Individual Development Account Program Helps Families Obtain Homeownership
The Colonias Individual Development Account (IDA) program is a pilot program designed to help address the housing needs of people living in colonia communities in the United States-Mexico border region. It helps families accumulate savings towards acquiring or improving a home and generate long-term benefits including gains in income, self-esteem, family stability, financial literacy and participation in the larger economy.
Colonias IDA program objectives are to provide financial management skills to IDA participants; build relationships between IDA participants and financial institutions; and help 75 families acquire or improve their homeownership asset
Each participant has a savings goal of $300 per year for a total of $600 over a two-year period. Participants’ monthly savings can vary because many Colonias residents have seasonal occupations. Participants are able to save according to an individualized plan that is geared to their specific income pattern. Lump sum deposits after a growing season or upon receipt of the earned income tax credit are also acceptable.
The Colonias IDA Program provides a 2:1 match to participants. This match is provided based on a graduated match schedule after a minimum 6 month participation in the program. Participants meeting the total $600 savings goal within the initial six month period are rewarded with a full 2:1 match at the end of six months. The maximum match per participant is currently $1,200. Female-headed households are eligible for additional match of &1,250 from HAC’s partner in this program, the McAuley Institute.
HAC Colonias IDA Program partners, Azteca Community Loan Fund and Tierra Del Sol continue to make progress in graduating families from the program. Tierra Del Sol has currently enrolled 20 families in the program. ACLF has filled all 38 slots, 15 of which have graduated and 23 families are still saving.