Assets for Independence (AFI) is a community-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. Utilizing existing individual and community assets, AFI strengthens communities from within through the use of matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Through financial education, AFI demonstrates the use and impact of IDAs to help low-income individuals move toward greater self-sufficiency.
- AFI’s main initiatives include:
- Awarding grants to non-profit organizations and government agencies that provide IDAs
- Managing a national resource center to support AFI grantees and develop information on the use of IDAs and related asset-building strategies
- Managing research on IDA usage and implementation
No funds were appropriated for the Assets for Independence (AFI) program for federal fiscal year 2017. Therefore, the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) will not be making new grant awards for the AFI program.
AFI grants awarded in FY 2016 and before are not affected by the FY 2017 appropriation, as the total award amount was obligated for those grants at the time that they were made. Organizations operating AFI projects with existing grants are responsible for continuing to operate those projects for the funded project period indicated on the notice of grant award.
The Assets for Independence (AFI) program does not provide direct grants to individuals; AFI does not charge a fee for receiving a grant. If you receive a message offering you an AFI grant or requesting a fee, please contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477.
Rafael J. Elizalde, Program Manager
Assets for Independence
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
330 C Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20201
This page features Information Memorandum (IM) that detail official AFI program policy on various topics and Dear Colleague Letters that convey non-policy information for AFI grantees.
The Office of Community Services provides annual Reports to Congress on the status of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program. The reports are based on data submitted annually for each active grant through the AFI Performance Progress Reports.
This is a starting point for AFI grantees looking for AFI program technical assistance materials. Each link below leads to a page with additional resources, organized by topic.
Organizations with Assets for Independence (AFI) Visit disclaimer page grants are presented by state. There is no guarantee that an organization listed in this map currently has capacity to serve new participants, and the AFI Act provides grantees with discretion in selecting individuals among those eligible to participate in the AFI program. For more information on participant selection, see the related Information Memorandum Visit disclaimer page .
Since FY 2011, ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation has overseen a random assignment evaluation of the AFI program in partnership with OCS. The purpose is to evaluate the impact of AFI program participation on savings, savings patterns, and asset purchase by individuals and families with low incomes.
The Office of Community Services shares knowledge that has been developed through the Assets for Independence (AFI) program to fulfill AFI’s obligation as a demonstration program. One key area of knowledge development has been the integration of financial capability services into other programs and services serving individuals and families with low incomes. Financial capability is defined as “the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources effectively.”