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An Online Resource Library Supporting Professionals Ending Gender-Based Violence.

Individual Development Accounts

An IDA, or individual development account, is a special savings account for people with low incomes and minimal assets. Money saved in an IDA account is matched with donated dollars. The match is typically donated by government agencies, private companies, or local community-based organizations. Any individual, organization or business can contribute match dollars to IDAs, and in most cases, donors can get a tax deduction for contributions to IDAs. The most common source of match dollars for IDA programs are federal funds (see Federal Assets for Independence Program section). Match rates vary, but are typically 2:1 or 3:1. Savings must be used for specific asset-building purchases or investment, such as to buy a home, pay for education, or to start a small business. Programs vary in terms of flexibility on the types of allowable assets, and increasingly programs are including major home repairs and car purchases, as allowable assets.

IDA Basics
IDAs for Domestic Violence Survivors

“IDA programs can be an important way for survivors to leverage their earned income and save for important assets that will contribute to their long-term financial security and safety.” Assets for Independence Resource Center

Federal Assets for Independence Program and Other Federal & State Laws & Policies

credit-4.jpgThe Assets for Independence Resource Center: Created by OCS, this resource center is a one-stop source for all types of information related to the AFI program and IDAs. The website includes information on how to apply and successfully administer the AFI program, best practice tips, and links to general publications as well as resources for specific populations, including domestic violence survivors. Training and individual technical assistance is also available.

Poverty and Income Guidelines
The federal poverty guidelines are issued annually by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and are used to determine eligibility for various social services programs, including many IDA programs. Typically, a family must fall within 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for federally-supported IDA. Another income eligibility measurement for IDA programs is the Area Median Income or AMI.

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IDAs and Eligibility for Public Benefits
Financial Education
Financial education is often a required component of IDA program participation. Even where not required, financial information on banking, borrowing, credit, charge cards, taxes, budgeting, and investments may be helpful for advocates and survivors. There are many different curricula used by IDA programs. Some programs create their own financial education trainings and others use developed curricula from other organizations. Asset-specific training, such as home ownership, microenterprise development, and postsecondary education are also commonly offered with IDA programs. Information here includes links for financial education programs as well as briefs and reports about how to assess and improve access to relevant financial counseling for all.

purplepurse.pngPurple Purse is a joint project of the Allstate Foundation and the National Network to End Domestic Violence to help survivors of domestic violence build their financial skills as a way to escape abusive relationships, get safe, stay safe and thrive. Visit the website above to access a Financial Empowerment Curriculum and othe rkey resources.

Reports and Research
IDAs for Underserved Populations
Finding and IDA Program

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