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Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco Allocates $8 Million to Help First-Time Homebuyers

SAN FRANCISCO – April 10, 2012 –The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco has allocated $8 million to its 2012 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) first-time homebuyer programs. The Bank awarded $6.6 million in WISH funds and $1.4 million in IDEA funds to 28 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.

“The market for affordable housing and first-time homeownership seems to be inching its way back to some degree of improved health, thanks to a variety of initiatives and many dedicated lenders and community organizations,” said Jim Yacenda, Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “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. The Bank remains committed to helping them achieve those goals.”

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. Beginning in 2012, individuals and families participating in lease-to-own programs administered by a nonprofit or government entity are also eligible for IDEA funds. Since 2000, the Bank has funded approximately $42 million in IDEA and WISH matching grants, assisting more than 3,000 households.

For more information about the WISH and IDEA programs or to review a list of the 2012 member grant recipients, visit fhlbsf.com.

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 may include commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions.