Spanning the Region
IDA Investors Get Tax Breaks in Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas
Tax credits are available to investors in individual development accounts (IDAs) in three states in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas all have state-legislated programs that offer the tax credits for contributions to IDAs.
Other states in the Fed's Eighth District that have some form of IDA programs are Illinois, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Federal legislation under consideration, the Savings for Working Families Act of 2003, includes a proposal for a federal IDA tax credit for financial institutions that invest in the programs.
IDAs are savings accounts that help lower-income people build assets by providing matching funds from public and private sources.
For information on IDA programs and policies by state, visit www.idanetwork.org/.
St. Louis Temp Agency Trains Bilingual Bank Employees
Three St. Louis groups have teamed up to provide qualified bilingual employees for banks.
TelTemps, along with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) Career Center and the International Institute of St. Louis, have formed the Bi-Lingual Bank Training & Employment Project. The collaboration is working to address the needs of banks that have a growing customer base of immigrants from Latin America, Bosnia, Vietnam and other countries.
TelTemps will prescreen and train bilingual and multilingual employees.
For more information, contact Casandra Brown at TelTemps Inc. at (314) 367-1400 or 1-877-835-8367 (toll free).
Indiana Counties Eligible for Housing Assessments
The Southern Indiana Rural Development Project's (SIRDP) Housing Task Force has started a new housing needs assessment program for eligible counties.
With this program, the task force can help counties determine neighborhood needs, the types of housing that are lacking, key housing and economic trends, and available, affordable housing resources.
The assessments will be funded by grants from the Indiana Housing Finance Authority (IHFA). Participating counties must provide a 10 percent funding match, which can be made through in-kind services. Strategic Development Group Inc. (SDG) staff will handle the technical work, including demographic research and market studies.
Indiana counties eligible for IHFA housing grants are: Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Dubois, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Gibson, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Perry, Pike, Posey, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Switzerland, Union, Vanderburgh and Vigo.
For more information on the program and the next funding round, call Scott Burgins or Ron Walker at SDG at 1-800-939-2449.
Arkansas Legislators Pass Law to Combat Predatory Lending
The Arkansas General Assembly passed in April its first legislation aimed at predatory lenders.
The Arkansas Home Loan Protection Act (Act 1340) prohibits predatory lending in the home mortgage market. The law will become effective in mid-July. The Fair Mortgage Lending Act (Act 554), which establishes licensing standards for mortgage brokers, will take effect Jan. 1, 2004. Legislators are hoping that the two laws will work together to eliminate predatory lending in Arkansas.
For the full text of these acts, log on to www.arkleg.state.ar.us and type the act number into the space provided.
FreshRate Provides Aid on Mortgage Down Payments
Coming up with a down payment for a house can be a daunting task. FreshRate, a new program from Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) Financial Services, helps potential home buyers overcome this obstacle.
With FreshRate, qualified home buyers can receive up to 5 percent of the purchase price of their home through a forgivable government grant. Fresh-Rate is supported by KLC bonds with assistance from the Fannie Mae Kentucky Partnership Office.
For more information on FreshRate, contact Anthony Wright at KLC at 1-800-876-4552, ext. 3781, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridges is a regular review of regional community and economic development issues. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.
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