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Matched Savings Program to Help Buy Home, Start Business, Get Educated

The Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan (CAASCM) announced Monday that it has launched a new matching savings program, which has three components called IDA Homeownership, IDA Post-Secondary Education, and IDA Small Business for low and moderate-income residents of Calhoun County. The IDA program will allow residents of Calhoun County to deposit $25 a month into a special savings account, an "Individual Development Account or IDA", in order to work toward the purchase of a productive asset- a home, a small business or post-secondary education. Program participants' savings deposits will be matched 3:1 for home ownership and 2:1 for the other two assets.

The CAASCM is part of a new and innovative approach to combating poverty that focuses not just on meeting the most immediate needs of low income families, but also on the long-term benefits of helping working poor families acquire a modest but decisive stake in their communities. The CAASCM is supported by the Michigan IDA Partnership and has developed strong partnerships with Homestead Savings Bank in Albion, MSU Cooperative Extension.

In order to qualify prospective CAASCM participants must meet income guidelines (annual income of less than $20,520 for a family of three, for example), must have some regular source of earned income and must be residents of Calhoun County. In addition, all program participants take part in a twelve part personal finance and money management workshop series designed to help IDA find the money for regular savings deposits and prepare for asset ownership. This personal finance workshop series is presented with assistance from MSU Cooperative Extension.

Information about the three different IDA assets, including detailed eligibility information, is available from the Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan's Intake Center at (616) 965-7766 or for Albion area residents (517) 629-9403.

Any interested participants should contact the Albion office immediately for an orientation to be scheduled soon.

The Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan is a locally based, private non-profit organization that provides a wide range of services to low-and moderate-income residents of Barry, Branch, Calhoun and St. Joseph counties. CAA's programs include Head Start, Housing and Community Services, Elder Services, and Foster Grandparents.

Thanks to Pat West

(517) 629-9403
for this information.

Visit the Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan (CAASCM) Home Page.

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