Southwest Louisiana residents with low-to-moderate incomes who are looking to buy a home or wanting to capitalize on an existing business investment can learn more about beneficial programs during an orientation hosted by Asset Builders of Southwest Louisiana.

The event is scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m. today at United Way of Southwest Louisiana, 815 Ryan St. Asset Builders is taking in new clients for its homebuyer and business capitalization programs.

The orientation will discuss eligibility and coursework requirements, how the programs make it easier to put money into a home or existing business, as well as what the grant funds can be used for.

Tarek Polite, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Human Services department director, said asset builders has helped more than 60 residents and families in the region. Teaching residents how to manage and invest their money helps grow their assets and make them become economically stable, he said.

Program participants would open savings accounts known as IDAs that would provide a match for the amount deposited. Homeowner participants get a 4-1 match, while business capitalization participants get an 8-1 match. The match program lasts from six months to one year.

Those wanting to take part in the homeownership program must have an adjusted gross income not exceeding 125 percent of the area’s median income. They must attend all classes, take part in homeownership counseling and make monthly deposits into the IDA.

Business capitalization program participants must have the same adjusted gross income, make monthly deposits into the IDA, be active in business for at least one year and attend a series of CORE Four training classes. They also need to have a business banking account, employer identification number, Schedule C (if applicable), and an occupational license (if required by their local government). They also have to work with program staff to make sure they have an approved business plan.

Polite said the program’s increased eligibility allows more people to utilize the program.

Those who can’t attend the orientation can pick up an application for either program at Project Build A Future, 2306 Third St. Interested participants should call 439-7191, with business owners contacting Christian Thomas, or emailing Homeowner participants should contact Alyssa Hebert or email her at

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