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‘AHEAD’ Economic Grant Application Process Open to CUs

With the AHEAD program application process open to Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco members, the bank has announced it will allocate $4 million to its annual Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) economic development grant program.

This represents an increase of more than 160 percent compared to the program’s funding in 2022 — and it will provide individual grants of up to $100,000, nearly four times larger than the 2022 maximum grant amount.

In 2022, Excite CU (San Jose, CA) and Clark County CU (Las Vegas, NV) were each granted $27,500 from FHLB San Francisco’s economic development grant program — part of $1.5 million in AHEAD program grants delivered to 55 recipients that year:

  • Excite CU’s grant funding was for the Latino Business Foundation of Silicon Valley, which provides business skills training and services to a diverse community of women and immigrant entrepreneurs. These services include a small business incubator that provides one-on-one technical and strategic coaching, business training courses, and programs to support women who are single mothers and domestic violence survivors.
  • Clark County CU’s grant funding was for Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, one of the most comprehensive service providers for young people experiencing homelessness in Southern Nevada, providing wraparound programs, a safe and supportive environment, and a path to self-sufficiency. AHEAD funds supported the Drop-In Center, where youth ages 12 to 20 can access a kitchen and food pantry, showers, and a computer lab while receiving individualized case management support, counseling, job readiness services, healthcare, and educational workshops.

Targeted Grants for Economic and Innovative Opportunities
Launched in 2004, AHEAD grants are made to organizations that are creating economic opportunity through innovative and targeted initiatives that benefit underserved communities. This substantial increase is an important component of an initiative to voluntarily increase the Bank’s annual commitment to community programs. As part of FHLB San Francisco’s mission, the board of directors voted to voluntarily allocate up to 15 percent of the bank’s annual net income to funding economic development and homeownership grant programs and special purpose credit programs that enrich people’s lives and revitalize communities starting in 2023.

AHEAD grants are awarded through a competitive application process and delivered through FHLBank San Francisco’s member financial institutions to bring greater economic opportunities to underserved populations across the Bank’s three-state district. With a $2.5 million increase in funding for the 2023 program, FHLBank San Francisco will be able to award a total of $4 million in grants up to $100,000 per grant recipient. This increase will afford nonprofits and other community organizations struggling with rising costs more support to meet the urgent needs of people in the communities they serve. The deadline for submission of grant applications by FHLBank San Francisco members and their nonprofit partners is June 1, 2023.

Delivering on their mission and commitment to support affordable housing, each year, FHLBanks dedicate a minimum of 10 percent of the previous year’s net income to their Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to provide grants that help build or preserve affordable housing and expand access to homeownership. FHLBank San Francisco committed in 2004 to creating additional economic opportunity in Arizona, California, and Nevada through the voluntary AHEAD Program that has since awarded a total of more than $20 million in grants to over 700 economic development projects.

Application Process and Award Announcement
The AHEAD program supports the bank’s members in forging strong and productive relationships with nonprofit organizations that have specific economic and community development expertise. The bank invites its members to partner with local nonprofits, government agencies, and tribal organizations to submit grant applications for projects that give a boost to low- and moderate-income communities by:

  • Creating or preserving jobs.
  • Delivering job training or education programs.
  • Supporting small business, microlending, and microenterprise incubation for low income entrepreneurs.
  • Addressing the special economic development needs of at-risk youth, veterans, persons with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, and tribal communities, among others.

The AHEAD program application process is now open to members, and grant recipients will be announced in early September.

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