Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco Allocates $12 Million to First-Time Homebuyer Programs


San Francisco, CA – April 20, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco has allocated $12 million to its 2011 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) first-time homebuyer programs. In this award cycle, 32 of the Bank’s member financial institutions reserved $9.4 million in WISH funds and $2.6 million in IDEA funds to help lower-income families and individuals become homeowners in Arizona, California, Nevada, and other states where Bank members do business. Six institutions are participating in these programs for the first time.

WISH and IDEA grants, which match $3 for every $1 contributed by the homebuyer up to a maximum of $15,000, are made available through participating Bank members to households earning up to 80% of area median income. The funds can be used for downpayment and closing costs, which are among the most significant barriers to homeownership. Both programs require participants to complete a homebuyer counseling program administered by an experienced organization.

“In such a challenging time, we are gratified that our member financial institutions are using our WISH and IDEA downpayment assistance programs to help families reach their goal,” said Jim Yacenda, Vice President and Community Investment Officer at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. “Homeownership gives people a real stake in their community, and with the support, counseling, and diligent underwriting that are part of these programs, these new homeowners will be an asset wherever they put down roots, especially in struggling and rebounding neighborhoods.”

The IDEA program is directed at homebuyers who have been saving for the purchase of their first home through an Individual Development Account or participating in their local housing authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency homeownership program. WISH grants are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning and the program can complement or supplement a variety of local, state, and federal homeownership programs and initiatives. Since the first homebuyer received funds from the IDEA program in 2000, the Bank has funded approximately $32 million in IDEA and WISH matching grants.

For more information about the WISH and IDEA programs or to review a list of the 2011 member grant recipients, visit fhlbsf.com.

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 mortgage loans to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members—its shareholders and customers—are headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Members may include federally insured depositories—commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, and savings institutions—as well as insurance companies and community development financial institutions, including privately insured, state-chartered credit unions.

Contact: Mary Long, (415) 616-2556
longm (at) fhlbsf (dot) com


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