Homeownership Supports

Individual Development Accounts

An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a type of account where you can save up money to purchase a home, pay for higher education, or fund your small business. To open an IDA, you must find an IDA program in your area and meet certain eligibility requirements. Once you open your account, the sponsor of your IDA program may match the funds you deposit, helping your account grow faster.

There are more than 250 IDA programs nationwide and their eligibility requirements vary. Usually, your annual income must be within 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ($24,280 per year if you're single) and you must have some form of earned income. You must also take financial education training once you’re enrolled in the program.

The biggest benefit of an IDA is that each time you make a deposit into your savings account, the sponsor of your IDA program will “match” your money with money of their own. Another benefit is that some federally funded IDA programs allow you to save up money without having to worry about asset limits for programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Example

Lázaro is in an IDA program where he is saving up money to buy a home. His IDA program provides a 2:1 match. That means that every time he deposits a dollar into his account, his IDA program puts two dollars into his account. He decides to deposit $300 into his account each month for 6 months.

Lázaro’s IDA deposits:

By doing an IDA, Lázaro has three times as much money saved up as he otherwise would. It’s enough money for him to start thinking about buying a home.

If you are interested in starting an IDA, find an IDA program in your area. There are good IDA program directories at the Prosperity Now and the Assets for Independence Resource Center.

You can read more about IDAs in the DB101 article.

ABLE Accounts

If your disability began before you turned 26, you can save money in a tax-free ABLE account without having it affect your benefits for most public benefits programs. The money in an ABLE account must be spent on qualified disability-related expenses, which includes housing costs like a down payment, mortgage payments, and property taxes.

An ABLE account lets you save for your future (including home ownership), and family and friends can also contribute to your ABLE account. However, the total amount deposited in an ABLE account from any source cannot be more than the maximum amount for each year ($15,000 in 2019).

ABLE programs are set up by each state, and if you qualify for an account you can open one in any state that offers ABLE accounts nationwide. Arizona's ABLE account program is AZ ABLE, which is only open to Arizona residents.

To learn more, read DB101’s article about ABLE Accounts.

Foreclosure Prevention

If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, there are several programs that can help you. The first step to getting help is to call a foreclosure hotline:

These hotlines have experts who will answer the phone and give you information about what you can do to keep your home.

Here are some other resources that can help you prevent foreclosure:

  • The Save Our Home Arizona program by the Arizona Department of Housing helps Arizona homeowners avoid foreclosure.
  • The Arizona Attorney General provides a Foreclosure Information Workbook that explains the foreclosure process.
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lists a number of resources for Arizonans who need help avoiding foreclosure.
  • HUD also has a comprehensive Guide to Avoiding Foreclosures.