For many low income families, saving for college or to expand a business is extremely difficult. But through a partnership with CASA of Oregon, we are able to offer Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). IDAs are matched savings accounts that help people save at an accelerated pace and develop good financial habits. Participants set a savings goal and make monthly deposits. Once they reach their goal, they receive a $3 match for every $1 they have saved!
Nicole has been participating in the IDA program since April 2017. Her motivation is to provide the best life she can for her two year old son. She is currently pursuing an associate's degree at Portland Community College. This is the first step towards her goal of earning a bachelor's degree and pursuing a career in health care. The IDA program will be a tremendous help with her tuition costs. Her goal is to save $2,000 over two years which will result in a $6,000 match. Having $8,000 to pay for her educational costs will make a big difference. Nicole is so grateful to this program - her educational dreams are becoming possible!
Since 2012, 43 Community Action clients or staff members have participated in the program saving for post-secondary education or to expand a child care business. They have saved a total of $88,809 and received $280,668 in match so far!
This spring, we will be piloting an IDA rental program. This program will assist families struggling with housing insecurity to save for rental deposit and move-in costs. These initial expenses are often a barrier preventing low income families from getting into stable housing. In the initial pilot year, we hope to assist six families to save enough to move from homelessness into a safe place they can call home.