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MERCER COUNTY Family program to match funds



Published: Sat, July 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The state will match participants' savings account contributions, up to $300 per year.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

SHARON, Pa. -- Low- and moderate-income Mercer County families can get help from the state in building up their savings accounts.

If they want to save to buy a new home, pay for a college education or start an entrepreneurial business, the Family Savings Account program will be available to help.

The program, launched as part of Gov. Tom Ridge's Project for Community Building about a year ago, is coming to Mercer County.

It's a matched savings program that has the state contributing money to the private bank accounts of low- and moderate-income families up to a maximum of $300 per year.

For example, a family of four with an income of $35,500 would still qualify for the program.

Program's goal: The goal is to encourage asset development for low- and moderate-income families, said L. DeWitt Boosel, executive director of Mercer County Housing Authority and its agencies, Community Homebuyers Inc. and Pennsylvania Business Impact Center.

The latter two organizations are nonprofit entities that encourage home buying and entrepreneurial business development.

The key interest in this area is saving for home buying, Boosel said, explaining that to buy a home, people need to show they have the financial assets to do it.

First National Bank of Pennsylvania has agreed to be the local banking partner in this project, and participants must establish their savings account at that bank.

The Pennsylvania Appalachian Capital Alliance is the program administrator on behalf of the state.

Program details will be unveiled at a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday in the housing authority offices at 80 Jefferson Ave.




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