Reflections on New Report Detailing the Financial Health of Families
- Poverty in San Antonio is segregated - concentrated in majority Hispanic and Black neighborhoods,
- San Antonio families have lower median credit scores, higher delinquent debts, and limited savings compared to the U.S.,
- San Antonio has low unemployment, but many available jobs are low-wage,
- Most low-income renters in San Antonio are housing burdened, spending more than one-third of their income on housing,
- Economically disadvantaged students in San Antonio public schools are not leaving school college ready, and,
- San Antonio, like Texas, has a high uninsured rate, which disproportionately affects low-income Hispanic and Black families.
All of these challenges impact the ability of San Antonio families with lower incomes to build assets and financial resilience. Gleaning insights from local data, nonprofit providers and residents in San Antonio, the report outlines actionable recommendations for funders, nonprofits, employers, and the public sector to improve the financial wellbeing of San Antonio residents. Top line recommendations include:
- Fostering integration of asset-building and social safety-net services,
- Focusing on highest-need geographies and populations,
- Enhancing safety-net for low-income families,
- Expanding access to products and services that support asset building and asset preservation,
- Supporting local policy work to ensure public, nonprofit, and philanthropic efforts best complement each other, and,
- Offering organizational support to nonprofits to enhance long-term viability and outcomes.
The report also outlines the policies the City of San Antonio has adopted that affect families’ financial health, such as the passage of an ordinance that limits predatory payday and auto title lending, ending jailing for failure to pay fines, and the adoption of Financial Empowerment Centers, which provide free financial counseling services to San Antonio residents. Additionally, the report seeks to complement current ongoing initiatives the City is undertaking that impact asset building, such as the Mayor’s Housing Task Force, which released a report examining the steps the City should take in order to address affordable housing.
Learn More: The Rivard Report | The San Antonio Express-News
The report offers a roadmap for the next five years of grantmaking for the San Antonio Area Asset Funders Network. As a first step, Frances Gonzalez, who coordinates the Network and who played an important role in shaping the report, announced that in order to address the myriad financial obstacles that hold families back from attaining financial wellbeing, the Asset Funders Network’s first grant will be to support a financial coaching hub in San Antonio. This hub will train and mentor staff from local organizations to offer financial coaching services more broadly in the San Antonio community. Texas Appleseed will continue to be a partner supporting implementation of the action items laid out in the report.