Our Fight for AFI
We have sad news to report: Last week, the Senate Labor-H appropriations bill did not include funding for Assets for Independence (AFI). A proven program in the asset-building field, AFI has helped working families save for homeownership, higher education and small businesses for almost two decades by partnering financial education, savings and an incentivized match from private and public funds.
As most of you know, AFI was cut in the fiscal year 2017 budget in April as part of a broader $900 million cut to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education. Since then, you all have been incredible advocates—reaching out to your members of Congress with your energy, stories, phone calls and emails—all in the name of AFI.
And your voices did not go unheard. Until the last moment, allies such as Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) were rallying to save AFI. Unfortunately, there was not enough support in key states, and ultimately, the Senate appropriations bill did not include AFI funding. However, Senator Merkley made a compelling statement supporting AFI before the Senate Appropriations Committee—you can listen to Merkley's statement at 1:39:51 to 1:42:50 here.
It’s been a long, hard road for those of us fighting for AFI, and our work in this space is not ending. Prosperity Now is committed to adult matched savings for the long haul. We understand how life changing these programs can be. Adult matched savings programs are critical for many working and low-income communities. Prosperity Now will continue to work at the federal, state and local levels to support such tools and think about other ways in which we can continue this work. To stay updated, please sign up for our Adult Matched Savings Network. And, of course, we will continue to fight for all our safety net programs moving forward—you can sign up here to get updates.
Regardless of the outcome, we thank you for all your hard work and advocacy up until the very last moment to save AFI. Thank you again for your energy, your voices and your partnership in this fight.