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FHLBank San Francisco Allocates $10 Million for First-Time Homebuyer Matching Grant Programs

SAN FRANCISCO – April 2, 2013 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) has allocated $10 million to its 2013 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) first-time homebuyer programs. The Bank awarded $7.8 million in WISH funds and $2.2 million in IDEA funds to 27 member financial institutions to help low- to moderate-income families and individuals buy a home in Arizona, California, Nevada, and other states where Bank members do business.

WISH and IDEA grants match $3 for every $1 contributed by the homebuyer, up to a maximum grant of $15,000, and are made available through participating Bank members to households earning up to 80% of area median income. The funds can be used for downpayment and closing costs, which can be significant barriers to homeownership. Both programs require participants to complete a homebuyer counseling program administered by an experienced organization.

“Our WISH program taps the desires of a hopeful workforce, while the IDEA program has been an early player in helping motivated low-income people not only develop financial skills and build assets, but also achieve the self-sufficiency that comes with homeownership,” said Jim Yacenda, Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “Last year these initiatives helped 788 families reach their goals. In 2013, 27 Bank members, including 7 new participants, will be able to assist hundreds more families in their local communities.”

“In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, aspirations for homeownership have not gone away, and ownership is still an important tool for wealth-building in low- and moderate-income communities,” added Marietta Nùñez, Vice President, who directs the Bank’s WISH and IDEA programs. “Our programs complement the efforts of community organizations and government agencies to create opportunities for homeownership in this post-crisis transition time.”

WISH grants are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning. The program can complement or supplement a variety of local, state, and federal homeownership programs. The IDEA program, which has been at the forefront of asset-building initiatives since its inception, is directed at homebuyers who have been saving for the purchase of their first home through an Individual Development Account or participating in their local housing authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency homeownership program or a lease-to-own program administered by a nonprofit or government entity. Since 2000, the Bank has funded over $52 million in WISH and IDEA matching grants, assisting more than 4,000 households.

For more information about the WISH and IDEA programs or to review a list of the 2013 member grant recipients, visit

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 mortgage loans to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment 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.