Community Action Partnership
Community Action Partnership of Riverside County
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IDA: Frequently Asked Questions

 

RIVCO.IDA 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 BY PROSPECTIVE PARTICIPANTS
 
What is an “IDA”?
IDAs, or Individual Development Accounts, are special matched savings accounts designed to help families and individuals of modest means establish a pattern of regular saving and, ultimately, purchase a “productive asset.” A “productive asset” is something of value that is likely to return substantial long-term benefits to its owner — benefits like security, stability and opportunities for more income. RivCo.IDA participants may use their savings and match money toward any one of three productive assets: a first-time home purchase, a small business start-up or expansion, or post-secondary education or vocational training.
 
What is a “savings match”?
A “savings match” is a promise to supplement an IDA participant’s savings deposits at a specific rate; in other words, a 4:1 savings match means that for every one dollar a RivCo.IDA participant saves, (up to a maximum of $1,000), he or she will earn another 4 dollars toward the purchase of his or her total asset (maximum match of $4,000).
 
Why would anyone give away money like that?
Savings matches are not “giveaways.” Participants earn savings matches by saving their own hard earned dollars and taking other steps to prepare for the future, like attending personal finance workshops. Furthermore, providing match dollars is a way to help hard working low-income families and individuals build a more stable and secure future. Everyone benefits when more members of a community have the tools they need, the productive assets, to provide for themselves and their families.
 
 
Is there more to an IDA Program than just savings matches?
Absolutely! Most people need more than just cash to become successful homeowners, entrepreneurs or college or vocational school students. For this reason, participants in the RivCo.IDA Program are required to attend a multi-part part personal finance and money management workshop series, including a special asset-specific preparation program. These workshops are designed to help participants acquire and build on personal and financial skills that are essential for long-term success; such as budgeting and improving credit.
 
Who is eligible to participate?
RivCo.IDA is open to individuals or families who meet the following criteria:
1. Residence in Riverside County.
2. Earned income - main source of income must come from a traditional job or self-employment. All sources of earned income must be reported on current tax return to meet minimum requirements
3. Total household income must fall within one of the following charts:
 

Household Size

Maximum Household Adjusted Income

Head of Household

Married Filing Joint

Household with no children

$13,980

$19,190

Household with 1 child

$36,920

$42,130

Household with 2 children

$41,952

$47,162

Household with 3 children or more

$45,060

$50,270


 

Size of Family Unit

Poverty Guideline

200% (Maximum

Household Income)

1 person

$11,490

$22,980

2 people

$15,510

$31,020

3 people

$19,530

$39,060

4 people

$23,550

$47,100

5 people

$27,570

$55,140

6 people

$31,590

$63,180

7 people

$35,610

$71,220

8 people

$39,630

$79,260

 

*** PLEASE NOTE:  The terms “household” & “family” refer to all individuals (self, spouse and/or dependants) listed on your 2012 Federal tax return ***

 
What is required of IDA participants?
IDA participants are asked to commit to:
  • Make monthly savings deposits of at least $50
  • Participate and save in the program for at least 12 months
  • Attend personal finance and money management workshops
  • Participate in asset-specific ownership preparation training
  •  
Where are the savings deposited?
RivCo.IDA has enlisted Altura Credit Union and Citibank as financial institution partners. Program participants are required to establish special IDA savings accounts at one of the branches of these institutions. IDA accounts will not be assessed any monthly service fees and will be insured by the proper federal regulatory agency.
 
What about making savings withdrawals?
Because IDAs are intended to help people purchase productive assets, withdrawals for non-asset uses are prohibited. If faced with an emergency situation, program participants are encouraged to access all available community based resources to resolve their immediate crisis. Program staff will assist participants in locating resources as requested. If they choose, participants are always free to close their personal accounts, withdraw from the program and receive all of their personal savings and earned interest. Participants who withdraw from the RivCo.IDA program prior to completion are not eligible to receive any savings matches. Matching funds are not dispersed directly to the participant under any circumstances.
 
How do participants receive match funds?
Matched funds will only be disbursed to appropriate vendors or agencies when the participant has completed all program requirements and is ready to purchase their chosen asset. At that time a vendor check will be issued directly to the vendor or agency furnishing all or a part of a participant’s asset goal (i.e. a mortgage company, home inspector, wholesale supplier, or community college or university).
 
How can I apply to participate?
Anyone interested in receiving more information about RivCo.IDA must attend one of the regularly scheduled program orientation sessions. To find out the dates and locations of upcoming orientations and workshops, or to request additional information, call Community Action Partnership of Riverside County at (951) 955-4900 or (800) 511-1110. The orientation and workshop calendars are available on the home page of this website.
 
A grant from Assets for Independence (AFI), a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds approximately 50% ($467,000) of costs for this program. The remaining 50% ($467,000) is funded through non-federal sources. Visit the AFI Resource Center website to learn more about the program and about helping families to build assets. www.idaresources.acf.hhs.gov