About Us

Our Mission

The purpose of New Century IDA is to promote personal, economic, and financial self-sufficiency by the creation of wealth through asset building, reducing debt, promoting savings, improving credit, and development of economic literacy skills.

The New Century IDA helps members of our community break the cycle of poverty through asset building and financial literacy. This is not a short term "quick fix”; through guidance, education, and asset building, the New Century IDA sets up the people of Forsyth County for a lifetime of success. We hope to change the mindsets of clients from spending and consumption to the goals of saving, investment, and accumulating assets. Our intention, and experience, is that our IDA training is being passed on to the children of our clients so that generational poverty will no longer exist.

New Century IDA History

The Forsyth/ESR IDA was formed in 1999, and in 2000, started helping clients become first time homeowners, start up small businesses and save money for higher education. After the United Way of Forsyth County funded the program at the turn of the century, the New Century IDA was born. Since 2000, The New Century IDA has helped over 488 residents of Forsyth County purchase homes, as well as 12 people who were helped in either saving money for education or small business start up. Today, the New Century IDA works predominantly with the homeownership and education aspect of IDA programs.

The Department of Labor provided funding that was appropriated by the General Assembly of North Carolina as part of a two year demonstration of IDA programs. This was significant in the formation of North Carolina IDA program because the state money had less red tape than federal money, allowing the state, and local IDA programs to design their programs to their own likings rather than conform to federal regulation. This was key to the success of the New Century IDA.


New Century IDA of Forsyth County is a working group of 10 organizations that provide resources for first-time homeowners in and around Winston Salem, North Carolina. The New Century IDA Program leads the nation in number of graduates per capita. Since our inception in February of 1999:

  • We have produced over 500 graduates.
  • Average home values are $120,000.
  • Our program has assisted clients in accumulating $58.8 million in assets.
  • Other Assets Purchased: 12
  • Continue own home in 2013: 97%
  • Current active Participants: 150
  • Average savings per participant: $1,350
  • Match: 2:1 and up to 8:1
  • Total Investment into the community from NCIDA: $58,800,000

The Program

We employ a high touch/hands on approach to our IDA implementation. Participants go through an initial screening process. The screening process is not meant to discourage anyone from applying. Although there is a screening process, no one is turned away. If there is extensive credit obstruction that will take more than 24 months to resolve, the person will go through classes with partner organizations to help prepare them for success. If prospective clients do not make enough money to successfully save for their down payment, they are referred to Habitat for Humanity.

The New Century IDA program learning modules include:

  • IDA Success Coaching - provided by the Experiment In Self-Reliance
  • Economic Literacy Training - provided by numerous sources
  • First Time Homebuyers Training - provided by The Center For Homeownership
  • Homeownership Counseling coupled with the availability of “Soft Second” mortgages provided by the Forsyth County Housing Department

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Individual Development Accounts are dedicated savings accounts that support low-income workers to save earnings, acquire assets and build wealth. Asset goals include homeownership, micro-enterprise ownership and post-secondary education. It is the only program of its kind whose success is dependent on the saving and dedication of participants, thereby ensuring their long-term success as productive citizens.

Individual Development Accounts are a nationwide movement started by research conducted by Michael Sherraden PhD. His extensive research proved that with the right guidance and support, those living in poverty can and will save money. The IDA movement is that of empowering those with low and moderate income through asset building. Nationwide, Individual Development Accounts help people put money into matched savings accounts towards: higher education, small business start up, and first time home buying. The New Century IDA predominantly helps participants open and save IDA accounts to put money towards becoming a first time homeowner or to pay for college. After successful program completion, the money New Century IDA participants saved are matched either 2:1 or 4:1. Married couples who go through the program together are eligible to receive an 8:1 match. Crosby Scholars participants will save $50 per month for 6 months and are eligible to receive a 4:1 match.

Success Coaches

The New Century IDA has fulltime success coaches who work one on one with participants, and provide support for clients as they go through classes and the home closing process. One of few IDA programs nationwide that employs success coaches, the New Century IDA greatly in part owes their success to this one on one guidance approach to the home buying experience. Participants are not left alone to sift through the right mortgage, interest rates, and contract negotiations; the New Century IDA guides their participants so that they are receiving the best help possible, along with homes they can truly call their own.