CFED has issued a report summarizing the results of its latest survey of individual development account (IDA) activity in the U.S. IDAs are matched savings accounts designed to help low-income people build assets and meet specific financial goals, such as purchasing a home. Accounts are offered through nonprofit organizations, working in partnership with community banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. The savings match comes from public and private sources. The single largest fund provider is the federal government’s Assets for Independence (AFI) program.
The CFED report, which emphasizes publicly funded accounts, is based on a March 2005 survey of 400 of the 540 IDA programs operating in the U.S. According to the survey results, the cumulative total of public funding for IDAs was $225 million as of March 2005. More than 30,000 people had savings in IDAs. Slightly more than half of account holders were female and 80 percent were minorities. Among individuals with AFI-funded accounts, the average savings balance was $531 and the most common savings goals were home purchase, small business start-up or expansion, and post-secondary education.
For more on IDAs, visit www.cfed.org.