FHLBank San Francisco Doubles Empowering Black Homeownership Matching Grant Program with New $2 Million Commitment

Matching Donations from Member Financial Institutions to Provide Up to $4 Million to Help Expand Black Homeownership and Increase Generational Wealth

SAN FRANCISCO, September 20, 2023 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) today announced it has doubled its commitment for its groundbreaking and successful Empowering Black Homeownership matching grant program, making an additional $2 million available to help expand the capacity of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies (HCAs) to serve more aspiring and at-risk homeowners in communities of color. This year's funding represents a 100% increase over the program’s inaugural year funding in 2022. With participation by FHLBank San Francisco member institutions in Arizona, California, and Nevada, the 2023 program has the potential to deploy up to $4 million to increase Black homeownership and help bridge the racial wealth gap.

“We are encouraged by the impact our Empowering Black Homeownership funding, delivered in partnership with our generous member financial institutions, has made in the communities we serve,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “Historical and systemic discrimination has resulted in a stark disparity in the rates of Black homeownership, which has consequently restricted the accumulation of generational wealth for millions of Black families. We are resolute in our commitment to working alongside our member institutions on developing market-based solutions to address this issue. We are proud to double our commitment to this transformative program, and we look forward to matching up to $2 million in grants aimed at supporting Black community members on their path to reaching and sustaining homeownership and economic security.” 

The Empowering Black Homeownership program is one component of FHLBank San Francisco’s commitment to advancing racial equity. Beginning in 2021, the Bank invested $1.5 million in a collaboration with the Urban Institute to create the Racial Equity Accelerator for Homeownership. The research conducted for that initiative highlighted the critical need for more solutions to equitable homeownership and wealth building opportunities for people of color. To that end, the Empowering Black Homeownership matching grant program was created in 2022 to allow FHLBank San Francisco member financial institutions to request dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to a total of $125,000 per member. The grants are made to HCAs and used for HUD-eligible activities, including staffing, marketing, and pre- and post-purchase counseling to propel Black homeownership and bolster intergenerational wealth building. 

In the first year of the program, several member institutions awarded grants to 22 local HCAs, which paired with the Bank’s match funding, resulted in $2.2 million towards advancing Black homeownership. The member institutions who participated in 2022 included: Bank of the West, Citizens Business Bank, City National Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach, Luther Burbank Savings, Mechanics Bank, MUFG Union Bank, Pacific Premier Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Toyota Financial Savings Bank, Tri Counties Bank, and Western Alliance Bank. 

The Empowering Black Homeownership matching grant program is just one example of the Bank's mission of promoting homeownership. A separate, ongoing homeownership program – the WISH Program – is designed to support first-time homebuyers with $4-to-$1 matching grants that can be applied to downpayment and closing costs. Importantly, WISH grants require participants, such as new homeowner and WISH grant recipient Doris Ealy, to successfully complete a homebuyer counseling program to prepare them for homeownership, guiding them though the buying process, and what to expect post-purchase. One HCA that provides these services in conjunction with both the Bank’s WISH and Empowering Black Homeownership grant programs is Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County (NHS). NHS received one of the first Empowering Black Homeownership grants in 2022, through FHLBank San Francisco member Luther Burbank Savings, which when matched dollar-by-dollar by the Bank totaled $70,000. 

“NHS has witnessed countless lives transformed by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s commitment to supporting affordable homeownership,” said Lori Gay, president and CEO at Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County and a member of FHLBank San Francisco’s board of directors. “We’re thrilled that the Empowering Black Homeownership initiative is being renewed and we know it will continue to help Black families and individuals succeed in achieving future homeownership. We know that the key to generational wealth building is to own a home affordably. We welcome the commitment of the Bank and its members to helping communities of color flourish through empowerment and opportunity.”

FHLBank of San Francisco’s member institutions will be able to begin requesting matching Empowering Black Homeownership grants for HCAs in their communities on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. 

For more information about the Bank’s dedication to expanding homeownership opportunities, visit www.fhlbsf.com/community-programs.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions — commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions — propel homeownership, finance quality affordable housing, drive economic vitality, and revitalize whole neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant, equitable, and resilient.

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