Asset Building Program


IRCOM’s Asset Building Programs (ABPs) aim to build the capacity of low-income households to manage their finances and save money for the purchase of assets that will yield long-term benefits for individuals, their families, and their communities. To be able to help participants meet their goals, our program includes the following activities:

  • Money Management Training classes adapted to an English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) format with culturally relevant information about transportation loans and the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP),
  • Matched savings credits that are added to the funds that participants save on their own,
  • Peer support and the opportunity to share their experiences with money, ways to deal with issues such as the pressure to send money back home
  • One-to-one support from IRCOM staff.

View the August 2014 MMT Final Report.

IRCOM offers the following Asset Building Programs:

The Saving Circle (SC) Program:

  • Supports low-income individuals and families as they save for needed assets including:
    • Furniture
    • Medical expenses
    • Computer
    • Education
    • Small business start up or expansion
    • Other household necessities.

Participants in the SC Program open special matched savings accounts and their savings are matched 3:1 by IRCOM up to a specified limit. Participants have up to six (6) months to save toward their asset goals.

The Individual Development Account (IDA) Program:

  • Supports low-income individuals and families as they save toward:
    • Renovating a home
    • Their own or spouse’s education
    • Children’s education
    • Starting or expanding a small business
    • Disability supports.

Participants in the IDA Program open special matched savings accounts and their savings are matched 3:1 by IRCOM up to a specified limit. Participants have up to two (2) years to save toward their asset goals.

Transportation Loan Financial Literacy Pilot Program (TLFLPP)

Newcomers with a refugee background owe the government of Canada transportation loans that run as high as $10000. The TLFLPP aims to provide newcomers with a refugee background with family-centred money management training and matching funds to support them to reduce their transportation loan debt.

  • The program activities include:
  • Family-based Financial Literacy group sessions
  • Group and Individualized Financial Literacy sessions
  • Loan repayment problem-solving support
  • Matched loan repayment funds
  • One-on-one support

The Access to Benefits (A to B) Program

The Access to Benefit Program aims to provide low-income community members who face significant barriers to financial inclusion with enhanced financial stability and asset building opportunities by providing equitable access to government income support programs and financial services through a financial empowerment approach.

The program activities include:

  • Completing the paperwork and navigating the bureaucratic systems required to accessing government benefits such as income tax refunds, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the GST Credit, the Disability Tax Credit and RentAid.
  • Providing support in obtaining the ID required to access government entitlements, financial services and other benefits.
  • Supporting clients in accessing saving and asset building opportunities such as the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the Canada Learning Bond and RESPs.
  • Helping clients set financial goals through individualized financial literacy sessions.
  • Providing problem solving support

To qualify for IRCOM’s Asset Building Program you must…

  • Be a newcomer to Canada in the past 5 years
  • Be at or below the program’s income cut-offs (ask ABP staff for further details)
  • Have a strong desire to improve your financial future
  • Meet other criteria specific to your savings goal
  • Not be a past Program participant of either SC or IDA at IRCOM or other agencies

How do I apply?

Contact the Asset Building Program team by phone at 943-8765 extension 32 or 34 or by email at to register for an Information Session or for more information.

IRCOM’s Asset Building Programs are offered in partnership with…

  • SEED Winnipeg Inc.
  • The United Way of Winnipeg
  • Assiniboine Credit Union
  • The Province of Manitoba