WISHing For a Home? Meriwest Could “Grant” That Wish!

FHLB approves $330K in Loan Program Grant Funds to CU

SAN JOSE, CA (April 2, 2013) – Monday, April 1st, and with no prank intended, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco approved Meriwest Credit Union’s request for grant funds to be used to help local working families earning less than the median income access to home ownership. Meriwest Credit Union was approved for funds on two grant programs; $300k will be granted for the WISH (Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership) Program and $30k for the IDEA (Individual Development and Empowerment Account) Program. The granted funds are utilized as downpayment assistance for qualified working families in the communities Meriwest serves.

Both the IDEA and WISH programs can provide up to $15,000 in downpayment assistance to families earning below the median area income. Once granted, each assistance loan is forgiven by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco at a rate of 20% annually. After five years, the assistance funds become part of the owner’s equity. The WISH program helps families by matching their downpayment at a rate of $3 for each $1 contributed by the buyer, up to $15,000. Similar in matching, the IDEA program provides financial training to working families and then provides a $3 to $1 matching grant (up to a maximum loan of $15,000) provided the family completes their financial training. If each participant utilizes the maximum amount, it’s estimated that these funds could provide assistance for up to 22 new homeowners. As a participant in the WISH and IDEA Downpayment Assistance Programs since 2005, Meriwest has helped numerous Bay Area families access over two and a half million dollars in downpayment assistance from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

“With the current recovery of the housing market in the area, housing is in short supply in the Silicon Valley and working families need all the help they can get when it comes down to leveling the playing field in real estate purchases.” said Christopher Owen, President and CEO of Meriwest Credit Union. “Homeownership can help to provide a working family with an asset that can set them on a strong financial path. The Federal Home Loan Bank’s IDEA and WISH Downpayment Assistance Programs help our communities thrive.”

About Meriwest Credit Union
Meriwest Credit Union, one of Silicon Valley’s largest and established financial institutions, has been providing proactive, personal, convenient and innovative financial services to over 72,000 businesses and families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Tucson, Arizona, since 1961. More information can be found at

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