Building Economic Security in America's Cities

New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment

By Corporation for Enterprise Development

January 1, 2011


In 2008, the mayors of New York City and San Francisco together founded the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition to collaborate on strategies for helping families in their cities pursue and attain financial stability.This report details the efforts of CFE, which now includes eleven municipalities, to develop innovative approaches and leverage the power of local governments to effect positive change for their citizens.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Champion, Persuader, Connector, Advocate: The Role of Cities in Financial Empowerment

To achieve financial stability, families across America need financial education, access to affordable financial products and services, incentives to save, and consumer protection. The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition believes local governments can and should take a broader role in developing strategies to solve this issue, leveraging their power to help move their citizens toward a path for lasting financial security.

Findings & Stats

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Income and Asset Poverty

16% of families living in the 10 CFE cities do not earn enough income to cover their monthly household expenses; 40% do not have enough assets to survive 3 months at the federal poverty level if their income were interrupted.

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Subprime Credit

On average, nearly 60% of residents in the counties where CFE cities are located have subprime credit and carry more than $12,500 in revolving or credit card debt.

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Cost-Burdened Housing Expenses

Half of the households in CFE cities pay more than 30% of their household income toward housing costs, regardless of whether they rent or own their home.

Statements & Quotations