FHLBank San Francisco Gathers Housing Experts to Address Nevada’s Homeownership Challenges
Experts propose enhancements to financial literacy and downpayment assistance as potential solutions
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 21, 2022 – Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco gathered public officials, housing experts, and financial institutions for its third Homeownership Solutions Summit in Reno, Nevada, on January 24 to address the state’s severe and longstanding affordable housing crisis. Nevada ranks as the worst state for affordable housing in the U.S., and the summit offered an opportunity to explore challenges and identify solutions. Part of FHLBank San Francisco’s four-city summit series, the event assembled housing and mortgage finance industry stakeholders to share ideas, explore best practices, and coordinate public and private collaboration to better address the urgent demand for affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities.
“Financial education, including understanding how to access and make the most of available downpayment assistance resources, is a key element of ensuring that aspiring homebuyers have equal access to all the information they need to buy a home and sustain homeownership,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “It’s clear that everyone in attendance is committed to ensuring Nevadans can access these resources to build a stronger generation of homeowners. FHLBank San Francisco is proud to continue hosting these important discussions.”
A key topic of the summit was financial literacy. In 2017, Nevada became one of the first states to require that financial education be available to students starting in the third grade. The stakeholders agreed that an even stronger foundation for a new generation of homeowners could be built by expanding the program to begin as early as kindergarten and offering more resources.
“A strong foundation of financial literacy, from budgeting to investing, is one of the first steps in helping the next generation of Nevadans achieve homeownership,” said Wally Murray, president and chief executive officer of Greater Nevada Credit Union. “The conversations are critical to rebuilding Nevada’s economic landscape, and I applaud FHLBank San Francisco for bringing together people who are ready to make a change.”
The role of downpayment and closing cost assistance was another key discussion during the summit. FHLBank San Francisco has seen the benefit of these programs and distributed $16.1 million in downpayment assistance to help nearly 1,200 families and individuals become homeowners. However, in recent years, the opportunities of providing downpayment assistance have been more difficult to leverage, especially for lower-income families and individuals, as those same programs come with maximum grant restrictions at the same time that the cost of homes has continued to significantly increase.
“Homeownership is one of the primary ways families build wealth, making downpayment assistance a necessary requirement of advancing Nevada’s economic agenda,” said Christine Hess, executive director of Nevada Housing Coalition. “We need collaboration from both public and private partnerships to address Nevada’s affordable housing crisis and help give more Nevadans a place to call home.”
Strides have already been taken to help address Nevada’s affordable housing shortage. FHLBank San Francisco was an early funder of the Nevada Housing Coalition, helping to get the new organization off the ground with a grant in 2020 to target capacity-building. The Bank recently launched its new Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Nevada Targeted Fund competition, aimed at directing additional resources to help alleviate the lack of housing available to Nevada’s lower-income families and vulnerable populations.
Other key topics from the Summit presentations and discussions included:
- Housing challenges on the ground in Reno and statewide
- Racial equity in homeownership, particularly among Black households
- Support and guidance for renters to achieve homeownership
Building on the momentum of this event and previous events in Sacramento and Los Angeles, California, FHLBank San Francisco will host a fourth Homeownership Solutions Summits in Phoenix, Arizona, in March 2023.
For additional information on FHLBank San Francisco’s ongoing investment in affordable housing development, downpayment assistance for first-time homebuyers, economic development for underserved communities, and advancing racial equity in homeownership, please visit www.fhlbsf.com.
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.