WISH and IDEA First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Homeownership continues to be a big part of the American dream. For low- to moderate-income individuals and families, the journey to becoming a homebuyer takes an extraordinary amount of hard work, thrift, and determination. The downpayment assistance our programs offer can help aspiring homeowners overcome one of the biggest barriers to achieving their dream and building wealth.

Our Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) matching grant programs are designed to offer the Bank's member financial institutions an opportunity to support affordable, sustainable homeownership for first-time homebuyers while achieving their own community investment goals. Funding for WISH and IDEA is set aside each year from the Bank's annual AHP contribution, and the grants are made available to individual homebuyers through our members.

Both WISH and IDEA programs offer eligible low- to moderate-income households 4-to-1 matching grants of up to $22,000 that can be applied to downpayment and closing costs for the purchase of a home.

  • WISH grants help working families and individuals move from renting to owning and can complement or supplement many local, state, and federal homeownership programs and initiatives.
  • IDEA grants help homebuyers who have been saving for the purchase of their first home through an Individual Development Account or by participating in their local housing authority's Family Self-Sufficiency homeownership program or in a lease-to-own program administered by a government entity or nonprofit organization.

Individuals interested in the grant funds available through our WISH or IDEA homeownership programs should contact currently participating financial institutions or visit Resources for First-Time Homebuyers for general information about homeownership assistance programs and resources.

To be eligible for WISH and IDEA funds, the homebuyer must:

  • Have successfully completed a homebuyer counseling program.
  • Be a first-time homebuyer, as defined by the Bank in its AHP Implementation Plan.
  • Meet income eligibility guidelines, as published by the Bank at the time of enrollment in the WISH or IDEA Program and is at or below 80% of the HUD area median income.

The homebuyer must also open escrow on a home purchase transaction within one year of enrollment in the WISH program or within five years of enrollment in the IDEA program.

*Enrollment in the WISH or IDEA Program does not guarantee the homebuyer receipt of program funds.

Homebuyer Contribution

  • WISH program contributions can include savings, gift funds, or sweat equity.
  • IDEA program contributions must be from an Individual Development Account (IDA), a Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) homeownership program, or a lease-to-own program.

WISH and IDEA Timeline

The Bank invites members to apply to participate in the WISH and/or IDEA programs during the first quarter of each calendar year.

The following Bank members are participating in our 2021 WISH and IDEA programs and can reserve funds to make grants to eligible homebuyers. Interested homebuyers should contact a currently ...