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Newport News FCU launches VIDA program
RICHMOND, Va. (6/26/09)--Kendra Square-Jarman and Patricia Weekes are among 21 new homeowners in Virginia thanks to the Virginia Individual Accounts (VIDA) program, administered by Newport News (Va.) FCU and officials from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. VIDA is a matched-savings program providing participants with a $1 to $2 savings match--up to $4,000--toward a down payment on a new home, education costs or to start a small business. Newport News FCU was the first Virginia credit union to offer the program in February 2008. Since then, the credit union has enrolled 10 savers. Weekes and Jarman each saved more than $4,000, which was matched with $8,000 through VIDA. Currently, 228 individuals statewide are participating in VIDA. About 73 have graduated so far--63% of which purchased homes. VIDA requires participants to undergo asset-specific training and complete financial training courses. Participants have two years after opening an account to complete training and save for their goal. Eligible individuals must be a U.S. citizens or legal aliens, be employed, have a dependent child age 18 or younger living in their home and meet household income requirements.
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