The Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative helps Oregonians with low incomes build financial resilience and wealth by providing matched savings , information about financial systems, and coaching that supports savers in reaching their financial goals. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Neighborhood Partnerships (NP) are pleased to announce awards totaling $10,330,360 to 11 direct IDA grantee recipients. Awards recognize strengths present across the Initiative, including:Initiative, including:
- Reaching under-resourced populations
- Supporting a broad array of asset goals—from emergency savings to homeownership—to meet individuals where they are at
- Commitment to reducing barriers for savers
- Advancing racial equity through their organization or program.
The Oregon IDA Initiative was established in 1999 as a wealth building program addressing poverty. IDA statute states:
“Family economic well-being does not come solely from income, spending or consumption, but instead requires savings, investment and the accumulation of assets.”
Twenty years later, IDAs have supported thousands of individuals and families to reach their goals to graduate college, buy a home, start a small business, and more. Unfortunately public and private policy and practice continue to concentrate wealth to a very small portion of the population, deepening the wealth gap. The need to change policy and shift resources is more critical than ever. To more effectively support savers’ own economic goals, in 2021 OHCS and NP successfully advocated with the Legislature to broaden the language in IDA statute from very specific uses to a vision that promotes overall financial stability and resilience of lower-income households.
The 11 recipient organizations, known as Fiduciary Organizations or “FOs” (listed below), provide community based, responsive services across the state, in direct service and as networks supporting over seventy partner organizations. OHCS and NP have are honored to continue work with devoted, knowledgeable, and resilient organizations and staff across the Initiative who have met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impacts in all our communities. Throughout these deeply challenging years, they never paused their work with clients. In 2021 alone this allowed 1,143 IDA participants to successfully reach their asset building goals, receiving $7.3 million in match against $2.7M in saver deposits.
This year’s awards recognize the ongoing excellence of the work of our FOs, and also include $1.3 million in specific project-focused funding to six FOs (starred below) for efforts targeted at deepening the reach of IDAs to rural and under-represented Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander, and immigrant and refugee communities. OHCS and NP recognize that the IDA Initiative has the potential to reach many more low-income Oregonians seeking to increase individual and family well being, and continue to work toward increased funding to make this reality.
Oregon IDA Awards by FO for the 2022-23 IDA Program year:
|CASA of Oregon Network*
|DevNW + Network Partners
|Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)*
|Mercy Corps Northwest
|Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)*
|Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)*
|Portland Housing Center
|Warm Springs Community Action Team*
Please see the IDA Initiative website for bios and links to websites: https://oregonidainitiative.org/overview/our-ida-partners/
New FOs in 2022
OHCS and NP are pleased to announce that two new FOs were welcomed to the role of Fiduciary Organization in early 2022: NeighborImpact and Habitat for Humanity Oregon.
NeighborImpact is a longtime provider of IDAs in central Oregon as a network partner. NeighborImpact’s mission is “Supporting People, Strengthening Communities.” They are a leading provider of emergency food programs, housing and homeless services, energy assistance, child care resources, early childhood education services, and financial capability and asset building programs for individuals with low incomes. NeighborImpact opened for business in January 1985, to serve Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Currently, 250+ employees offer 11 programs that serve more than 55,000 households. Their IDA program is housed in their HomeSource division which also provides financial education, homebuyer education, home preservation, foreclosure prevention, and reverse mortgage counseling.
Habitat for Humanity Oregon is in the process of developing a network model to support reaching Habitat affiliates across Oregon with IDAs, which will deepen access particularly in rural Oregon. They will be offering both homeownership and home repair IDAs. Habitat for Humanity partners with people across Oregon, and all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Founded in 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Oregon provides fundraising, training, disaster preparedness and advocacy support for all 24 Habitat for Humanity affiliates—independent organizations who build and repair homes across our state. Of these affiliates, 20 are based in rural Oregon. A commitment to racial equity and housing justice undergirds both their advocacy efforts and program design.
New Network Role
Longstanding IDA FO DevNW (formerly NEDCO) shifted in their role, adding network partners to their direct service IDA program. Beginning in 2022, their network provides IDAs through Access, Inc., the Housing Authority of Jackson County, Klamath Housing Authority, Goodwill Industries Prosperity Center, and SCOEDD. They will also support existing partnerships with several Habitat for Humanity affiliates, until the Habitat Oregon network is established. These providers are all experienced IDA partners previously supported through NeighborWorks Umpqua, now a single site IDA FO. DevNW ’s leadership of these network partners will continue strong support for communities in central, southern, and eastern Oregon.
IDAs provide a powerful, statewide, equity-focused tool to build stability and reduce the wealth gap for low-income Oregonians. IDAs offer a resource for Oregonians to invest as they determine what is most useful for them, with the understanding that having access to basic financial stability and financial resources is a necessary element for individuals to thrive. And as individuals thrive, so will communities. OHCS and NP are honored to make continued strong funding available and to support and collaborate with FOs, partner providers, and communities.