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Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) to Offer Financial Counseling Services Targeted to People with Disabilities to Promote Financial Well-Being

ROADS to Financial Independence Initiative to Serve Consumers in the Greater DC Area

Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) to Offer Financial Counseling Services Targeted to People with Disabilities to Promote Financial Well-Being


ROADS to Financial Independence Initiative to Serve Consumers in the Greater DC Area

Washington, DC (June 3, 2015) – Today, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) announced it will participate in the Reach Outcomes. Achieve Dreams. Succeed (ROADS) to Financial Independence, an initiative aimed at improving the financial well-being and economic security of individuals with disabilities. This initiative, which is piloting with local partners in six communities across the country, will integrate financial counseling with employment, independent living, and other support services that are being provided to individuals with disabilities. ROADS to Financial Independence is an initiative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the nation’s first federal agency whose sole focus is protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. The initiative will be managed through a contract with National Disability Institute (NDI).   

“People with disabilities face significant obstacles when it comes to saving money and planning for their financial futures,” Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute, said. “ROADS to Financial Independence will help empower people with disabilities to take control of their financial lives so that they can more fully participate in the economic mainstream.” 

The ROADS to Financial Independence initiative will provide financial counseling to people with disabilities who are currently working or as they transfer into the workforce. Through the ROADS to Financial Independence initiative, consumers will have the opportunity to complete a financial assessment, and have access to a financial counselor, who will help them set and work towards achieving financial goals such as improved credit scores, lower debt levels and increased personal savings.

CAAB is one of 18 diverse partner organizations from around the country that have been selected to provide financial counseling services as part of the ROADS to Financial Independence initiative. These financial services will be integrated into the work the organizations are already doing. CAAB is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower low- and moderate-income residents of the Greater DC Area to take control of their finances, increase their savings, and build wealth for a better future. For ROADS, CAAB looks forward to partnering with ServiceSource to serve the community in the Greater DC Area. 

Confronted with high rates of unemployment and resulting economic stress, people with disabilities have often relied on alternative financial services like payday loans or check cashing to meet their financial needs. Operating outside of the financial mainstream, however, can be more costly and time consuming. According to some studies, people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to use nonbank services as other members of the general U.S. consumer population. The Disability Statistics Compendium reports a 28.7 percent poverty rate for working age people with disabilities ages 18-64 compared to a 12.5 percent poverty rate for adults without disabilities.   

The ROADS initiative is designed to deliver information, tools and supports to individuals through coordinated partnerships with disability and financial empowerment organizations in six communities. The communities and the organizations involved are as follows: 

    • Birmingham, Alabama: United Way Central Alabama and Disability Rights and Resources
    • The Greater Washington, DC Metro Area: ServiceSource Virginia and Capital Area Asset Builders
    • The State of Delaware: The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and ServiceSource Delaware
    • Finger Lakes, New York: Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Cornell Cooperative Extension Center, Finger Lakes Independence Center, Ithaca Housing Authority, Tompkins County Workforce New York, Challenge Workforce Solutions and the United Way of Tompkins County
    • Austin, Texas: Goodwill Industries of Central Texas
    • Seattle, Washington: The Washington State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Neighborhood House, City of Seattle, The Financial Empowerment Network, and the Washington Access Fund

"For many of us here this morning, we remain painfully aware that far too often the concept of the inclusion of All unfortunately has not been necessarily applied to people with disabilities," said Rich Petersen, CAAB's Executive Director. "We know that people with disabilities in America comprise the most economically vulnerable population in our country, as they are twice as likely to be living at or below the poverty line as their non-disabled peers. We know that approximately 50% of American’s with disabilities are unbanked or underbanked. And we know that easy, ready and supported access to education and non-biased information on financial matters and products are critical in ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate and thrive in the American economic mainstream."

Petersen further said "So today as Greater-DC ROADS, the Capital Area Asset Builders in conjunction with our local partner, ServiceSource, proudly join in with each of the other five pilot partner cities to launch an ambitious agenda with the aspiration to foster a national community of collaboration that brings together unique partnerships comprised of disability service agencies, like Service Source, with non-disability  financial education and coaching organizations like CAAB, to work side-by-side with adults with disabilities to identify the daily financial challenges all Americans face in effectively dealing with debt ,credit, savings and the development and protection of lasting assets to pass on to future generations. Our goal is to offer realistic and practical solutions that support and empower people with disabilities in making well-informed financial decisions and to establish longer term goals to improve upon their financial security and upward mobility." 

National Disability Institute will provide technical assistance training, and facilitate partnerships to disability and financial empowerment organizations nationwide.

More information and resources about the ROADS to Financial Independence initiative are available on the CFPB’s webpage as well as through National Disability Institute’s website and the partner organizations in the six pilot communities. 

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About ROADS to Financial Independence 

ROADS to Financial Independence is an initiative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), through a contract managed by National Disability Institute (NDI). This initiative will serve individuals with disabilities already working or transitioning into the workforce. Participants in the initiative have the opportunity to work toward achieving financial capability through improved credit, lower debt and increased savings, as well as the ability to make more informed financial decisions. ROADS integrates financial education counseling with employment, independent living and other support services that are being provided to individuals with disabilities.  The initiative serves the needs of economically vulnerable consumers with disabilities in six communities across the country. In 2015, the initiative will operate in the following six communities: Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Seattle, Washington; Finger Lakes, New York; throughout the state of Delaware; and the Greater Washington DC Metro area.

 

About the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the nation’s first federal agency whose sole focus is protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. Using its multiple authorities, including regulation, supervision, enforcement, market research, financial education, and the authority to deal directly with consumer complaints, the CFPB is working to restore trust in consumer financial products and services.

 

About Capital Area Asset Builders

Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower low- and moderate-income residents of the Greater DC Area to take control of their finances, increase their savings, and build wealth for a better future.

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Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB)
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