By Jessica Junke
The Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative is bringing hope and opportunity to Oregonians with low incomes. The Oregon IDA Initiative is led by the State of Oregon, and managed by a statewide non-profit organization, Neighborhood Partnerships. Today, OHCS and Neighborhood Partnerships are pleased to announce over $10 million in program awards for the upcoming year to help more Oregonians access this important opportunity.
With a combination of financial education and matching funds, IDAs support Oregonians in making investments in assets that will promote their financial security. Through the IDA Initiative, Oregonians with low incomes are completing post-secondary education, starting new businesses, becoming first-time homeowners, or investing in one of several other asset categories.
With their increased financial capabilities and modest assets, this past year’s evaluation shows that IDA participants see improvements in their financial well-being, build a foundation for continued economic growth, and realize a new level of security to fall back on in challenging times. IDA participants build their resilience, reach their full potential, and succeed in vibrant communities—goals that all of Oregon shares.
“The IDA was the first step in my wife and I really focusing on what we wanted for the future, not just purchasing a house but more long-term future goals as well,” states Ryan Recinos. “It was the first step towards us really starting to save diligently every month,” he continues. “The incentive of the matching funds got us started, but the benefits of seeing that savings grow and seeing what we could do with it kept us going even after the program.”
Ryan and his wife, Amanda, were working and renting in Eugene when they found the IDA program at Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO). Ryan had seen the hard-won pride and security that homeownership had brought his immigrant parents.
In thinking about their future, the couple also realized that there was more opportunity for them if Ryan went back to college. With a scaled down budget, they were able to pay the costs of finishing the college degree as well saving for a down payment for their first home, achieving both goals in 2015.
“We know that every penny that we save is bringing us closer to our next goal,” explains Ryan. Ryan and Amanda’s financial focus has brought them a new level of security, into which they welcomed their first child in 2017.
- Community and Shelter Assistance of Oregon (CASA) – $4,100,000
- College Dreams – $800,000
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) – IRCO will continue to serve IDA clients using resources from previous awards.
- Mercy Corps NW – $690,000
- Microenterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) – $550,000
- Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) – $220,000
- Neighborhood Economic Development Corp. (NEDCO) – $749,000
- NeighborWorks Umpqua – $2,438,735
- Portland Housing Center – $825,000
- Warm Springs Community Action Team – $425,000