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FHLBank San Francisco Allocates $9 Million to Fund Matching Grants for First-Time Homebuyers

SAN FRANCISCO – April 9, 2015 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) has allocated $9 million to its 2015 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) first-time homebuyer programs. The Bank awarded $7.1 million in WISH funds and $1.9 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. Six Bank members are participating for the first time.

The WISH and IDEA first-time homebuyer programs offer eligible low- and moderate-income households 3-to-1 matching grants of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a home, which can be applied to the downpayment or closing costs. Funding for WISH and IDEA is set aside each year from the Bank’s annual Affordable Housing Program contribution and made available through the Bank’s member financial institutions to households earning up to 80% of area median income.

“The relationship between safe, quality, affordable housing and health is becoming increasingly well known,” said Marietta Nùñez, Vice President, Community Lending, FHLBank San Francisco. “Our WISH and IDEA programs are helping to build stronger, healthier communities by offering low- and moderate-income families access to sustainable homeownership.”

Both first-time homebuyer programs require participants to complete a homebuyer counseling program administered by an experienced organization. “The important role that counseling plays in nurturing homeownership can’t be overstated,” said Jim Yacenda, Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “A solid, pertinent education program makes a lasting impression on the homebuyer, and enables success.”

WISH grants, which can complement or supplement a variety of local, state, and federal homeownership programs, are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning. 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 $66 million in WISH and IDEA matching grants, helping 5,100 households achieve the goal of owning a home.

For more information, including a list of Bank members participating in the 2015 WISH and IDEA programs, please visit

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.