Along with housing comes a new set of bills, emergencies, and unexpected “when life just happen” expenses. With utility bills and rent taking up such a large portion of income, it can be difficult for renters to save. Even after saving, unexpected emergencies make it hard to hold on to that money. The Renter’s Savings IDA is meant to serve as an “Emergency Fund”—money set aside for financial security and peace of mind, and for use only in the case of an emergency.
The new program will be piloted with ten members currently in housing and ready to save for the long-term. While similar in set-up to our current Safe Savings Accounts, this program will last at least 2.5 years, be matched at 50% (up to $1,000 in matching funds) and participants may draw on the 50% match when the emergency occurs, meaning one emergency won’t wipe out all their hard-earned savings.
Participants in the Renter’s Savings IDA program have a number of requirements including being graduates from Opportunity Class, CEF’s financial literacy course. In addition, all participants will make at least three consecutive deposits to be eligible for the match, and help lead the CEF Alumni Leaders group, meeting monthly to discuss new goals like home or car ownership, building credit, career pathways, civic involvement, and organizing other CEF alumni events.
We are so excited for this new program that will provide CEF members the tools to save more at the next level to have more control over their finances and live more financially peaceful and stable lives. This additional rung on the financial ladder will enable CEF members who have successfully transitioned into housing to maintain that transition for years to come.