Grants to Finance 5,000 Affordable Housing Units in Wisconsin, Illinois

CHICAGO, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Through its Affordable Housing Program competitive grants process, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago awarded more than $25 million in 2006 to help finance more than 5,000 affordable housing units located primarily in Illinois and Wisconsin.

“Our Affordable Housing Program is a source of great pride and satisfaction since it directly meets the housing needs of literally thousands of families each year,” said Mike Thomas, President and CEO at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.

Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer Eldridge Edgecombe echoed that sentiment. “Affordable housing continues to be a concern in America — in both urban and rural areas,” he said. “Our funding helps facilitate partnerships that build, buy, or renovate homes and apartment units for families who might not otherwise have the opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home.”

Non-profit groups, for-profit developers, and public entities apply for the competitive AHP grants through one of the Bank’s member institutions, comprising more than 870 commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions, and insurance companies in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The 2006 AHP funding will help to create or rehabilitate approximately 5,400 housing units, of which more than half will be reserved for very-low income households earning less than 50% of the area median income where they are located. Many projects will help first-time homebuyers, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Each year, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago allocates 10% of its prior year’s earnings for affordable housing projects in the competitive grants program and the Downpayment Plus(R) Program. Since beginning its Affordable Housing Program in 1990, the Bank has awarded approximately $251 million in grants to support almost 60,000 units of affordable housing.

For more information on specific awards and details of the AHP programs, visit the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago website at and click on “Community Investment.”

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago is an $89 billion wholesale bank and government sponsored enterprise that provides housing finance to more than 870 member commercial banks, savings institutions, credit unions, and insurance companies located in the 7th Federal Home Loan Bank District of Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Federal Home Loan Bank System, which includes 12 Federal Home Loan Banks, is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2007. The U.S. Congress created the System in 1932 to promote housing finance, but the Banks are wholly owned by their member institutions. “Downpayment Plus” is a registered trademark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.