WHAT MICHIGAN CAN DO
There are many policies that Michigan could enact to improve its climate for asset building and preservation:
Preserve and expand homeownership:To address the high housing cost burden for homeowners and number of delinquent mortgage loans, Michigan should offer direct lending programs to first-time homeowners. To prevent foreclosures, Michigan should regulate mortgage servicers and ensure foreclosures are reviewed in the presence of a neutral third party.
Support Work and Increase Income: To reduce reliance on public assistance programs, encourage work and increase earnings, Michigan should increase the Earned Income Tax Credit from 6% to 20%, and support job training and microenterprise development. The state should also implement a Self-Employment Assistance program.
Encourage Savings: To reduce high asset poverty rates, Michigan should encourage savings, link tax time with asset building opportunities, provide state funding for VITA programs and remove the disincentive to save for very low-income families by lifting asset limits in its cash welfare, food assistance and family Medicaid programs.