Photo of Chris and Leah of Warm Springs Community Action Team
Chris and Leah of Warm Springs Community Action Team

The Oregon IDA Initiative began in 1999 when a group of Oregon legislators came together with a vision of creating a path to financial resilience within all of Oregon’s communities.

House Bill 3600 in 1999 created both the Initiative and a 25% tax credit as a funding mechanism. Language in the House Bill made the goal of the Initiative clear:

“Investment through an individual development account system will help lower income households obtain the assets they need to succeed. Communities and this state will experience resultant economic and social benefits accruing from the promotion of job training and higher education, home ownership and small business development.”

In 2001, the tax credit was increased via House Bill 3391 to 75% of every dollar contributed. An agreement was reached on a plan for the growth of the Initiative and for the level of state financial support each year through 2015. In 2007, House Bill 2094 allowed the Initiative to serve youth age 12 and up, and added two new savings categories.

From 2001 through 2005, the Initiative grew slowly. Partners developed networks, operating procedures, and relationships.

Since then, the Initiative has blossomed. It now reaches deep into Oregon, serving 35 of Oregon’s 36 counties. From April 2014 through March 15 there were 4,746 active participants and we’ve graduated 3500 participants since 2008.

In the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session, the Oregon IDA Tax Credit was extended until 2022. Additional savings categories were added and the State allocated $7.5 million in expenditures to the Initiative.