Money to Start a Business, Buy a Home or Go to College: Apply for an IDA

December 3rd, 2010
Grace Schow will use her small business IDA to launch a greeting card company

Andrew Mumford applied his IDA to start a mobile car wash company. Grace Schow used her IDA to start a greeting card business. Nikki Barr used hers to purchase a home. Lupe Zarate paid tuition with hers.

All these individuals were part of the last Individual Development Account (IDA) program offered by our Housing Opportunity Center. The program is an exceptional opportunity to acquire funds for small business development, first home-purchase or college.

In this new round, the Housing Opportunity Center (HOC) has 25 IDAs to offer eligible persons.

These IDAs stem from a partnership with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM). The IDA provides a 3 to 1 monetary match for people who save $1,000 toward a first home. In other words, your $1000 can leverage an additional $3000. The IDA offers a 2 to 1 match for those wanting to start or expand a small business, or who are obtaining an education through any accredited Michigan college.

Andrew Mumford was working as a store clerk and had been dreaming of starting his own business for ten years. With his IDA, he bought equipment and a used van, and started Showtime Detail Mobile Wash this past summer.

“It’s hard work, but I like being my own boss,” Andrew says. “The business is doing well, and next summer I expect to be washing 2100 vehicles a month.”

With her IDA, Grace Schow is acquiring the technology she needs to design and print artistic greeting cards that she will sell online, in coffee shops and at craft shows.

“Starting this second career didn’t seem within my grasp until the IDA came along,” Grace says.

Lupe Zarate also used her IDA to explore other career options. She completed the Medical Assistant program at Dorsey Schools.

“I encourage people to take advantage of the IDA program to enhance and diversify their employment skills,” Lupe says.

Nikki Barr applied her homeownership IDA to settle in southwest Detroit.

“I wanted to own a home in the community where I’m working and care deeply about,” Nikki says. “The IDA helped make that possible.”

To apply for an IDA, please email Jacquelinne Rascon or call her at 313-841-9641. Jacquelinne is a Housing Counselor and Financial Coach at the HOC.

The HOC is located at 3627 W. Vernor, Detroit, MI, 48216.

To qualify for an IDA, you must be an adult (18 or older), a resident of Michigan (you don’t have to be a Detroit resident), and meet income eligibility requirements. You must then complete a financial literacy course. The course is free and is offered through the HOC.

The IDAs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re interested or know someone who could benefit from this opportunity, please apply as soon as possible.

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