Asset Building Strategies supports neighborhood, city or regional initiatives that are advancing innovative approaches to enable low-wealth families to save, invest and preserve financial assets.
Asset Support Center – Bay Area Foundations and EARN
Heather McCulloch is a co-founder of the Asset Support Center (ASC) with San Francisco Bay Area foundations and EARN. ASC is a two-year regional initiative that is expanding asset-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents of Bay Area counties [ASC brochure [PDF]]. Heather McCulloch currently serves as ASC director and sits on the ASC executive committee and management teams.
Building Assets While Building Communities – Walter and Elise Haas Fund
Heather McCulloch researched and wrote the report, “Building Assets While Building Communities: Expanding Savings and Investment Opportunities for Low-Income Bay Area Residents” [PDF] for the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. The report highlights a “continuum of asset-building opportunities” [PDF] underway in communities across the country that are enabling low-income households to access financial services, save, invest and preserve financial assets. Ms. McCulloch has presented the report’s findings at local, state and national meetings [presentation to Council on Foundations [PDF] | presentation to Asset Funders Network [PDF]] and the continuum has been used as a tool by practitioners, advocates, and intermediaries across the country to describe the broad range of strategies that communities are using to help residents build financial assets.
Mission Asset Fund – Levi Strauss Foundation
Working under contract with the Levi Strauss Foundation and in partnership with community leaders, Heather McCulloch managed the planning process for the creation of the Mission Asset Fund (MAF). MAF is a comprehensive, neighborhood-focused, asset-building initiative supporting low-income and immigrant residents of San Francisco’s Mission District to save and invest in their community. ABS support for MAF included research on promising practices and neighborhood resources; planning to support a working group comprised of community leaders and LSF staff; management of a team of consultants; fundraising with local and national funders; and writing of the MAF Five Year Plan [PDF], which was approved by the board of the Levi Strauss Foundation Board in 2007.
Market Creek Plaza – Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Market Creek Plaza is the nation’s first commercial real estate development that is partially owned by low- and moderate-income community residents. The development includes an innovative investment structure—a community development initial public offering that enables low- and moderate-income residents of the surrounding communities to purchase units in the limited liability company that owns the development. Heather McCulloch highlighted the initiative in the national report “Sharing the Wealth: Resident Ownership Mechanisms,” [PDF] supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Fannie Mae Foundation. She has since worked with staff of the Jacobs Family Foundation and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation on a formal and informal basis and continues to share the model with state and national audiences.