The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco has allocated $9 million to its 2014 Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) and Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) first-time homebuyer programs. The bank awarded $7.4 million in WISH funds and $1.6 million in IDEA funds to 25 member financial institutions to help low-to moderate-income families and individuals buy a home in Arizona, California, Nevada, and other states where Bank members do business.
The WISH and IDEA first-time homebuyer programs offer eligible low-and moderate-income households three to one matching grants of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a home, which can be applied to the downpayment or closing costs. Both programs require participants to complete a homebuyer counseling program administered by an experienced organization. Funding for WISH and IDEA is set aside each year from the bank's annual Affordable Housing Program contribution and made available through the bank's member financial institutions to households earning up to 80 percent of area median income.
"Our WISH program taps the desires of a hopeful workforce, while the IDEA program has been very successful at helping motivated low-income people to develop financial skills and build assets, and then to achieve the self-sufficiency that comes with homeownership," said Jim Yacenda, vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. "The bank is committed to helping aspiring homebuyers reach their goals."
"Recent studies demonstrate that owning a home plays an important role in the present and future health of families in low- and moderate-income communities," added Marietta Nùñez, vice president, who directs the bank's WISH and IDEA programs. "We are pleased that WISH and IDEA can be a part of a collective effort to promote healthy communities."
WISH grants, which can complement or supplement a variety of local, state, and federal homeownership programs, are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning. The IDEA program, which has been at the forefront of asset- building initiatives since its inception, 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 or a lease-to-own program administered by a nonprofit or government entity. Since 2000, the bank has funded $59 million in WISH and IDEA matching grants, helping more than 4,500 households achieve the goal of owning a home.