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AFI Fact Sheet Assets for Independence Program Summary

Published: July 5, 2012
Assets for Independence (AFI)
About, Fact Sheet

Assets for Independence Program Summary


     Type of Grant: Discretionary Grant

     2010 Appropriation: $24.025 million


Legislative Authority


Authorized under the Assets for Independence Act in title IV of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998, P.L. 105-285. It was amended in December 2000.




Assets for Independence (AFI) enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. AFI projects 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 participants is matched (from $1 to $8 combined Federal and nonfederal funds) by the AFI project, promoting savings and enabling participants to acquire a lasting asset. AFI project families use their IDA savings, including the matching funds, to achieve any of three objectives: acquiring a first home; capitalizing a small business; or enrolling in postsecondary education or training.

Additionally, all AFI projects provide basic financial management training and supportive services, such as financial education on owning and managing a bank account or a credit card; credit counseling and repair; guidance in accessing refundable tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit; and specialized training in owning particular assets for the long term.


Target Population

Those eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or those whose household assets do not exceed $10,000 in value (excluding a residence and one car) and who are either eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or have total household income of less than two times the Federal poverty line.



Eligible Applicants

  • Nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community groups
  • State, local, and tribal government agencies applying jointly with a nonprofit
  • Community development financial institutions that partner with a community-based antipoverty group
  • Low-income credit unions that partner with a community-based antipoverty group
  • Consortia of organizations and agencies that target multiple service areas

Funding announcements are published annually at www.grants.gov and www.acf.hhs.gov/grants for review and application by interested organizations.



Federal Contact

Assets for Independence
Office of Community Services