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Connecticut Individual Development Account Initiative (IDA)
History of IDAs

  • 1993 - Professor Michael Sherraden first introduced the concept of IDAs in his book Assets and the Poor. He urged theIDA Gears Logo importance of putting a "level floor of assets under each family" in America. 
  • 1997 - The American Dream Demonstration Project (ADD) became the first large-scale test of IDAs. ADD is a five-year project supported by several national and local foundations; private organizations, companies and individuals; and state, local and national governments. Preliminary results from ADD can be found on the Center for Social Development's Website. (See Resources)
  • 1998 - CTE, Inc., the Community Action Agency serving Stamford, Greenwich and Darien, started the first IDA Program in Connecticut. 
  • 1999 - Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier formed a Task Force on IDAs. Task Force members included IDA program practitioners and representatives from financial institutions, foundations, government, and community-based organizations. Also in 1999, the U.S. Government instituted a five-year IDA Demonstration Project called the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services. There are several Assets for Independence Demonstration Programs operating in Connecticut.
  • January 2000 - The Connecticut Office of the State Treasurer published the Task Force on Individual Development Accounts Report & Recommendations for expanding IDAs in Connecticut.
  • May 2000 - The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation enacting a Connecticut Individual Development Account Initiative, and approved the Governor's request for $400,000 in first-year funding for its implementation. 
  • June 2002 - The Connecticut General Assembly approved an additional $300,000 to implement the Connecticut IDA Initiative.
  • April, 2003 - The Connecticut Department of Labor launched the CT IDA Initiative, which includes IDA program certification and funding.
  • January 2006 - The State Legislature passed a bill establishing a Connecticut Housing Trust Fund, and stipulated that each year $300,000 of the Fund be used for housing IDAs.
  • To Date (2016): The Connecticut State Legislature has appropriated approximately $2,925,250 for the Connecticut IDA program and $600,000 for the Connecticut Housing Trust Fund IDA program. These funds have allowed for the leveraging of federal funds in the amount of $907,500 for IDA programs statewide as well as over $1,186,600 in contributions from financial institution partners and other businesses, foundations, United Ways, and municipalities. Previously the Department of Labor co-administered four federally-funded Assets for Independence IDA Programs. The Department currently oversees the Connecticut IDA Program. In summary, the Connecticut Department of Labor has administered ten IDA grants that have resulted in 424 low- and moderate-income Connecticut families becoming asset owners.  In addition, IDA programs have created life-long savings habits for hundreds more families.  These habits are effective in helping deal with emergencies, create economic stability and strengthen families.

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