Doylestown, Pa. – May 6, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa. 8th) participated in a roundtable discussion today with representatives of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and other financial services leaders to discuss the current state of affordable housing and ways in which the future funding and supply of affordable housing stock can be enhanced. The discussion included issues of particular interest to the Bucks County and Delaware Valley area.
In addition to Rep. Fitzpatrick, participants in the informal roundtable included: Fred Schea of First Savings Bank, Perkasie, Pa, and a member of FHLBank’s Board of Directors, and Florence Kawoczka of Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County, along with representatives of American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Cornerstone Community Partners, First Savings Bank of Perkasie, Huntingdon Valley Bank, Milestone Bank, Monument Bank and Univest, as well as others. The gathering was part of a series of affordable housing roundtables being held this year across FHLBank’s three-state footprint.
Hosted at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pa., much of the discussion focused on the continued need for various housing programs and financial liquidity to support families and businesses throughout the region. FHLBank products, which are available only through member financial institutions, offer a number of opportunities to enhance communities.
One such product is the Affordable Housing Program (AHP). Each year, FHLBank Pittsburgh sets aside approximately 10 percent of its net income to fund the AHP, which supports projects that provide affordable housing to individuals and families whose incomes are defined as low (51 to 80 percent of area median) or very low (50 percent and below of area median). Since the inception of the program in 1990, FHLBank Pittsburgh has awarded approximately $147 million in grants to help subsidize nearly 23,500 units of housing for low or very low-income residents in Pennsylvania and supported over $ 2 billion in housing-related development. In Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional district, more than $2.2 million in AHP grants has supported approximately 400 units of housing.
“Access to affordable housing is the foundation to a strong community,” said Fitzpatrick. “Today’s roundtable brought together leaders from around the region to discuss how policies from Washington, D.C. impact access to affordable housing in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s clear that by working together with community partners we can expand access to affordable housing for families and individuals right here in Bucks and Montgomery counties – a message I will be sure to take back to the Capitol with me.”
Banking on Business (BOB) is another successful product administered by FHLBank. BOB funding helps eligible small businesses, which typically do not qualify for traditional loans, with start-up and expansion assistance through the Bank’s member financial institutions. In Pennsylvania, FHLBank has provided nearly $48 million to help create or retain more than 500 jobs since 1990 when the program was created. Each BOB dollar FHLBank contributes will likely leverage an additional $6 in financial resources to small businesses in the region, thereby creating or retaining jobs and improving local communities.
Finally, FHLBank Pittsburgh’s Community Lending Program (CLP) offers loans to member financial institutions for community and economic development projects that create housing, improve business districts and strengthen neighborhoods. CLP offers an $825 million noncompetitive revolving loan pool. When loans are repaid, that money is available to be loaned to other projects.
Dana Yealy, a member of executive management at FHLBank Pittsburgh, provided an update on the Bank’s grant program to area lenders in support of affordable housing and community development.
“We are privileged to provide the funding for these important programs, but the real credit for the success of these programs belongs to our member financial institutions,” said Yealy. “They work with community leaders to address the needs in their communities. Together, we’re making a difference here in Doylestown and across our region.”
Yealy also noted that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the AHP. “Since 1990, FHLBank Pittsburgh has awarded more than $238 million in subsidies to support affordable housing, resulting in nearly 40,000 affordable housing units and leveraging approximately $3.6 billion in total development costs,” he said.
About FHLBank Pittsburgh
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to assure the flow of credit and services to local lenders and assists them in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate.
Each year, FHLBank sets aside 10 percent of its net income for AHP grants, which are awarded to project sponsors on a competitive basis.
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Jennifer Cloonan, FHLBank Pittsburgh, 412-627-2094
Aaron Clark, Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office, 215-579-8102