FHLBank San Francisco to Direct $40 Million to Create New Job Opportunities in Underserved Communities in Arizona, California, and Nevada

Roundtables in five West Coast cities will explore best practices for supporting the creation of quality jobs and small business expansion

SAN FRANCISCO – March 10, 2016 –The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) today announced a new job development and small business financing initiative. The Quality Job Growth and Business Expansion Financing  initiative will direct $40 million to fund innovative programs to enhance the income and wealth-building potential of working families and help generate future homebuyers in underserved communities in the Bank’s three-state district of Arizona, California, and Nevada.

To help structure the initiative, FHLBank San Francisco is holding a series of roundtable discussions in five cities—Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Local, regional, and national leaders in job creation and small business financing will discuss best practices for growing quality jobs in the region. The first roundtable is today in Las Vegas. The Aspen Institute, a partner in this effort, will assist in developing a white paper on the discussions, which will help shape the next phase of the initiative.

The Quality Job Growth and Business Expansion Financing roundtables will serve as a focal point for the $40 million initiative to address the growing income inequality in the region. D. Tad Lowrey, chairman of the FHLBank San Francisco’s Board of Directors, said the Bank made the decision to focus on growing quality jobs and expanding business opportunities for job growth because the Bank is a stakeholder in the community.

“One of the biggest challenges for our nation is creating jobs that offer wages high enough to allow working families to raise their children and purchase a home in a safe, nurturing community,” Mr. Lowrey said. “FHLBank San Francisco is exploring best practices to support programs and initiatives that will train local residents for good jobs or support their efforts to expand small businesses.”

Lawrence H. Parks, Senior Vice President, Legislative and External Affairs for FHLBank San Francisco, said, “It is critically important to identify what is working in communities because there is so much that is not working. The Bank saw an opportunity to start a dialogue and support innovations that can help move lower-income families up the economic ladder and reduce income inequality in our region.”

Moreover, Mr. Parks said that by helping to create better job opportunities in targeted areas, this initiative can also support families and individuals aspiring to purchase homes in the future.

“I think the nation has, at least temporarily, lost sight of the many benefits of homeownership, especially for families whose current income can’t support purchasing a home; if a family’s income increases, homeownership is more likely,” Mr. Parks said, noting studies showing that homeownership is a factor in higher test scores for students, improved physical and psychological health outcomes, and a greater attachment to neighbors and neighborhoods.

Dean Schultz, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco, said that the Bank determined that one of the best ways to enable more families to afford to buy a home is to create more stable, middle-class jobs.

“We are pleased to be committing a substantial amount of funding to such a worthwhile cause, one that is good for our country,” Mr. Schultz said. “FHLBank San Francisco is demonstrating that individual organizations, institutions, and corporations can help make a difference in communities that are often forgotten by policymakers in both the public and private sectors. We hope that will change.”

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 mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. FHLBank San Francisco also funds community programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. FHLBank San Francisco 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.

Kevin Blackburn (510) 377-8999