State matches savings money to help people start accounts
NeighborImpact programA matched savings program run by HomeSource of NeighborImpact provides financial incentives to help low-income households achieve long-held savings goals.
For every dollar invested into the program, also known as an individual development account, $3 are matched by the state.
"The spirit of the matched savings program is to help people develop regular savings habits," noted Laura Fritz, housing director of NeighborImpact.
"Saving on a regular basis is key in dealing with the unexpected expenses that arise whether you run a business, own a home, or are going to school," she added.
Income-qualified households identify a savings goal such as home ownership, creating or expanding a business, paying for higher education, or making repairs to their home to address health and safety issues.
Clients develop an action plan during their participation in the program that includes mandatory participation in financial fitness classes and meeting with a financial coach.
Clients work with a coach to get on a savings plan and learn skills that will help them be successful when they achieve their savings goal.
Income restrictions do apply to the IDA program. For example, a four-person household in Crook or Jefferson County would have to earn $51,120 a year or less to qualify for the program.
The funds, made possible by state tax credits, enable an individual to receive an additional $3 for every dollar they save.
"This program is one of the most interesting programs available today," said Fritz. "It promotes asset building while also encouraging skill development and self-sufficiency."
Households must participate in the IDA program for a minimum of six months and earn 80 percent or less of the family median income in their county.