Jul 21, 2015

Business Startup, Housing, or Education Cost Assistance

The City of Austin’s Matched Savings Program (IDA) assists low income folks with buying a house, starting or expanding a small business, or going to post-secondary school. You save $1000 and the city matches up to $4000 of expenses – and double this for eligible and qualifying households. There is a 4 hour meting about financial education and you would need an approved business plan through a community partner, but you can work on this while saving funds.
IDA Eligibility:
a)      Income
# Household Members
Highest Income Limit       (200% Poverty Level)
(EITC) Highest Eligible Income With Qualifying Children*

$          23,540.00

$          31,860.00
 $          39,131.00

$          40,180.00
 $          44,454.00

$          48,500.00
 $          47,747.00

$          56,820.00

$          65,140.00

$          73,460.00

$          81,780.00

              * $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children

              *$44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children

              * $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child

              *$14,820 ($20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

b) Net Worth less than $10,000

c) Must have Earned Income (PT/FT employment)

d) Must reside within Austin City Limits

Eligible Expenses:
1.       Post-secondary education: As with any asset purchase, funds must be paid directly to the third party, in this case an eligible educational institution. Funds can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment. An eligible educational institution is an institution of higher education or a post-secondary vocational education school that must be accredited. Laptops and similar equipment can only be bought directly through the educational institution.
2.       First-home purchase: Funds can be used for qualified acquisition costs for the participant’s first home. This includes the costs of acquiring, constructing, or reconstructing a residence and typical settlement, financing, or other closing costs. “First-time homebuyer” means that the saver has not owned a home for the past three years.
3.       Business development: Funds can be used to start or expand a business. The participant must complete a business plan and have it approved by the AFI grantee before making a purchase. Qualified expenditures include capital, plant, equipment, working capital, and  I inventory expenses.