SAN FRANCISCO – September 24, 2019 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco has awarded $781,250 in grants that will be used by local government agencies and nonprofit Economic Development Districts (EDDs) to launch targeted disaster recovery and resiliency initiatives in five communities affected by recent natural disasters: Butte County, Lake County, Shasta County, Sonoma County, and Yuba County.
“In the last few years, disasters, especially wildfires, have been devastating for the affected communities within the Bank’s district,” said Greg Seibly, President and CEO, FHLBank San Francisco. “We are pleased to provide funding this year that enables our member financial institutions to partner with local governments and nonprofits not only on their recovery efforts, but on building resiliency for future disasters.”
Five grants have been awarded to support disaster recovery and resiliency efforts in California this year:
- The Valley Fire in Lake County in 2015 destroyed over 2,000 structures in the Cobb Mountain community. The Cobb Area Council (CAC) will receive a $200,000 grant, delivered through member Community First Credit Union, to draft and implement an economic development strategy to revitalize the Cobb Mountain community. CAC will use the funds to conduct an assessment of community assets and resources, analyze local businesses, housing, and employment sectors, create a business revolving loan fund, and establish a Cobb Area Merchants Association.
- The Tubs and Nuns fires in October 2017 destroyed almost 8,000 structures in Sonoma County, and displaced countless lower income households. The Sonoma County Community Development Commission will receive a $200,000 grant, delivered through member Luther Burbank Savings, to develop a countywide interactive affordable housing development map and to undertake direct outreach to displaced low- to moderate-income Latino households. The map will help ensure that future development is strategically placed in high opportunity areas.
- When the Cascade Fire swept through Yuba County in October 2017, the area was still reeling from the hazard posed by the potential failure of the Oroville dam earlier in 2017. The Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation will receive a $161,250 grant, delivered through member Rabobank, to update a federally mandated disaster mitigation plan. The plan will help Yuba County prevent loss of life and damage to property in the future and promote public awareness about disaster preparedness.
- The Camp Fire that devastated the town of Paradise in November 2018, the largest wildfire in California’s history, destroyed over 95% of the town’s structures. 3CORE will receive a $200,000 grant, delivered through member Tri Counties Bank, to support the Butte County town. The grant will fund staffing of a new Regional Disaster Coordinator position, which will work with the town on disaster preparedness and identify small and local businesses that can provide resources, technical assistance, and loan capital for rebuilding or reestablishing operations in the area.
- The Carr Fire in July 2018 destroyed over 1,800 structures in Shasta County. The Superior California Economic Development (SCED) will receive a $20,000 grant, delivered through member Cornerstone Community Bank, to create an economic disaster resiliency strategy for Shasta County. The strategy will help local businesses identify specific actions they can perform now to be better prepared for, and reduce economic damage from, future natural disasters.
“These grants are aimed at helping local governments, nonprofits, and the private sector work together to meet specific needs in their area,” said Marietta Núñez, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We are pleased to support the priorities of these five grant recipients, which are to regenerate economic activity in affected areas, redevelop affordable housing in an equitable way for displaced residents, and enhance their community’s preparedness for future disasters.”
This year’s allocation of funds for disaster recovery and resilience grants is being administered through the Bank’s AHEAD Program, which provides grants for local economic development initiatives identified and sponsored by the Bank’s members. The five grants we have awarded to California organizations for recovery and resilience initiatives are in addition to matching charitable donations the Bank has made to support members donating to nonprofits that provided immediate disaster relief efforts in affected communities.
To date, 31 FHLBank San Francisco members have contributed or pledged a total of $625,500 in charitable donations to organizations serving fire victims and affected communities, and the Bank has donated or pledged $200,000 in matching donations to the same organizations. In addition, in 2017 and 2018, the Bank made donations totaling $100,000 directly to the American Red Cross – California Northwest Chapter ($25,000), United Way of Ventura County ($25,000), Ventura County Community Foundation ($25,000), and North Valley Community Foundation ($25,000) to support relief and recovery efforts in California.
FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions–commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions–foster homeownership, expand access to quality housing, seed or sustain small businesses, and revitalize whole neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant and resilient.