What is the Child Savings Account Program?

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A brief history of Tacoma Housing Authority Children's Savings Account program

In the Fall of 2015, the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA), in partnership with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) and other partners, began offering children’s savings accounts (CSAs) for the children of the Salishan neighborhood in Tacoma, Wash.  In November 2021, THA expanded this program to include families served within its 14 managed properties. This program helps students, and their families, aspire to college, prepare for it, and develop a strong network of resources and support to achieve their post-secondary goals. 

  • The program’s contribution to the student’s account will be available once a student graduates from high school and enrolls in a qualified college or training program. The money will be available for educational expenses such as books, tuition, fees, room and board.
  • The program helps to provide financial education and tools for families, including opportunities to learn about debt and credit management and banking services. 
  • It knits the region’s most diverse neighborhoods together by eliciting and enlisting its shared hope and expectation that its children will graduate from high school and be successful in achieving their post-secondary goals.

As companion goals, the program seeks to improve access of financial education for students and parents.

  • THA will collaborate with financial service providers to bring educational and coaching resources into the family properties. 
  • Parents will be provided with resources and notices of upcoming events for financial education classes available in the area. 
  • The program will also help encourage parents to become banked (if not already doing so). Financial training of this sort is more effective when the children and the parents have real money to contemplate, as the CSA will give them.
    THA plans this effort in collaboration with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS), Prosperity Now, initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bamford Foundation, Heritage Bank, other funders and social service partners in Tacoma.

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