The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) has committed $1 million to support government-approved services that help potential and at-risk homeowners in black and ethnic minority (BME) communities.
The Empowering Black Homeownership grant will advance the bank’s commitment to support racial equity in homeownership, and help to narrow the US housing wealth gap.
Funds will go towards developing housing counseling agencies (HCAs), approved by the Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
FHLBank San Francisco member institutions will be able to request “dollar-for-dollar” grants of up to $125,000. The grants will go towards approved HCAs, and will be used for certain HUD activities over the next year.
“Knowledge is power, and this funding can help ensure that black homebuyers and homeowners have equal access to all the information they need to feel confident in their own ability to purchase a home or sustain homeownership,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco.
“Empowering Black Homeownership grants are an important new way the bank can partner with our members to advance racial equity. We are providing financial support to HCAs that directly serve populations that have been historically disadvantaged when it comes to building wealth through homeownership,” she added.
Homeownership is a primary “wealth builder” in the US, according to the bank, and communities of color are often disadvantaged and systemically blocked from accumulating wealth by unyielding lender requirements, as well as higher debt-to-income ratios, which puts them more at risk of foreclosure.
Empowering Black Homeownership grants provide education to lack homebuyers who continue to face these challenges.
In January, JPMorgan Chase backed a similar programme with a $75 million commitment to help close the racial wealth gap in the Greater Washington area.
The programme is intended to combine the bank’s philanthropic resources to improve housing affordability, as well as homeownership for Black, Latino and Hispanic Households.