Pittsburgh Asset Building Network
Our interest in asset building stems from our belief that all Pittsburghers, regardless of where they live, should have access to economic opportunity and prosperity.
Financial insecurity is more common than we sometimes realize. In Pittsburgh, 41% – that’s 54,000 of all households – cannot make ends meet if their income is disrupted for three months. When faced with job loss or illness, they would need to choose between food, housing, and other necessities. The lack of savings, credit and banking lead to difficulty accessing homeownership and business ownership opportunities, especially for people of color.
Launched in the spring of 2016, the Asset Building Network is a collaborative community for learning and advocacy that strengthens program and policy efforts to increase economic opportunity. We host a quarterly meeting of representatives of service providers, financial institutions, government and regional entities. Recognized by Prosperity Now, Neighborhood Allies connects the work to national best-practice.
Purpose & Strategy of the Asset Building Network:
- Create a community for learning, advocacy, and cross-sector problem-solving that strengthens all of our efforts to increase economic opportunity for struggling Pittsburghers.
- Increase the connectivity, exposure, and effectiveness of local program and policy initiatives that are focused on wealth- and asset-building.
- Broadly, we want to improve the financial health of those currently struggling to get ahead – growth in savings, improvement in credit and the ability to realize their dreams.
Projects of the Asset Building Network:
- Trained 96 case managers from 38 organizations in Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Your Money, Your Goals
- Hosted Credit Builders Alliance’s training events: Rent Reporting for Credit Building and Credit as an Asset
- Formed Financial Inclusion Work Group, with FDIC, Mayor’s Office and Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, to assist with strategy and relaunch of Bank On Greater Pittsburgh, with connection to Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund [www.cfefund.org] and the National Account Standards
- Developed a Financial Inclusion Strategy with Mayor’s Office, with support from National League of Cities
- Connect asset-building practitioners to Fund My Future, the county-wide children’s savings program
- Working with the Mayor’s Office and CFE Fund to open Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) in Pittsburgh in late 2018. FECs offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service to enable residents to address their financial challenges and needs as well as plan for their futures. The FECs will be operated by local social service agencies who apply to receive a financial counselor to work with their clients.
Members of the Asset Building Network Include: Advantage Credit Counseling, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Center for Employment Opportunities, City of Pittsburgh, East End Food Coop, Federal Credit Union (FDIC), Federal Home Loan Bank, First Commonwealth Bank, Fourth Economy, Goodwill of SWPA, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Hebrew Free Loan Association, Hill District Federal Credit Union, Housing Alliance of PA, Junior Achievement, Just Harvest, Landforce, Mentors Community Wealth Building, Mon Valley Initiative, NeighborWorks Western PA, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, PA Women Work, Partner4Work, PA Housing Finance Agency, PNC Bank, Propel Schools, United Way Allegheny County, Urban League
- Neighborhood Allies and The Benter Foundation Facilitate Asset Building Conversation at 2017 GPNP Nonprofit Summit
- Neighborhood Allies Offers Training to Case Managers to Help Their Clients Achieve Financial Success
- Neighborhood Allies Hosts Asset Building Network Meeting
- Pittsburgh Asset Building Network Launches!
- Neighborhood Allies Selected as a Local Network Convening Leader in National Assets & Opportunity Network