Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Neighborhood Partnerships (NP) recently awarded supplemental grants for eight innovative and collaborative proposals to reach communities who are currently underserved by the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative. IDAs are a proven program that helps families across Oregon build a stronger financial foundation.
The Oregon IDA Initiative, housed here at NP, is supported through donations by individuals and businesses; contributions made to the Oregon IDA Initiative are eligible for a 75% IDA Oregon tax credit. To receive a 2011 tax credit, donations must be received by December 31, 2011. Donations may be made by check, online, or by contributing stock or mutual funds. For more information or to donate go to http://ida.neighborhoodpartnerships.org.
Revenue collected in 2010 allowed the Initiative to allocate about $1 million in funds to strategically reach communities currently underserved by the Oregon IDA Initiative. In a highly competitive process, eighteen proposals from collaborations including forty-two organizations were received by the September 1, 2011 deadline. The proposals requested a total of $3.3 million.
Several collaboratives proposed education IDAs to help individuals get the training and degrees they need to be skilled and competitive in the workforce and as small business owners. Bienestar, Innovative Changes, International Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Mercy Corps Northwest, and NeighborWorks Umpqua received awards for their innovative proposals.
Other proposals will support microenterprise IDAs that will help individuals and families start businesses that can become the income stream for their households as well as provide jobs for others. Hacienda Community Development Corporation and Microenterprise Services of Oregon were awarded funds for this purpose.
Awards were also made to provide home repair and homeownership IDAs to increase financial stability and protect assets for low income families, and the Native American Youth and Family Center and IRCO received resources for this area. For a current list of awards, go to http://ida.neighborhoodpartnerships.org/IDARFP2011.