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Bulletin No. 1315 | January 13, 2009

2009 Homeownership Set-Aside Programs

To All Members and Interested Community Groups:

I am pleased to announce the start of the application period for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s 2009 homeownership set-aside programs for very low- to moderate-income households—the Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) Program and the Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) Program.

Both programs offer Bank members a unique opportunity to promote homeownership for first-time homebuyers while achieving community investment goals. For 2009, the Bank will set aside a percentage of its annual Affordable Housing Program contribution to provide matching funds to eligible first-time homebuyers for downpayment and closing cost assistance. Members may apply to the Bank for a funds reservation of up to $1,000,000 for each program. Only Bank members may apply.

WISH and IDEA applications will be accepted from January 19, 2009, to February 27, 2009. We expect to notify members of the awards by March 31, 2009. All WISH and IDEA funds awarded in 2009 must be used by March 31, 2010. Applications and related program materials are available now on the Bank’s website at

WISH Program

Through participating member financial institutions, the WISH Program will provide up to $15,000 per household, matching up to $3 for every dollar contributed by the homebuyer toward the purchase of the home.  This year, the Bank has made the following changes to the WISH Program:

  • Lifted the restriction that households must purchase a home in targeted high-cost counties within the Bank’s 11th District, allowing members to offer the program to households in any area the member does business;
  • Eliminated the requirement that households must participate in a mortgage assistance program to be eligible for WISH subsidy; and
  • Eliminated the requirement that homebuyers must contribute minimum 1% of the home sales price to participate in the WISH program.

IDEA Program

Through participating member financial institutions, the IDEA Program awards AHP dollars to assist qualified homebuyers who have saved in an Individual Development Account (IDA) or who have successfully participated in their local housing authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program leading to homeownership. Eligible households must save for a minimum of 10 months and successfully complete a homebuyer counseling program offered by an experienced organization. The IDEA Program will provide up to $15,000 per participating household, matching up to $3 for every dollar saved.

If you would like additional information, please contact the Community Investment Department at (415) 616-2542.



Dean Schultz
President and Chief Executive Officer