U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
The Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program represents an anti-poverty strategy built on asset accumulation for low-income refugee individuals and families with the goal of promoting refugee economic independence. IDAs are leveraged or matched savings accounts. In the Refugee IDA program, IDAs are matched with federal funds that have been allocated as “match funds” from at least 65 percent of the annual federal grant award.
The objectives of the Refugee IDA program are to:
- Establish IDAs for eligible participants
- Encourage regular saving habits among refugees
- Promote their participation in the financial institutions of this country
- Promote refugee acquisition of assets to build individual, family, and community resources
- Increase refugee knowledge of financial and monetary topics, including developing a household budget
- Assist refugees in advancing their education
- Increase home ownership among refugees
- Assist refugees in gaining access to capital
- Increase the socio-economic development of refugee communities
IDAs are established for refugee participants at a qualified financial institution. Refugee participants will systematically contribute to the IDAs out of earned income to purchase specified asset goals, limited to the following areas:
- Primary residence home purchase
- Vocational training, professional re-certification, and education (limited to postsecondary education, college entrance exam fees, and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and GED preparation and test fees) as necessary for employment, certification, or education purposes
- Microenterprise capitalization, including home-based child care services
- Vehicle purchase
Amount: $2,500,000 is available for grants ranging from $100,000-$250,000 each year, for three years.
Eligibility: State governments; county governments; city or township governments; special district governments; independent school districts; public and State-controlled institutions of higher education; Native American tribal governments; public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities; nonprofit organizations; private institutions of higher education.
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