Smart Savings IDA Program

The Restoration House understands that being poor is not just about a lack of income but it is also a lack of assets. Most of us have something to fall back on if we lose our income for a short period of time, like a house or an education. But for the mothers at TRH there is no such safety net.

With the help of the Chalmers Center (Lookout Mountain, GA), and Home Federal Bank, The Restoration House offers low-income single mother families the chance to gain those kinds of assets through our Smart Savings Individual Development Accounts (IDA). These IDAs are essentially matched savings accounts where the mother is able receive a 3:1 match on her savings toward a particular asset purchase, such as covering the cost of a down-payment on a home or to cover costs associated with secondary education.

Stephan Fairfield, at Covenant Community Capital has been a long time leader in the use of IDAs in the state of Texas. He recently said this about IDAs:

By creating tools to help low-income families to save money and build wealth, IDAs are very consistent with Asset-Based Community Development. Rather than focusing on what low-income people do not have, IDAs build upon people’s hard-work, discipline, and financial assets in order to help them acquire even more behavioral and financial assets so that they can be self-sufficient. This leads to inter-generational economic stability in families, which in turn strengthens the entire communities in which these families reside.

Our hope is that the families at The Restoration House will not only use their newly acquired assets to the change the course of their lives but the lives of their children’s children as well.

What’s an IDA?

A matched savings program to help low/moderate income individuals build wealth and acquire assets.

How does it work?

  • Save $2,000 over 6 months to four years
  • Attend financial education and home buyer education
  • Earn up to a $6,000 match for down payment/closing costs, pay tuition/books, or buy a car.

Who is eligible?

  • Current program participants with The Restoration House
  • Currently working (full or part-time)
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have their own valid social security or I-TIN number
  • Meet program income and asset requirements
  • Ability to make $25 monthly savings deposits

In partnership with: