U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Refugee Individual Development Accounts 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. IDAs are established in insured accounts in qualified financial institutions.
The objectives of the Refugee IDA Program are to help participants:
- Establish IDAs
- Maintain regular saving habits
- Participate in the financial institutions of this country
- Acquire assets to build individual, family, and community resources
- Increase their knowledge of financial and monetary topics, including developing a household budget
- Advancing education
- Buy homes
- Gain access to capital
- Increase the socio-economic development of their communities
These projects will accomplish these objectives by establishing programs that combine the provision of matched savings accounts with financial training and counseling.
Refugee participants will systematically contribute to the IDAs out of earned income to purchase specified asset goals. The primary focus of the asset goals in their Refugee IDA Program is limited to the following areas:
- Primary residence home purchase
- Vocational training, professional recertification, and education (limited to postsecondary education costs, college entrance exam fees, and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and GED preparation and test fees) as required for employment, certification, or education purposes
- Microenterprise capitalization, including home-based child care services
- Vehicle purchase
Amount: A total of $2,000,000 is available to make up to eight awards ranging from $100,000-$250,000 per budget period. The project period is for 36 months with three 12-month budget periods.
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; Native American tribal organizations; nonprofits with or without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; and private institutions of higher education.
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