Congressional Testimony on Poverty

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

Today, Ron Haskins testified before the United States Senate Committee on Finance about poverty. In his testimony, he said, “Poverty has shown great if unfortunate staying power, but we have learned useful lessons about how to fight it.” Haskins mentioned five major, self-reinforcing mechanisms of poverty, including inferior education.

In the Brookings Institute’s publication From Poverty, Opportunity: Putting the Market to Work for Lower Income Families, Matt Fellowes analyzed a 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances and determined that “over 54 percent of all lower income households with a mortgage pay [a higher average APR than 75 percent of all other households]”. Fellowes also suggests that the internet has become a widely used market tool for consumers to comparatively shop, so with significantly reduced internet access, lower income homeowners miss out on money-saving mortgage opportunities.

At Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, our homeowners pay a 0% interest mortgage. Without a high interest mortgage, Habitat homeowner Carolyn Walker was able to officially pay off her mortgage this May after purchasing her home on October 15, 1990, Chevelle will be able to raise her six children in a safe, affordable home, and Hassan Khamis and Khadija Nazir’s two oldest children will be better equipped to pursue collegiate educations and become pharmacists.