Oregon IDA Initiative Leaders and Partner Organizations
Oregon Housing and Community Services Department provides leadership and oversight to the Oregon IDA Initiative. The Oregon Department of Revenue oversees the tax credit aspects of the program for the state.
The Initiative is managed by Neighborhood Partnerships, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Neighborhood Partnerships works directly with contributors and accepts all donations on behalf of the Initiative. Contributions are eligible for a Oregon IDA Tax Credit.
Neighborhood Partnerships allocates funds statewide to a network of Initiative Partners, who then work in a variety of ways with dozens of other non-profit and tribal organizational partners to bring the IDA Initiative into all corners of the state. Currently the Initiative is reaching deep into Oregon, with participants in 33 of Oregon’s 36 counties.
Private financial institutions, both banks and credit unions, work with IDA participants and our Initiative Partners in communities across the state to make IDA bank accounts accessible. These financial institutions provide an invaluable service, often at a significantly reduced cost.
Ten Initiative Partners work directly with the Oregon IDA Initiative and Neighborhood Partnerships to bring IDAs to their partners and communities.
Two of these ten Initiative Partners, CASA of Oregon and NeighborWorks Umpqua, manage affiliate networks of partner organizations. CASA manages the VIDA Collaborative, with 36 members, and My College Savings Plan (formerly MESA), which brings together 12 educational institutions. NeighborWorks Umpqua manages the Dream$avers Network of 11 partners.
The ten Initiative Partners are:
- College Dreams
- Community and Shelter Assistance Corporation of Oregon (CASA)
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
- Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW)
- Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)
- The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
- Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO)
- NeighborWorks Umpqua (NWU)
- Portland Housing Center (PHC)
- Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT)
Founded in 1998, College Dreams is at the core a positive youth development program. Their mission is to build resiliency, financial assets, and college/career readiness for low income, minority, and other potential achievement gap students. College & Career Preparation Specialists provide outreach services at 20 secondary schools in Southern Oregon. School district contracts allow College Dreams to conduct their core activities including: eligibility screening; academic motivational enhancement; mentoring and tutoring; financial education; skill-building; community service; family education and support; competitive scholarships; barrier removal assistance; rigorous academic planning; access to youth camps, career related learning experiences, campus and worksite visits; academic excellence incentives; and college, career, and financial aid application coaching. Students who qualify have the ability to apply for youth Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to provide opportunities for them and their families to successfully save for college.
College Dreams has been an IDA Provider since 2008 and in November 2013, College Dreams became an Oregon IDA Initiative Partner, continuing to provide education IDA’s for youth in Josephine and Jackson Counties.
CASA of Oregon is an intermediary organization that offers IDA program administration through two networks: VIDA and the Matched College Savings Program (MCSP). In addition to its work as an IDA program administrator, CASA of Oregon develops housing, programs and facilities that improve the quality of life and self-sufficiency of farmworkers and other low-income populations. Although CASA of Oregon is located in Sherwood, its partners serve 29 counties: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, and Yamhill.
CASA’s partners serve Oregonians with limited financial resources, including residents of partners’ affordable housing units, entrepreneurs wishing to start or expand a business, students at high schools saving for college and participants in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, to name a few.
Since 2001, Community and Shelter Assistance Corporation of Oregon (CASA) has engaged with the asset building movement in Oregon and is the largest network of Initiative Partners in the state. Both networks seek to utilize Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) in promoting financial empowerment and asset ownership through financial planning, consumer education and an established habitual personal savings regime.
IRCO has been working as a non-profit IDA Provider since September 2007 and offering IDAs as an Initiative Partner since January 2012.
Currently, IRCO offers education IDAs, but is looking forward to expanding its services to include homeownership and microenterprise IDAs in the near future. As an educational service to its IDA enrollees, IRCO has tailored a series of asset-building classes in post-secondary education (currently offered) and eventually to microenterprise and homeownership specifically geared for aiding members of refugee and immigrant communities with access to asset building services.
The goal of the IRCO IDA Program includes helping immigrants and refugees obtain the financial literacy to make independent economic choices, acquire assets such as a home, education, or business by saving an individual development account (IDA), maximize tax credits as a means of increasing their savings, and transition into the mainstream economy.
Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) programs work to increase economic self-sufficiency and community integration through microenterprise development and self-employment. MCNW assists low-income current and aspiring small-business owners throughout Oregon and Washington in order to reduce unemployment, grow personal incomes and assets, and increase economic growth. They provide business programs and resources through microloans; Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings for businesses, and small business classes taught by business professionals. MCNW also supports entrepreneurs with one-on-one business counseling. Mercy Corps Northwest is also the only Small Business Administration funded Women’s Business Center in Oregon, providing funding, IDAs, and other resources to help female entrepreneurs become self-sufficient. Mercy Corps Northwest’s mission runs parallel to the mission of their parent organization, Mercy Corps: To alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.
Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) seeks to broaden economic opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs by providing business support to increase growth in income, assets, and business skills. Since its inception in July 2005, MESO has supported businesses with a diversity in trade and color. Originally known as the MicroEnterprise Neighborhood Development (MEND) program, MEND was a program of the Black United Fund of Oregon. In April 2008, MEND changed its name to MESO and became a program of Pedagogy Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. MESO continues to maintain its original mission while adding new resources to meet the changing needs of its entrepreneurs and the marketplace. MESO’s clients engage in a wide array of economic activities that include frozen baked goods, child care services, video production services, beauty products, art, automotive services, marketing services, and a variety of other goods and services. MESO’s uniqueness in business development is based on the philosophy of customizing support to the needs of the business. MESO recognizes the complex and multi-level problems experienced by entrepreneurs and offer support services in an integrated manner.
MESO has offered IDAs since 2008 and has been an Initiative Partner since 2013. Currently offering Education IDAs, MESO’s service area includes Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties.
The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in Portland, Oregon works to enrich the lives of our Native youth and families through education, community involvement, and culturally specific programming. NAYA has been providing IDAs as an Initiative Partner since 2008. NAYA provides IDA’s for Home Buying, Small Business, Post-Secondary Education, and Elders Home Rehabilitation. IDAs at NAYA are only open to those participating in NAYA sponsored activities and programming.
NEDCO is a nonprofit organization with a mission to collaboratively build human and capital assets to strengthen neighborhoods and broaden participation in community ownership and governance. NEDCO was established in 1979 as Oregon’s first Community Development Corporation. NEDCO has offices in Springfield, Salem and Oregon City and serves Lane, Marion and Clackamas Counties. Over the past three decades NEDCO has revitalized communities, built affordable homes, and assisted more than 20,000 people to build assets such as homeownership and small businesses. NEDCO creates innovative, community-based economic development strategies to empower communities to reach stability.
NEDCO provides comprehensive resources to help people build assets, including education and financial counseling for homeownership, business development, post-secondary education planning, and general financial stability. NEDCO has offered IDAs since 2002 and became an Initiative Partner in 2012. Currently offering homeownership IDAs, NEDCO plans to offer micro-enterprise and post-secondary education IDAs beginning in 2013.
NeighborWorks Umpqua (NWU) was developed primarily to focus on the affordable housing needs of the low to moderate income population of Douglas County. Since their inception in 1990, NWU has grown to become a significant resource for individuals, families, and communities in Douglas, Coos, and Curry counties. They are recognized with the designation of Regional Housing Center for Douglas and Coos County by OHCS, a Home Ownership Center by NeighborWorks America, and an approved Housing Counseling Agency by HUD.
NeighborWorks Umpqua provides IDAs through their Dream$avers network. Offering all categories of IDAs, Dream$avers currently serves 14 counties, including: Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Linn, and Malheur. NWU’s main office is located in Roseburg, Oregon.
Portland Housing Center (PHC) is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency serving Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties. PHC specializes in providing high quality pre-purchase home buyer education, coaching, and financial resources in the form of stable, affordable mortgages and down payment assistance programs. PHC’s target population is first time home buyers with special outreach to under-served and minority communities. PHC offers home buyer education in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian and online.
Portland Housing Center has been a partner with the Oregon IDA Initiative since 2004. The agency initially collaborated with the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, and in 2006 Portland Housing Center became an Initiative Partner. Portland Housing Center offers home purchase IDAs. PHC’s main office is located at 3233 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR.
WSCAT’s stated mission from 2008 to 2015 was to alleviate poverty in Warm Springs. In looking at our programs, we realized that while focused indirectly on poverty alleviation, we are much more focused on empowering people to be more self-sufficient, to develop personally and professionally, and to take control of their own futures. With this in mind, we developed a new mission statement in December 2015:
WSCAT’s mission is to promote community development in Warm Springs by empowering individuals and groups of people to realize their potential, become self-reliant, and affect positive change for themselves, their families, and their community.
WSCAT has been offering all categories of IDAs as an Initiative Partner since 2008.