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Individual Development Accounts


Why it Matters

With no tangible assets, few money management skills, and limited education, economic empowerment is virtually impossible for a large percentage of metro Detroit families.

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) make it possible for low-income individuals across Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to buy a first home, to start or expand a business, or to pay tuition for college or vocational school.

To participate in the program, individuals must meet income guidelines and agree to save at least $30 per month earned from employment in a designated savings account, up to a maximum of $1,000. By setting aside a small portion of their monthly income into a designated account, program participants become eligible to receive matching funds once their savings target is met. In the process, IDAs provide economic empowerment tools that make possible a more promising future for scores of metro Detroiters with few alternatives. The program helps families take control of their money and eventually, regain their financial independence.

What we've done

  • Matched savings program for low income individuals to save for purchasing a home, small business or education.
  • Partnered with the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund to provide opportunities for 70 residents leveraging $280,000 in matching funds.

Our goals for this year and the future

2011 - 2012

  • Connect 30,000 individuals with the tools and resources that will enable them to take care of themselves.
  • Develop supportive services to open 50 new IDA accounts and support "Bank on Detroit" launch in three target areas.


  • Help 19,000 families in southeastern Michigan become financially stable by providing pathways to jobs, financial coaching and access to benefits.
  • Help 80% of CWF families improve their income, take full advantage of mainstream financial products and improve the ability to meet their daily needs.