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Assets for Independence Federal Grants for Individual Development Account Projects Office of Community Services Administration for Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Basics for Applicants -- Overview Asset Building and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

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Assets for IndependenceFederal Grants for Individual Development Account Projects

Office of Community ServicesAdministration for Children and FamiliesU.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Basics for Applicants -- Overview

  • Asset Building and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

  • Assets for Independence Program

  • AFI Projects – Overview

  • Apply for AFI Funding in FY 2006

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Asset Building

“Few people have ever spent their way out of poverty. Those who escape do so through saving and investing for the long-term.”

Michael Sherraden

Center for Social Development

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Economic Assets Matter

  • Stronger, Healthier Families

  • Enhanced Self-Esteem

  • Long-term Thinking and Planning

  • More Community Involvement

  • Hope for the Future

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Support for Asset Building

  • Homeownership Support

  • Small Business Development

  • Education / Careers

  • Individual Development Accounts

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Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

  • Matched restricted bank or credit union savings accounts for individuals and families with low incomes.

  • Enable clients / participants to save earned income on a regular basis, receive matching funds to grow the savings, and acquire an economic asset for the long term.

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IDAs: A Hand-Up To Self-Sufficiency




to Assets


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Overview:Assets for Independence Program

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Assets for Independence Program

Federal grant program that supports 5-Year AFI Projects that enable participants to ...

  • Learn about financial and consumer issues

  • Save in IDAs

    In order to …

    - acquire a first home

    - access higher education or training and/or

    - start or support a small business

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AFI Projects

  • 350+ projects throughout the nation

  • Multi-purpose non-profits that provide services for low-income families

  • Public / Private partnerships including State, local or Tribal governments

  • Multi-site networks

  • Financial institution partners

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Community Action Agencies

Community Development Corporations

Community Development Financial Institutions

Credit Unions

Faith-Based Organizations

AFI Projects

  • Government Agencies

  • Housing Finance Agencies

  • State-Wide and Multi-State Associations

  • United Way Organizations

  • Workforce Development Agencies

  • Youth Agencies

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AFI Clients / Participants

  • 34,000+ IDA accounts and growing

  • 80% of participants are women

  • Many single parent households

  • 46% African American; 28% White; 16% Hispanic

  • IDA is first savings account for most participants

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AFI Projects –Participant’s Perspective

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  • Kim needs a home

  • Housing program requires $6,000 for down payment and closing costs

  • Financial Education, debt counseling and information about home ownership

  • Match rate of $2 for every $1 saved in her IDA

  • Kim saves $2,000 – $55 per month over 3 years

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Kim’s IDA



$2,000 Kim Saves



$2,000 Federal

$2,000 Non-Fed

$6000 for


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  • Bill is looking to start a new business

  • He needs $5,000 in capital

  • Financial Education, debt counseling, training in operating a business, and a business plan

  • Match rate of $4 for every $1 saved in his IDA

  • Bill saves $1,000 – $42 per month over 2 years

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Bill’s IDA



$1,000 Bill Saves



$2,000 Federal

$2,000 Non-Fed

$5000 for



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AFI Projects – Details for Grantees / Administrating Agencies

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Key Topics

  • Project Funding – Federal and Non-Federal

  • Project Reserve Account

  • IDA Matching Structure

  • Participant Eligibility Rules

  • Participant Savings Plan Agreement

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Project Funding

  • Five Year project grants

  • Non-Federal cash equal to or greater than the Federal grant amount

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Project Reserve Account

Federal Grant



insured financial institution




(Cash only)

Other Resources - $ and In-Kind

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Project Reserve Account Uses

  • At least 85% to match IDA savings

  • Up to 13% for financial education and other activities

  • At least 2% for data collection

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Non-Federal Funding – Examples

  • Financial institutions

  • Foundations

  • United Way organizations

  • Corporations / Employers

  • Faith-based organizations

  • State, local and Tribal governments

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IDA Matching Structure

  • IDA Savings Match Rates can range from

    $1 match for $1 earned income saved to

    $8 match for $1 earned income saved

  • Maximum Federal Contribution

    • $2000 per individual

    • $4000 per household

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Participant Eligibility

  • TANF eligible OR

  • EITC eligible or annual household income less than twice poverty (about $40,000 for family of four) and

    Household net worth less than $10,000 excluding value of a residence and one car

  • Administrating agencies may apply additional eligibility rules

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Participant Savings Plan Agreement

  • Amount to be saved / Schedule of deposits

  • Asset to be purchased

  • Match rate per $1 of earned income saved

  • Financial education / Financial literacy courses

  • Debt management counseling

  • Asset-specific training

  • Contingency plans

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Summary – Grantee Activities

  • Create project reserve account

  • Recruitment / outreach / marketing to inform community about the program

  • Enroll participants and develop savings agreement

  • Provide financial education and other services

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Typical Grantee Activities – cont’d

  • Work with the client to open the IDA

  • Assist the client throughout the savings period

  • Allocate matching funds as the client saves

  • Provide asset-specific training and preparation

  • Assist with the asset purchase

  • Collect data and report to OCS

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AFI Application Requirements / Processes

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AFI Application Overview

  • Annual Review Cycles – November 1, March 15, June 15

  • Up to $1,000,000 (average $325,000)

  • $18,000,000 available in FY 2006

  • 50-60 funded projects

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Application Review Criteria

  • Approach (50 pts.)

  • Organizational Profiles (17 pts.)

  • Results or Benefits Expected (10 pts.)

  • Objectives and Need for Assistance (10 pts.)

  • Budget (5 pts.)

  • Evaluation (5 pts.)

  • Summary (3 pts.)

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Review Criteria – Details

Approach (50 pts.)

-Work Plan and Timeline (25 pts.)

- Tax Services (3 pts.)

- IDA Match Rate (5 pts.)

- Innovation (5 pts.)

- Partners / Collaborations (12 pts.)

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Review Criteria

Organizational Profiles (17 pts.)


- Experience

- Identify key staff

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Review Criteria

Results Expected (10 pts.)

- Clear outcome and output statements

- For measuring progress

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Review Criteria

Objectives /

Need for Assistance (10 pts.)

- Goal and Objectives Statements

- Needs for Assistance and Strengths

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Review Criteria

Budget and Justification (5 pts.)

  • Clear

  • Reasonable

  • Realistic

  • Commitment of Non-federal cash contribution

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Review Criteria

Evaluation(5 pts.)

- Electronic information collection

- Commitment to participate in the national AFI evaluation

- Providing timely data to OCS

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Review Criteria

Project Summary (3 pts.)

- One-page summary

- Key features

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Submission Requirements

  • Format

    Up to 40 pages plus attachments

  • Forms

    Standard Application form (SF-424)

    Standard Budget form (SF-424A)

    Standard Assurances form (SF-424B)

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Submission Requirements

  • Forms (cont’d)

    Certification regarding Lobbying

    Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)

    Certification regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke

  • Proof of Nonprofit Status

  • Proof of Designation as CDFI or Low-Income Designated Credit Union (if applicable)

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Submission Requirements

  • Upcoming Due Date:

    June 15, 2006 – 4: 30 p.m. EST

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Submission Requirements

  • Paper format:

    OCS Operations Center

    Assets for Independence Program

    1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100

    Arlington, VA 22209

  • Electronic format:

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Information Sources

  • AFI Resource Center (202) 401-4626

  • AFI Webpage

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Let’s Talk Soon

James Gatz

Manager, Assets for Independence Program

Office of Community Services

[email protected]

(202) 401-4626