FHLBank San Francisco Aids First-Time Home Buyers

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) 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 home buyer 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 members do business.

FHLBank says the WISH and IDEA first-time home buyer 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 down payment or closing costs.

Both programs require participants to complete a home buyer 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% of area median income.

The bank explains that WISH grants are targeted to working families and individuals who are ready to make the transition from renting to owning. The IDEA program is directed at home buyers 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.


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