DES MOINES, Iowa (2/4/09)--Iowa Gov. Chet Culver Monday signed state legislation that appropriates $250,000 for disaster recovery efforts through Individual Development Account (IDA) savings accounts. Nine credit unions, in partnership with the Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) , are offering IDA accounts to help qualified members build assets and recover from last summer's floods and tornadoes. The Rebuild Iowa legislation would send the funds to the Iowa Department of Human Rights as matching dollars for the IDAs. An IDA is a matched savings account in which a participant's savings are matched by a grant from another organization. The funds must be used to purchase a specific asset, such as a home, start or expand a small business, pay for education or job training, or purchase a vehicle to get to work. The nine credit unions in the Credit Union Family Partnership IDA Program working to open IDAs are:
* Affinity CU, Des Moines; * Ascentra CU, Bettendorf; * Cedar Falls Community CU, Cedar Falls; * Community lst CU, Ottumwa; * Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque; * Dutrac Community CU, Dubque; * Employees CU, Estherville; * Linn Area CU, Cedar Rapids; and * Veridian CU, Waterloo.
"Iowa credit unions are in a unique position to offer no-cost savings accounts to families and individuals needing help to recover from last year's floods and tornadoes," said Marybeth Foster, executive director, ICUF. "Our immediate goal is to offer a method of saving for a specific asset, and financial education, especially during this time of economic hardship." The credit unions work with ICUF, the Iowa Credit Union League, the league's subsidiary Coop Consulting, and other statewide partners to advance the IDA program. The overall goal: to help demonstrate to low-income Iowans the importance of savings in an effort to end poverty and to help working Iowans become financially independent.