The day before yesterday I sat in on the final class of a 6-week financial education course for five women who have opened individual development accounts (IDAs) at Hoosac Bank through Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC).
It was nice to meet the people who are benefitting from this first pilot phase of the asset development initiative I’ve been pushing (with many other people in the community) for over a year now. The participants clearly seemed motivated, and they had developed a nice rapport with Linda Greenbush, the program manager at BCAC.
And now the hard work begins for them: sticking to a savings plan for the next several years in order to access the 3:1 match (made possible by a generous grant from the state of Massachusetts and private fundraising), which must be used to purchase a first home.
Although they have completed their general financial education course, the participants will continue meeting monthly with Linda and various community experts to get support in sticking to their savings goals and to receive more in-depth preparation for home ownership, including participation in a certified first time home buyer class with the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center.
Best of luck to them.