DETROIT, December 8, 2022 – The Rocket Community Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) today announced the creation of the Rocket Wealth Accelerator Program, which will serve resident clients in Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Atlanta. The Rocket Wealth Accelerator, through a $2 million investment by the Rocket Community Fund, will provide clients with coaches who will work with them to improve their ability to meet emergency needs, build their credit and grow generational wealth.
Over the next 12 months, LISC staff will onboard and train coaches, connect with community members eager to build savings, establish incentives programming and develop the necessary infrastructure to launch and roll out the program in each market through local community partners.
In addition to coaching, the program also provides matching dollars for participants’ savings plans, with up to $500 for people with large-dollar goals such as purchasing a home or vehicle, and up to $300 for those with short-term or emergency savings goals.
“The Rocket Wealth Accelerator is a small step toward leveling the playing field for Black and minority families who have endured a system that prevents them from accumulating wealth, or passing that wealth onto the next generation,” said Laura Grannemann, Vice President of the Rocket Community Fund, the philanthropic partner of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT). “By providing residents with coaching, as well as directly investing in their futures through our one-to-one savings account match program, the Rocket Wealth Accelerator will help put participants on a sustainable path to homeownership.”
The Rocket Wealth Accelerator is available to any income-qualified family, but specifically aims to address systemic racism and racial injustice that have decimated Black wealth. Nearly half of all Black and Hispanic households are unbanked or underbanked, and Black Americans are twice as likely to be denied for credit. The Rocket Wealth Accelerator additionally hopes to put participants on a path to homeownership, combating the Black-white homeownership gap that is wider today than it was when race-based discrimination against homebuyers was legal.
The Rocket Wealth Accelerator leverages the infrastructure of LISCs Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) network in Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta and Milwaukee. LISC has a network of more than 130 centers embedded in community-based organizations across the country, which offer job training and placement services, financial coaching and education, income supports and other services aimed to help families boost their savings, build credit, reduce expenses and make sound financial decisions that increase assets.
The Rocket Wealth Accelerator will be offered at existing FOC sites in each of the four cities, including:
- SER-Metro Detroit, Wayne Metro Community Action Agency and International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit in Detroit.
- May Dugan Center and Urban League of Greater Cleveland in Cleveland.
- Jobs Work MKE in Milwaukee.
- Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency in Atlanta.
“For far too many, the American dream of financial security feels out of reach,” said LISC CEO Lisa Glover. “Our partnership with the Rocket Community Fund, which is focused on pairing financial coaching with products designed to accelerate savings, is exactly the kind of investment in economic empowerment that can help close our country’s widening wealth gaps and equip more families of color to build generational wealth.”
The Rocket Wealth Accelerator will focus primarily on building savings in the short-, medium- and long-term. In the short-term, the Accelerator will provide coaching and matching incentives to help clients prepare for emergency needs. It will then increase opportunities for savings and credit counseling to facilitate and complement savings goals. Finally, it will lay the groundwork for long-term planning, including retirement, estate planning and more that will aid in the generational transfer of wealth.
This is especially critical as more than 40% of Black households have no emergency savings, almost 45% have less than a month of income saved, and only 15% have at least one month of income saved, the lowest among all racial demographics.
“Unemployment in Detroit is at its lowest levels in 20 years and household incomes for families in our city are rising. As Black Detroiters generate more income, it’s important that they understand how to save and to build generational wealth. We are fortunate to have great community partners in LISC and the Rocket Community Fund to provide not only training but also financial incentives to help program participants build their savings or make important life purchases such as a vehicle or home. “
Participants in the Rocket Wealth Accelerator will also receive access to a free, three-month subscription to Rocket Money, a part of Rocket Companies. Rocket Money, formerly known as Truebill, empowers people to live their best financial lives by managing subscriptions, lowering their bills, building budgets and other valuable services saving them time and money. With Rocket Money, Rocket Wealth Accelerator participants will have a better understanding of their current economic situation while they work with coaches to improve their outlook on their path to homeownership and wealth creation.
For more information and find out how to participate, visit their rocket community fund page here.