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FHLBank San Francisco Awards $1 Million in Grants for Economic Development and Housing in Arizona, California, and Nevada

AHEAD Program Grants Give an Early Boost to 30 Innovative Projects

SAN FRANCISCO – September 3, 2013 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco announced today that it has awarded $1 million in grants through its Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) Program. The grants, which are made through the Bank’s member financial institutions, will be used by nonprofit organizations in Arizona, California, and Nevada for projects and programs that foster economic development and promote community stability and self-sufficiency.

The AHEAD Program enables Bank members to give a critical, early boost to local programs and projects that target critical community development needs and:

  • create or preserve jobs,
  • facilitate improvements to public or private infrastructure, or
  • deliver social services, training or educational programs, or other services and programs that benefit low- and moderate-income communities.

AHEAD funds can be used to finance a variety of start-up costs, such as research, studies, and project plans, consulting or other professional services, or organizational and capacity-building activities. Demand for this early funding continues to grow: this year the Bank reviewed 131 applications requesting nearly $6 million before selecting 33 AHEAD grant winners.

“Each year, we look forward to reviewing applications for AHEAD grants, and we are always  impressed by the degree of ingenuity, creativity, and dedication our members and their fellow stakeholders bring to efforts to strengthen their communities,” said Jim Yacenda, Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco.” The Bank is pleased to be a resource for such innovative approaches to meeting a wide range of local needs.”

This year, 21 Bank members will be supporting 33 initiatives addressing a variety of needs and populations, including projects and programs designed to:

  • create or expand job training and employment readiness programs specifically targeting at-risk youth, returning veterans, released prisoners, and others
  • provide financial planning, business mentoring, and microlending services to low- income entrepreneurs
  • help bridge the digital divide by making broadband connectivity available to affordable housing residents
  • create opportunities for at-risk youth to improve academic performance and develop leadership skills
  • revitalize the LA River in Los Angeles County while training high school students in sustainability and landscape design
  • establish a Native American Community Development Financial Institution
  • support housing for seasonal workers 

“The AHEAD Program allows us to strengthen relationships between Bank members and nonprofit groups that have special expertise in economic and community development,” said Stephen P. Traynor, Senior Vice President, Financial Services and Community Investment, at the Bank. “We are pleased that our grants will help get these projects off the ground.”

Funding for AHEAD is determined annually by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Since the program began in 2004, the Bank has awarded more than $6 million in AHEAD funds to support 225 innovative projects and programs in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members are headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada and include commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions.