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Exploring Scale IDA Models as Strategies for Building Assets and Wealth in Low Income Communities

Insight Center for Community Economic Development

  • Program Education
  • Program Area Expanding Economic Opportunity
  • Grant Amount $418,489
  • Grant Period August 1, 2003–April 30, 2005
  • Location Oakland, CA, United States
  • Geographic Focus United States

About this grant

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are fast becoming one of the most promising tools to help low-income families save, build assets and enter the financial mainstream. The American Dream Demonstration (ADD), created in 1997, was the first large-scale test of IDAs as social and economic development tools for low-income communities. Its success has sparked the emergence of larger, statewide or regional IDA initiatives in a number of states. There is a vital need to analyze these new scale models in order to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, successes, and challenges.Funding will enable the National Economic Development and Law Center (NEDLC) to conduct an analysis of statewide and regional IDA models to determine their effectiveness and impact. Key objectives include documenting and assessing the work of five statewide and regional models in both qualitative and quantitative terms; and informing the practice of the participating programs and the rest of the practitioner field, as well as policymakers and other interested stakeholders.Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, NEDLC has promoted sectoral employment development as a strategy to assist residents of low-income communities in accessing employment in regional labor markets.