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Giving Compass' Take:
• The Aspen Institute discusses the topic of insurance risk pools for assets, considering many families are still struggling to get back on their feet after losing homes to foreclosures during the Great Recession.
• The idea sounds interesting, but policy-makers would have to get on board, which won't be a given. How else could NGOs reinvigorate wealth building for low-income people in the U.S.?
• Speaking of real estate and economic mobility, here are four more radical ideas to fix America's broken housing system.
What novel idea could unite a Nobel Prize-winning economist, an aspiring immigrant family who lost their home to foreclosure, and a bunch of policy experts at an Aspen Institute roundtable? An idea for a new kind insurance that does not yet exist.
Let’s start with that family. As recently profiled by Alana Semuels in The Atlantic, the Santillan family was working hard and living the American Dream but then lost their home to foreclosure in 2009. The family ended up living in hotels and cars, and had to watch their children postpone their college educations and careers so the family could scrape by. Their story demonstrates that the Santillans and millions of families like theirs are still, today, recovering from the Great Recession, mainly because they purchased a home — a symbol of family accomplishment and stability throughout U.S. history.
Yet their story also reflects another critical challenge no one is really discussing, something lacking in the marketplace and public policies: how to ensure that families like the Santillans don’t bear the full risk of losing their wealth.
What if that risk were to be pooled along with the risk borne by other families, lenders, and the government? What if we pooled the risk of wealth loss in the same way we pool the risk of losing income or ability to work in the form of well-established social programs like Unemployment Insurance and Social Security? Why pool on the income side but not on the asset side when, one could argue, wealth is as fundamental to economic security and opportunity as income?
Read the full article about insurance risk pools by Ray Boshara and Ida Rademacher at The Aspen Institute.