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Bulletins and Notices
November 21, 2017

Community Support Programs: Tools and Resources for Housing and Economic Development

To: All Members and Interested Community Groups

The Bank offers a number of valuable tools and resources designed to help our members and their community partners build and shape strong, vibrant communities. We encourage you to learn more about the support we provide for targeted community lending and affordable housing and economic development in Arizona, California, Nevada, and other regions our members serve.

In addition to the ongoing Community Programs described below, the Bank is currently matching donations our members make to charities providing help to victims of the recent North Bay wildfires. On a first-come, first-served basis, the Bank will match up to $5,000 per member, up to a total amount of $100,000, to support recovery efforts in communities affected by this disaster.

Affordable Housing Program (AHP): Competitive AHP and AHP Set-Aside Programs

Each year, we contribute 10% of our net income from the preceding year to the AHP for projects and programs that create affordable housing opportunities for families and individuals earning up to 80% of the area median income. The majority of the funds are awarded through a competitive application process and used by members to help finance the development, acquisition, or rehabilitation of rental and owner-occupied housing. A portion of the funding is set aside for our first-time homebuyer programs, IDEA and WISH.

In 2017, we awarded $74 million in grants in the annual AHP funding competition and allocated $12.5 million for the IDEA and WISH programs. Since 1990, FHLBank San Francisco has awarded over $1 billion in grants to help create nearly 132,000 much-needed affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in communities served by the Bank’s member financial institutions.

Competitive AHP

AHP grants are awarded through a competitive application process and support a wide range of rental and owner-occupied projects, from historic preservation and adaptive reuse to new construction and rehabilitation of rental or owner-occupied housing. Bank members submit applications for these grants in partnership with affordable housing sponsors. The next application cycle will begin in the first quarter of 2018.

Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) Program

The IDEA Program provides matching grants through Bank members to first-time homebuyers saving to buy a home through an Individual Development Account or by participating in a Family Self-Sufficiency or lease-to-own program. Eligible low- and moderate-income households can receive 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. The Bank allocates IDEA funds once a year to members based on program eligibility. The next application cycle will take place during the first quarter of 2018.

Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) Program

The WISH Program provides matching grants through Bank members to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning. Eligible low- and moderate-income households can receive 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. The Bank allocates WISH funds once a year to members based on program eligibility. The next application cycle will take place during the first quarter of 2018.

Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) Program

AHEAD grants support the efforts of members, working with local community organizations, to give a critical boost to programs and projects that target pressing community development needs by creating or preserving jobs, supporting a nonprofit’s organizational and capacity-building activities, or delivering social services, training and education, and other needed services and programs in low- and moderate-income communities. The Bank allocates AHEAD funds annually, and individual grants are awarded to members based on project eligibility and evaluation of the application. The Bank awarded $1.5 million in AHEAD grants in 2017. The next application cycle will take place during the second quarter of 2018.

Community Investment Cash Advance (CICA) Credit Programs

Another way the Bank is supporting emergency disaster relief efforts in the 11th District following the North Bay wildfires is by increasing limits on our CIP and ACE credit programs. Members should contact their Relationship Manager to request an exception to the normal per member limits.

Advances for Community Enterprise (ACE)

Members may use ACE credit to provide funds for projects and activities that result in the creation or retention of jobs or provide services or other benefits for low- and moderate-income people and communities. Funds may be used to support community lending and economic development, including small business, commercial and industrial activities, community facilities, and public works. ACE advances are priced lower than regular Bank advances and are available throughout the year for a variety of credit products in a wide range of maturities.

Community Investment Program (CIP)

Members may use CIP credit for a variety of targeted financing activities, such as funding mortgages, financing first-time homebuyer programs, and creating and maintaining affordable housing for households with incomes at or below 115% of the area median income. CIP advances are priced lower than regular Bank advances and are available throughout the year for a variety of credit products in a wide range of maturities.

Community Investment Letters of Credit

The Bank's standby letters of credit are available to members throughout the year at favorable rates to provide credit enhancement and support for the financing of housing and economic development projects that otherwise meet ACE and CIP eligibility requirements. Because the Bank is rated Aaa by Moody's and AA+ by Standard & Poor's, Bank letters of credit may enable members to obtain a Aaa or AA+ rating on bond and note transactions that their institutions support.

Borrowing Capacity for Community Financial Institution (CFI) Members

To promote economic development lending by our CFI members, the Bank provides borrowing capacity to CFI members on small business, small agribusiness, and small farm loans when they are pledged under a blanket lien. A CFI is an FDIC-insured depository with average total assets of less than $1.148 billion (to be adjusted each year by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index).

Community Lending Plan Initiatives

As part of the Bank’s annual Community Lending Plan, we:

  • offer application and compliance training and technical assistance for the Bank's community programs and products;
  • develop and maintain relationships with community and economic development organizations;
  • and link community-based organizations to sources of technical assistance, experienced partners in community development, and advocacy groups.


We encourage you to visit fhlbsf.com for more information on the community programs described in this notice. Program application information, news about trainings and other events, and stories of how members have successfully used our programs are also available online.

Please call the Community Investment Department at (415) 616-2754 or contact your Relationship Manager to discuss how to take advantage of these valuable resources.

Sincerely,

Greg Seibly
President and Chief Executive Officer