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FHLBank San Francisco's Homeownership Programs Help Local Lenders Open Doors for First-Time Homebuyers

Thirty-nine Member Financial Institutions Reserve $9.3 Million in WISH and IDEA Program Funds to Deliver Matching Grants to Lower-Income Households

SAN FRANCISCO – April 9, 2019 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) is providing $9.3 million to fund matching grants for first-time homebuyers, with $8.9 million allocated to its 2019 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) Program and $400,000 allocated to its 2019 Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) Program. 

The WISH and IDEA grants are delivered to eligible homebuyers through the cooperative’s member financial institutions, using funds set aside each year from the Bank’s annual Affordable Housing Program contribution. With the 2019 allocations, 39 FHLBank San Francisco members will help lower-income homebuyers in Arizona, California, Nevada, and other states where Bank members do business. Six of these members are first-time participants. Visit the Bank’s website for a list of members participating in the WISH and IDEA programs this year.

“Since 2000, the Bank has helped more than 7,400 families and individuals realize the dream of owning a home by funding nearly $100 million in WISH and IDEA matching grants,” said Marietta Núñez, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “In our region, where income disparity just keeps growing, these grants play a crucial role in helping lower-income homebuyers put down roots in the community and build wealth through homeownership, which is the heart of the Bank’s mission.”

This year, the Bank raised the maximum grant amount from $15,000 to $22,000, and now offers a 4-to-1 match to eligible homebuyers, up from 3-to-1 in prior years, opening the door to homeownership to more families in high-cost areas of our district. Lower income households can use these matching grants for downpayment or closing costs.  

WISH grants are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning, and can be paired with local, state, and federal mortgage loan programs like Fannie Mae HomeReady and FHA-insured mortgages. IDEA grants help 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.

Visit fhlbsf.com to meet some of the people who have achieved their dream of owning a home with a boost from the WISH and IDEA programs, including the Gonzalez family of Clovis, California, the Kabayiza family of Tucson, Arizona, and the Huerta family of Stockton, California.

About 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 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.