Assets for Independence Program

Posted on May 11, 2009

The Assets for Independence Program (AFI) is now accepting grant applications to fund asset-building programs nationwide that provide low-income individuals and families with tools they need for long-term economic success. This is a great opportunity to continue to build on your community’s poverty reduction and asset-building strategies.

Applications are due by Thursday, June 25, 2009.  Please see the text below for more information.

Could your community benefit from a new approach to long-term poverty reduction and economic growth?  The Federal Assets for Independence (AFI) Program is offering grant funds for asset-building programs nationwide that provide low-income individuals and families with tools they need for long-term economic success.  Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AFI offers five-year grants of up to $1,000,000 to non-profits and State, local and Tribal government agencies.  The average grant is approximately $350,000.

AFI grantees provide families with financial education training and coaching and access to matched savings accounts called individual development accounts (IDAs).  Participants learn money management and save regularly in their IDAs to make their long-term goal a reality.  National research has shown that a combination of financial education and access to an IDA makes a lasting difference in people’s lives.

To date, more than 62,000 families have participated in AFI projects.  They have received money management training, worked through credit and debt issues, and used AFI-funded IDAs to save purchase assets and to achieve long-term financial wellness.  This strategy can be most important in these challenging economic times.

Local elected officials across the nation have used the AFI program to develop and support asset-building strategies in their communities.  By promoting financial education, connecting individuals to mainstream financial institutions, and encouraging personal savings, AFI works in conjunction with other municipal-led poverty reduction and asset-building strategies, such as the growing number of “Bank On” initiatives.  Municipalities with support from the AFI program for their IDA programs include: San Antonio, Tex.; Tucson, Ariz.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Hinesville, Ga.; and Racine, Wis.

We hope you will join us in putting asset-building into action in more locales throughout the nation.  The AFI grant application process is simple, and the AFI Resource Center is available for guidance, tools and advice on designing a program to meet your community’s needs.

Applications are due Thursday, June 25, 2009 so consider applying TODAY.

How Do I Learn More?

You can participate in an upcoming webinar offered by the AFI Resource Center for prospective applicants.  Webinars are held every Wednesday at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern, from April 29th through June 10th, 2009.  The presentations will provide an overview of the program and the application process, suggestions for developing strong projects, and strategies for building partnerships with community organizations for bigger impact.

Learn about the program, listen to current grantees, and get answers to questions about applying and implementing an IDA project.  Register for webinars online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/assetbuilding or by contacting the AFI Resource Center: info@idaresources.org or 1-866-778-6037.


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