FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Mayor's Office
Stacy Haskell, Mile High United Way
Denver Recieves Federal Grant to Support Financial Development for Local Families$849,409 “Assets for Independence” Grant Provides Matches for Denver Families’ Savings Accounts and Money Management Training
(DENVER) A partnership involving the City and County of Denver and Mile High United Way was awarded an $849,409 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help low- and moderate-income Denver families save money and learn money management over the next five years. The “Assets for Independence” grant provides a four-to-one match on up to $1,000 for dedicated Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) that participating families can establish to save money for job training or education, buying a home or starting a business. Mile High United Way will administer the program, and the City will provide additional funding, program outreach and support.
“Asset-building is an important component of economic development, and this grant will allow Denver to take its asset-building work to another level,” Mayor John Hickenlooper said. “We’re proud that this partnership between the City and Mile High United Way will serve as a gateway to self-sufficiency and financial independence for Denver families. In helping people raise the capital to start their own business, buy a home or further their education, we’re strengthening both our economy and our community.”
As part of the outreach to workers eligible for IDAs, the City will recruit employees at selected hospitals and nursing homes that have participated in a job training program provided by the Division of Workforce Development; entrepreneurs who wish to start or expand a small business, and lower-income City employees that are seeking to further or complete their education.
“Thanks to the City and County of Denver, more families in our community will one day realize the dream of economic independence and home ownership,” said Michael Durkin, president of Mile High United Way. “Home ownership proves to be an economic stabilizer for many neighborhoods. The City’s collaboration with Mile High United Way, Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, and financial institutions like Wells Fargo – along with this infusion of federal funds – will continue several years of work toward greater economic stability for the community by helping people build assets and overcome financial obstacles.”
This is the first co-grant application between the City and Mile High United Way, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Denver is one of only a few city governments in the nation involved in asset-building activities.
According to the Washington-based nonprofit, nonpartisan CFED, without asset development, few lower income families will have the opportunity, incentive or institutional support necessary to save for and acquire productive assets. By participating in Individual Development Accounts, low- and moderate-income families can save money while receiving financial management training that helps them repair their credit, set a budget and savings schedule, and manage their money.
In addition to the City and County of Denver and Mile High United Way, local organizations also participating in this collaborative initiative are the Clayton Foundation, Denver Health Foundation, Mile High United Way Transformational Housing Initiative, Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, cityWILD, Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, MicroBusiness Development Corporation and Wells Fargo.
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