Housing & Communities

Homeownership, Financial Capability and Asset Building

first time home buyers

With stagnant wages, the collapse and uneven recovery of the housing market and an increasingly complex consumer financial marketplace exacerbating wealth and income disparities, Abt Associates is leading cutting-edge research on how financial capability, stable homeownership, and other types of asset building can improve the economic stability and mobility of low- , moderate- and middle- income American families. By providing insight into the drivers of economic inclusion, our work in this area is leading to more effective programs, policies and interventions. 
Abt’s work in the areas of homeownership, financial capability and asset building spans research, strategic planning, and technical assistance and includes:

  • A national randomized controlled trial of the impact of different types of pre-purchase homeownership counseling that builds on extensive earlier work by Abt Associates;
  • A large-scale survey and quantitative analysis designed to understand the relationship between financial behaviors, skills, attitudes and financial wellbeing.
  • A qualitative evaluation of consumers’ financial experiences with credit reports auto purchases and their use of comparison shopping and financial rules of thumb, which uncovered insights into consumers’ financial decision-making processes and potential interventions to improve those decisions.
  • A series of concept papers reviewing the current state of knowledge and practice in three emerging financial capability intervention approaches: peer effect mechanisms, just-in-time and low-touch approaches.
  • Helping the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation strategically plan its efforts to promote the economic inclusion of households and communities that have been underserved by financial institutions. This effort draws upon our hands-on expertise in designing and implementing asset-building and financial literacy programs.

Senior Abt Associates researchers working in the area of homeownership, financial capability and asset building include Donna DeMarco, Debbie Bocian, Jeff Lubell, Judy Alamprese, Katie Gan and Kimberly Burnett.

Abt Associates’ Senior Fellow Jill Khadduri on the History of HUD
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Blog Post: What a New Study Tells Us about Homebuyer Education and Counseling
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