Oregon Credit Unions Testify in Favor of Funding Individual Development Accounts

As advocates converged on Salem for GoWest’s Oregon Legislative Luncheon Wednesday, the House Committee on Early Childhood and Human Services held a hearing on HB4131, legislation that would provide $10 million in funding for the state’s Individual Development Account program

IDAs allow Oregonians to save for priorities such as home or small business ownership or post-secondary education. Since 1999, more than 17,000 Oregonians built brighter financial futures, thanks to the power of their savings, matched by state funds.

In testimony before the committee, Josephine Davis, Director of Nonprofit and Community Development at OnPoint Community Credit Union, said the credit union is the state’s second largest IDA account provider. OnPoint has been building on this role since 2008, and currently works in partnership with the Portland Housing Center and Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization to help 380 account holders work towards goals such as homeownership, education, and entrepreneurship.

“We have met many savers whose IDA may be their first trusted engagement with the mainstream financial system,” Davis said. “The IDA initiative affords participants support for their current goal and the opportunity to build a relationship with the partner financial institution. Success through an IDA program is often a bridge to future aspirations.”

“Oregon credit unions support the program because of its strong connection to financial education and asset building, ” said GoWest’s SVP/Legislative Affairs for Oregon, in her testimony. “Oregon credit unions strive to create equitable access for individuals, families, and small businesses so that they may successfully participate and contribute to their local economies. We focus our economic empowerment work on decreasing barriers to workforce housing, advancing small business growth, and supporting community-based solutions to serving members of historically
marginalized communities.”

The next step for the legislation is a Committee work session Feb. 14.


Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Oregon Advocacy.