receive tax refunds, about the many different public benefits and their eligibility requirements

In addition, at another panel, representatives from banks discussed account options for families to receive refunds and other cash assistance safely- without expensive check cashing or overdraft fees.

The California Reinvestment Coalition partnered with the United Ways of California, Alameda County Community Asset Network, and the Alameda County Social Services Agency to hold the event. CRC is grateful to our co-sponsors, the presenters, Y & H Soda Foundation which helped fund the event, and the attendees who made the event a success.

 

New Study Finds Banks Maintain Foreclosed Homes Worse in Communities of Color

Oakland Picture

A bank-owned home in Oakland that was photographed as part of new study.

Fair Housing of Marin (FHOM), the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), and 16 fair housing centers released a report earlier this week detailing racial disparities in maintenance of bank-owned and Fannie Mae-owned foreclosures in 30 metro areas nationwide. FHOM investigated the Vallejo area and FHOM and NFHA investigated the Richmond and Oakland areas.

The investigations took into account over 30 different aspects of the maintenance and marketing of each property. REOs in communities of color were 2.6 times more likely to have 10 or more deficiencies than REOs in White neighborhoods (32.0% vs. 12.4%).

In the areas that FHOM investigated, REOs in communities of color were

  • 2 to 3 times more likely to have trash accumulated on the premises than REOs in White neighborhoods;
  • about 2.5 times more likely to have unsecured, broken, or boarded windows or have a trespassing or warning sign than REOs in White neighborhoods;
  • about 2.5 times more likely to have a trespassing or warning sign versus REOs in White communities.

To read the full press release about the report and its troubling findings, visit the Fair Housing of Marin website: Investigations of Bank-Owned Properties Uncovers Discrimination

To read the full report, visit this link: http://bit.ly/reo2014