WCCA offers enrollment in IDA program

Published 3:25 pm Thursday, April 7, 2011

IDA program helps with first time home ownership.

Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA), serving Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties, is offering enrollment opportunities for Polk County residents for their Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program.

IDAs are offered through a grant from the North Carolina Department of Labor and North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. Participation in the IDA program is an opportunity for individuals whose household income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level to save $1,000 and have it matched with $2,000 for the sole purpose of first time home ownership. Since 2004, WCCA has assisted 11 families achieve home ownership through the IDA program.

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A household of four earning less than $44,700 would be eligible to participate. The program requires that participants must have earned income, be able to save a minimum of $40 a month, participate for a minimum of six months and complete 21 hours of financial literacy workshops. Participants are also allowed to save a lump sum of up to $750 per calendar year. With an income tax refund for 2010 and credit scores of 650, a family could be in their own home by Christmas 2011.

Past IDA opportunities included three forms of asset building: home ownership, small business ventures and education. As grants become available, WCCA hopes to offer additional opportunities for asset building to Polk residents.

Financial literacy workshops will be offered in Polk County for IDA participants through community partners at the Cooperative Extension and Thermal Belt Outreach.

For additional information, contact Maryann Festa at WWCA at 693-1711 or 866-670-9222 or email mfesta@wcca.net.