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FHLBank San Francisco Makes $12.5 Million Available to Fund Matching Grants for First-Time Homebuyers

SAN FRANCISCO – April 4, 2017 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) is providing $12.5 million to fund matching grants for first-time homebuyers, with $11.3 million allocated to its 2017 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) Program and $1.2 million allocated to its 2017 Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) Program.

Funding for the WISH and IDEA programs is set aside each year from the Bank’s annual Affordable Housing Program contribution, and grants are disbursed to eligible homebuyers through the cooperative’s member financial institutions. With the 2017 allocation, a record-setting 47 FHLBank San Francisco members will use WISH and IDEA funds to assist homebuyers in Arizona, California, Nevada, and other states where Bank members do business. Seventeen of these members are first-time participants. Visit the Bank’s website for a list of members participating in WISH and IDEA this year.

“For low- and moderate-income families, the journey to homeownership takes an extraordinary amount of hard work, thrift, and determination,” said Jim Yacenda, Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We are glad to be able to provide, through these matching  grants, the bit of extra support they need to reach their dream.”

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. 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 2015, the number of participating Bank members has nearly doubled. “The WISH and IDEA programs continue to provide downpayment assistance to families who need it most in the face of escalating home prices,” said Marietta Núñez, Vice President, Director of Community Lending at FHLBank San Francisco. “Given the need, we are pleased that the number of participating members continues to grow, this year especially for credit unions, demonstrating a strong commitment to expanding homeownership opportunities in the communities our members serve.”

Since 2000, the Bank has funded $80.7 million in WISH and IDEA matching grants, helping more than 6,100 households become homeowners. Visit fhlbsf.com to meet some of our previous homeownership grant recipients, including the Kabayiza family of Tucson, Arizona, and the Peraza family of Imperial Valley, 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.