FHLBank San Francisco's $40 Million Initiative Aims to Create Wealth and Career Opportunities in Underserved Bay Area Communities

Robert Reich Addresses Seminar in Oakland on Wealth-Building in Underserved Communities

OAKLAND, Calif – June 15, 2016 – Seeking to determine best practices for creating quality jobs and small business expansion in underserved communities, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) today held a seminar in Oakland with local, regional, and national experts in those fields. The session was an integral part of the Bank’s $40 million Quality Job Growth and Business Expansion Financing initiative, which will support innovative strategies to enhance the wealth-building potential of working families.

“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 homes in safe, nurturing communities,” said D. Tad Lowrey, chairman of FHLBank San Francisco’s board of directors. “We are exploring best practices for programs and initiatives that train local residents for good jobs or support their efforts to expand small businesses. These are the kinds of programs that the Bank wants to foster with this initiative.”

(l-r) Larry Parks, senior vice president, legislative and external affairs, FHLBank San Francisco; D. Tad Lowrey, chairman of the board, FHLBank San Francisco, and chairman, Pacific Western Bank; Greg Seibly, president and CEO, FHLBank San Francisco; Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley; Richard A. Heldebrant, member of the board of directors, FHLBank San Francisco, and president and CEO, Star One Credit Union.

To help structure the initiative, a series of seminars on job creation and small business financing were held across the region by FHLBank San Francisco to discuss best avenues for expanding quality jobs in the region. Today’s session at the Oakland Marriott Hotel follows similar roundtable discussions in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Phoenix. 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.

Today’s session included two panel discussions, the first one on Quality Job Growth and the second on Business Expansion Financing.

Panelists included Gardner Carrick, vice president of strategic initiatives at The Manufacturing Institute; Ben Field, executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council; Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council; Lisa Richter, managing partner of Avivar Capital; Mary Jo Cook, president and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures; Monica Edwards, chief investment officer at ICA Fund Good Jobs; Brett Jones, president of Evergreen Energy Solutions; and Ben Todd Jealous, partner at Kapor Capital. Gregory L. Moore, former editor of The Denver Post, served as moderator of the discussions.

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.”

Parks said that by helping to create better job opportunities in targeted areas, the 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,” 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.

“This initiative, informed by the roundtable we are holding today, is a unique opportunity to fulfill our congressionally mandated mission of expanding homeownership and supporting community economic development,” said Greg Seibly, president and chief executive officer of FHLB San Francisco. “Our ultimate goal is to help create the next generation of homeowners in underserved communities in Arizona, California, and Nevada.”

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