For many Idahoans, the dream of becoming financially independent may seem unattainable. But a new initiative will help qualified Idaho individuals and families do just that. Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA), the Home Partnership Foundation, and United Way of Treasure Valley have teamed up to help families meet the goal of financial independence through the use of an Individual Development Account (IDA).
An IDA is a matched savings account that individuals and families can utilize to help build assets and enter the financial mainstream. The program matches an individual’s savings up to a maximum of $2,000 at a rate of two to one. The individual’s savings, plus the match, up to a total of $6,000, can be used to start or enhance a small business, pursue education, or purchase a home. Local employers, organizations, and citizens have the opportunity to participate in the success of this program by sponsoring a participant’s efforts and matching their savings dollar-for-dollar.
“The IDA account gives Idaho residents a chance to attain goals that will help them improve their financial situation,” said Gerald Hunter, IHFA President and Executive Director. “We are pleased to be a partner in this program and encourage financial independence by educating individuals and families.”
“United Way is committed to helping people improve their financial stability,” said Sally Zive, President and CEO, United Way of Treasure Valley. “IHFA is a natural partner in implementing this valuable program statewide.”
This program is available statewide through IHFA’s branch offices, located in Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls. Families and individuals in the Boise area can get information on this program by contacting Melissa Krucker at the United Way of Treasure Valley at (208) 336-1070, ext. 124.
Applicants must meet income and other requirements, including:
- Be employed or self-employed
- Save money from their earned income each month
- Attend financial fitness classes
- Attend and accomplish certain asset (home, education, or small business) specific education
- Be a first-time homebuyer (not owned a home within the last three years) if the home purchase option is selected
- Be at least 18 years of age, live in Idaho, and purchase the asset in Idaho
- Meet income requirements – the applicant qualifies for Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho; or the household qualifies for the Earned Income Tax Credit requirements; or the household is below 200% of the federal poverty level
- Have a household net worth of less than $10,000
Once the applicant is accepted into this program, they must follow some specific case management requirements; and must make a commitment to meet with their caseworker regularly while participating in the program.
For more information on the IDA program, contact the location nearest you:
Coeur d’Alene: (208) 667-3380
Idaho Falls: (208) 522-6002
Lewiston: (208) 743-0251
Twin Falls: (208) 734-8531
Treasure Valley: (208) 336-1070, ext. 124
About United Way of Treasure Valley
For nearly 80-years, United Way has been working on community problems and improving lives in the Treasure Valley with measurable results in three priority areas – helping children and youth achieve their potential, promoting financial stability for working families, and improving people’s health.
The Idaho Housing and Finance Association, a financial services and housing business organization, provides funding for affordable housing in communities where it is most needed and when economically feasible.