Building Savings for Success Early Impacts from the Assets for Independence Program Randomized Evaluation - Final Report
Individual development accounts (IDAs) help low-income families save by matching their personal savings for specific investments, such as a first home, business capitalization, or higher education and training. The Assets for Independence (AFI) program is a federally supported IDA grant program authorized under the Assets for Independence Act of 1998. Our evaluation at two sites—Albuquerque and Los Angeles—shows that AFI is increasing low-income participants’ savings one year into the program. This is the first evaluation of the AFI program to use a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard for measuring program effectiveness. We assess the program’s early (first-year) effects on participants’ savings, asset ownership, and economic well-being.