Public and private leaders have a substantial, and widely overlooked, opportunity today to help lower income families get ahead by bringing down the prices they pay for basic necessities. The numbers should speak for themselves: 4.2 million lower income homeowners pay higher than average prices for their mortgages, 4.5 million lower income households pay higher than average prices for auto loans, and at least 1.6 million lower income adults pay too much for furniture, appliances, and electronics. Combined, these extreme prices add up to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars spent needlessly every year.
The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program hosted a symposium featuring the release of a Brookings report by Matt Fellowes that included key policy recommendations needed to bring down these higher costs. The symposium also featured four principal state leaders that have led cutting-edge, bipartisan policy innovation. Featured speakers included: Diana L. Taylor, Superintendent of Banks, New York State Banking Department; The Honorable Dwight Evans, Pennsylvania House of Representatives; and Mike Kreidler, Insurance Commissioner, Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.