The objectives of the Office of Refugee Resettlement IDA Program are to increase the ability of low-income refugees to save; promote their participation in the financial institutions of this country; assist refugees in advancing their education; increase home ownership; and assist refugees in gaining access to capital.

Program Description

Individual development accounts are matched savings accounts available for the purchase of specific assets. Under the IDA program, the matching funds, together with the refugee’s own savings from their employment, are available for purchasing one (or more) of four savings goals: home purchase; microenterprise capitalization; post secondary education or training; and in some cases, purchase of an automobile if necessary to maintain or upgrade employment.

As a grantee of the ORR IDA program PACE provides matched savings accounts to refugees whose annual income is less than 200 percent of the poverty level and whose assets, exclusive of a personal residence and one vehicle, are less than $10,000. The total match amount provided may not exceed $2,000 for individuals or $4,000 for households. Upon enrolling in an IDA program, a refugee signs a savings plan agreement which specifies the savings goal, the match rate, and the amount the refugee will save each month.

In addition, PACE provides basic financial training which is intended to assist refugees in understanding the American financial system, budgeting, saving, and credit. PACE also provides training focused on the specific savings goals. The specialized training ensures that refugees receive appropriate information on purchasing and managing their asset purchases.

For more information about the ORR IDA program administered by PACE please contact:

Viem Hong
Senior Business Counselor, PACE
Tel 626-442-8668
Email VHong@pacela.org

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