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Celebrating 20th Anniversary: $4M for Economic Vitality Initiatives

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco announced it is allocating $4 million to its annual Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) economic development program, which will be distributed through grants of up to $100,000 throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Since the program’s inception in 2004, FHLBank San Francisco has partnered with its member financial institutions to award over $25 million in grants to about 800 projects that are creating economic opportunity through innovative and targeted initiatives that benefit underserved communities.

“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our AHEAD program, we are invigorated by the positive impact this funding has had in the communities we serve, boosting job creation, skills training, small business support, and other vital programs in our region,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “Alongside our dedicated member institutions, we are proud that our 2024 AHEAD Program will fund another $4 million in grants and we look forward to witnessing how this program increases economic vitality in the years to come.”

The AHEAD grant program supports FHLBank San Francisco’s members in forging strong and productive relationships with nonprofit organizations that have specific economic and community development expertise. FHLBank San Francisco encourages its members to partner with local nonprofits, government agencies, and Tribal organizations to submit grant applications for projects that give a boost to low- to 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.

In 2023, FHLBank San Francisco and its members awarded $4 million in AHEAD Program grants to 75 recipients including:

  • $100,000 to Change Labs, Inc. in Tuba City, Arizona, alongside Oxford Life Insurance Company. Change Labs is a Native-led nonprofit organization serving the Navajo and Hopi nations and driven by a core mission of empowering the local community through entrepreneurship and sustainable economic development.
  • $70,000 to Ventures in Watsonville, California, alongside Bay Federal Credit Union. Devoted to building equitable economies and community well-being, Ventures used the funding to support staff and operating costs to effectively service rural Latino working-class families on California’s Central Coast through their Familias con Mas program, which coaches participants on how to budget, avoid predatory lending, improve their credit, and manage their debt.
  • $100,000 to The Public Education Foundation (PEF) in Las Vegas, Nevada, alongside Wells Fargo National Bank West. The funding enabled PEF to help public school students, families, and educators by supporting staff salaries and mentee stipends. In partnership with the Clark County School District, PEF expanded their Teacher Pathway workforce development program to provide 16 paraprofessional veterans with mentorship and tailored support on their path to become licensed teachers with increased salaries while also addressing the teacher shortage in Southern Nevada.

“With this program, our driving focus is to deliver funding to communities where it can make the greatest impact and provide meaningful support,” said Eric Cicourel, senior vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “Given the economic strain experienced by far too many people post-pandemic, we are proud that we can help ignite economic empowerment initiatives that will have a ripple effect in the communities we and our members serve.”

As part of a dual mission to provide liquidity and support affordable housing and community development, each FHLBank is required to set aside 10 percent of its income to fund its Affordable Housing Program. FHLBank San Francisco works to exceed that requirement by voluntarily providing an additional 5 percent of its net income to fund supplemental programs and initiatives that foster economic vitality and community development, including its AHEAD economic development grant program, Middle-Income Downpayment Assistance Program, Empowering Black Homeownership grants for Housing Counseling Agencies, and a Tribal Nations Program which provides critically necessary infrastructure funding grants to increase the supply of affordable housing for Native American communities.

Applications for the AHEAD Program are now open. The deadline for FHLBank San Francisco members partnering with nonprofits, government agencies, and Tribal organizations to submit applications for grants is June 3, 2024. Grant recipients will be announced in early September.

To learn more about the AHEAD Program and the application process, please visit

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