FHLBank San Francisco Drives Pandemic Recovery With First-Time Homebuyer Matching Grant Programs

$11 Million Earmarked to Help 36 Member Institutions Provide Downpayment Assistance to First-Time Homebuyers

SAN FRANCISCO – April 14, 2021 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco), a member-driven cooperative helping lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada drive local economic growth, is providing $11 million in grants through its Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) matching grant programs. Through the programs, implemented by 36 participating FHLBank San Francisco member financial institutions, eligible low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers can receive up to $22,000 in downpayment assistance.

Since the inception of the WISH and IDEA programs in 2000, FHLBank San Francisco has helped more than 8,500 families and individuals realize the dream of owning a home by funding $120 million in matching grants.

“To stabilize underserved communities that have been impacted by COVID-19, homeownership is essential,” said Teresa Bazemore, chief executive officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “These grants play a crucial role in helping lower-income homebuyers put down roots in their communities and revitalize local economies.”

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 are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning, and the grants can be paired with local, state, and federal mortgage loan programs, such as Fannie Mae HomeReady and Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages. IDEA grants help homebuyers who have been saving for the purchase of their first home through an Individual Development Account, participating in their local housing authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency homeownership program, or completing a lease-to-own program administered by a nonprofit or government entity.

“Our WISH and IDEA programs are providing desperately needed funds to facilitate homeownership,” said Marietta Núñez, senior vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We believe expanding access to sustainable homeownership is critical to helping families build wealth for future generations, and to making a difference in the communities we serve.”

Visit fhlbsf.com for more information on these and other FHLBank San Francisco grant programs, and meet some of the families who have achieved their dream of homeownership with a boost from the WISH and IDEA programs, including the Fulton family of Oxnard, California and the Zavala family of Mesa, Arizona. Potential homebuyers interested in these programs should contact a currently participating member institution directly to learn more about enrollment in these 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 foster homeownership, expand access to quality housing, seed or sustain small businesses, and revitalize whole neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant, equitable, and resilient.