ACF Awards Over $1.8 Million for Individual Development Account Projects

Monday, April 5, 2010
Contact: Kenneth J. Wolfe
(202) 401-9215

‘Assets for Independence’ Grants Support Innovative Self-Sufficiency Strategy
for Low-Income Families and Individuals

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced nine Assets for Independence (AFI) program grants totaling $1.8 million to community-based organizations and government agencies.

“The Assets for Independence program enables more working families to learn about family budgeting and accumulate savings in order to acquire economic assets that will appreciate over time,” said Carmen R. Nazario, HHS assistant secretary for children and families.

Grantees include community-based non-profits and government agencies across the nation. These grantees will help participants save earned income in special-purpose, matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Every dollar in savings deposited into an IDA by a participant is matched. The matching funds come from a combination of Federal and private sector resources and the matched amount ranges from $1 to $8 for each $1 saved.  The program enables participants to accrue savings to achieve any of three objectives: a first home; a small business for self-employment; or enrolling in post-secondary education or training.

“This program is demonstrating an innovative approach to helping low-income families gain the stability they need in order to escape the cycle of poverty permanently,” said James Gatz, manager of the Assets for Independence program.

To better evaluate effective projects, the Office of Community Services (OCS) is financing a long-term national process and impact evaluation of the program. Each AFI project provides information and data for the ongoing research on impacts of IDAs. 

Below are the new grants. For more information on the Assets for Independence program, visit:

Juma Ventures
San Francisco

Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency

Community Action Agency

El Paso Collaborative for Community and Economic Development
El Paso

Community Action of Nebraska, Inc.

Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, Inc.
Traverse City

Inner City Christian Federation
Grand Rapids

Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority

United Way for Southeastern Michigan



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