SEDI recognizes that poverty is not just a question of income Ė itís also an isssue of assets. Building savings and assets is one of our most progressive approaches to alleviating poverty and fostering independence. The idea is to enable poor and working poor Canadians to save more money faster, in order to acquire assets such as a new business, home ownership, post secondary education, or job training. Our Asset-Building Initiatives involve a combination of money, investment education and financial training, with a focus on linking low-income persons and communities with local non-profit agencies and financial institutions.
SEDI is an expert in the asset-building field - responsible for bringing the concept of asset-building for low-income people to Canada in 1997.
Our initiatives include:
One of the most important assets
is education. SEDI has created a project called,
an exciting opportunity for over 3,000 low-income earners to boost their
savings so that they can afford skills training, schooling or to start-up
a small business while measuring the impacts throughout and for up to
2 years after the project is delivered .matches
the savings each participant puts aside in an Individual Development Account
(IDA), dollar for dollar, paid directly to the school or institution .
Through the IDA account, participants can build their personal savings
and earn a credit for a matching amount by saving as little as $10 a month
over 1 to 3 years. In most areas, the personal savings will be matched
at $3 for every dollar saved up to the first $1,500. This matching contribution
puts low-income Canadians on an equal footing with higher income Canadians
who can afford to put away more of their own money.
In the Fall/Winter of2004, SEDI launched its newest asset-building initiative - ILA (Independent Living Accounts) Project. Designed to assist people living in transitional housing access the private rental market, the ILA project uses the asset-building concepts of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), matched savings, and financial literacy supports to help people reach their goals. Eligible participants can earn a matching credits of $2 to $3 (depending on the project site) for every $1 they save, up to a specified amount. In Toronto, for example, this means that a participant can save up to $400, receive up to $1,200 in matched credits, for a total of $1,600 to use towards first and last month's rent and/or utility hook-up and expenses.
This project is the first of its kind in the world and is being offered to residents of transitional housing facilities in Edmonton, Toronto and Fredericton. It is expected that up to 180 residents will participate.
For more information on ILAs and other asset-building initiatives. contact Adam Fair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEDI is currently developing a new asset-building initiative called . In May 2004 SEDI was contracted by CMHC to commence the design phase of the Home$ave pilot project. With interest from both the public and private sector, including the Provincial Government of Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba as well as from the Cities of Hamilton (Hamilton Community Housing), City of Toronto (Toronto Community Housing Corporation and the Regent Park redevelopment), City of Fredericton and the City of Ottawa and various financial institutions as well as both national and international agencies, SEDI is fuelled to enter into this critical phase of this important project.
For more information, contact
Adam Fair at email@example.com.
Asset-based policy and programming
is gaining significant currency around the world. Organizations and individuals
in countries such as Taiwan, Sweden, Australia, Singapore, the United
States of America and the United Kingdom are exploring various options
for asset-based approaches to enhancing social and economic participation
for all citizens.
Asset-Building in the United States
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)
www.AssetBuilding.org is a website launched by the New America Foundation. It serves as an information gateway for individuals and organizations interested in asset-building in the U.S. and around the world, including Canada.
Asset-based policy in the United KingdomThe Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
IPPR has established its own Centre for Asset-based Welfare to refine and expand the research and policy development that the IPPR has done to date, to act as a focus point for domestic and international networks and to act as a resource for other groups interested in piloting and implementing asset-based policies. In the UK, asset-based policy could, in the future, be a third pillar of the welfare state, complementing income-based policy and provision of services. This possible future is exemplified by the Blair government's proposal for commitment to a Child Trust Fund or "baby-bond" - an idea developed by the IPPR.
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