Fifty years ago President Johnson described to a Joint Session of Congress the plight of Americans who “live on the outskirts of hope” because of poverty or race. Addressing the widening income gap is again at the forefront of our country and state policy dialogues.
At Neighborhood Partnerships our mission is to create opportunity for people with low incomes; we are deeply engaged in building pathways out of poverty for all Oregonians. We know that economic stability for households with low incomes is built on a foundation of assets – financial, personal, social, and community based. Our policy and program work in this area is designed to create opportunities for Oregonians with low incomes to build and maintain these assets.
We also seek policy solutions to promote asset building among Oregonians with low incomes. These solutions include expanding access to employment skills, higher education, and financial resources and education. We know that we all benefit when we’re able to create communities where everyone can thrive.
One piece of achieving our vision is a strong Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) program in Oregon. Neighborhood Partnerships manages the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative. The Oregon IDA Initiative is a proven approach which provides access to financial education and matching funds to achieve a dream of owning a home, starting a micro-enterprise, or continuing an education. This successful collaborative effort provides the skills and funds to help rebuild Oregon’s middle class, and, in the process, rebuild Oregon. Building financial stability and resilience is a first step.
We’re excited to share that the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative again reached the $10 million contribution goal and limit this year – earlier than ever before on December 19, 2013. Funded through contributions by individuals and businesses to the Oregon IDA 75% Tax Credit, the Initiative has provided over $15 million in matching funds since 1999 to over 3,200 participants who have successfully saved over $5.6 million. To date over 1200 Oregonians have started a small business. Over 750 have gone to college or learned a trade. And over 1100 have become homeowners.
More than 3,000 Oregonians are currently saving all across Oregon — they have enrolled with an Initiative Partner and developed both a goal for saving and a plan for making the most of their IDA. Contributions go to work across the state to create opportunities for more Oregonians with low incomes. We are grateful to the generous individuals and businesses throughout Oregon who make this possible with their contributions to the Oregon IDA 75% Tax Credit. Together we are building financial resilience and pathways of opportunity for Oregonians with low incomes in every corner of the state.
We are excited to continue our work with partners, donors and savers to support Oregonians with low incomes realize greater prosperity. We know that we need to continue to work to build an Oregon that provides opportunity to all of our residents. If you’d like to be part of this conversation, please contact Janet or Jess. If you would like more information on the Oregon IDA Initiative, including information on how to donate and how to apply for an Oregon IDA, visit our website.
Join us in making a change for the better. Together, we know we can create an Oregon where everyone has access to opportunity.