Overview of the Oregon IDA Initiative
Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs, are matched savings accounts that build the financial management skills of qualifying Oregonians with lower incomes while they save towards a defined goal. IDAs build pathways of opportunity and create models of economic success in Oregon communities.
The Oregon Individual Development Account Initiative invests in the personal and financial growth of individuals to build strong communities throughout Oregon. The Initiative was created in 1999 by the Oregon State Legislature to bring state agencies, private non-profit and tribal partners, and private contributors together to create opportunity in Oregon. Today, the Initiative is composed of the State of Oregon, under the leadership of Oregon Housing and Community Services Department and the Oregon Department of Revenue, and a host of private partners and contributors working together to help Oregonians achieve their dreams. The Initiative is managed by Neighborhood Partnerships.
Participants enroll through one of the many partners located in all corners of the state, set a goal and begin saving. Once the participant’s goal is reached and all parts of the savings plan are completed, every dollar saved by a participant is matched by the Initiative, typically three dollars for every one dollar saved. Initiative participants may benefit from matched funds to help them purchase a home, fulfill an educational goal, develop and launch a small business, restore a home to habitable condition, or purchase equipment to support employment.
Oregon residents twelve years of age and older who have low incomes and modest net worth may be eligible for the program. Residents work with a local partner to define and reach their goals.
How the Oregon IDA Initiative Works
The Oregon IDA Initiative is fueled by the contributions of individuals and businesses from all corners of the state. Contributions, which are eligible for a tax credit on state taxes, are used entirely to support the costs of the Initiative.
Oregon Housing and Community Services Department works with Neighborhood Partnerships to manage the Initiative. Neighborhood Partnerships contracts with ten Initiative Partners to work directly with clients in all parts of the state. Two partners, CASA of Oregon and NeighborWorks Umpqua, work with networks of partner organizations, while other Initiative Partners primarily work directly with clients.
Clients save for a defined goal and receive support and training from Initiative Partners, such as home buying education or business plan development, in addition to coaching as they shift their financial habits. When clients reach their savings goal and meet benchmarks of their savings plan, their savings are matched with Initiative resources to purchase their home, education, small business inventory, or other asset.
The Initiative’s success depends on its many supporters and partners. Donors, public agencies and leaders, non-profit and tribal partners, financial institutions, community networks, and capable and motivated participants all have a crucial role to play.