Increased Funding Through $39 Million Downpayment Plus? Grant Programs Provide Affordability Opportunities for More Illinois and Wisconsin Home Buyers

BY Business Wire | AGENCY | 03/26/24 09:02 AM EDT

FHLBank Chicago Member Banks, Credit Unions and CDFIs Can Now Access up to $1 Million in Grants Available Year-Round

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- To further support housing affordability, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago) is increasing the maximum per member limit available for its Downpayment Plus? (DPP?) and Downpayment Plus Advantage? (DPP Advantage?) grant programs to $1 million per member. FHLBank Chicago?s 2024 DPP programs budget is more than $39 million and the new per member limit represents a nearly 43% increase over the 2023 limit of $700,000. Member banks, credit unions and community development financial institutions use the DPP programs to provide year-round down payment grant assistance to qualified home buyers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

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The 2024 member limit increase is the latest in a series of program enhancements to provide more resources to home buyers through member financial institutions. After increasing the DPP grant amount last year to $10,000, continuing to offer the program year-round, and growing the Bank?s participating members in the program, FHLBank Chicago is now increasing the member maximum to allow members to provide even more grants to their communities.

?While the market continues to be difficult for many home buyers, FHLBank Chicago is ready to assist more members and more home buyers through Downpayment Plus,? said Katie Naftzger, Senior Vice President, Community Investment Officer, FHLBank Chicago. ?We see growing demand for DPP grants throughout the year. As a housing leader, we want members to take advantage of this program to support home buyers in their communities.?

DPP provides down payment assistance to support families and individuals earning up to 80% of the area median income who are purchasing a home. Eligible households may access grants of up to $10,000 through participating members of FHLBank Chicago that are providing their first mortgage financing. Nonprofits that provide mortgage financing for homebuyers, such as Habitat for Humanity and Neighborhood Housing Services, may also partner with an FHLBank Chicago member to access DPP Advantage funds.

More than 200 members, 40 of which were new users, disbursed DPP grants to homebuyers last year, and first-time homebuyers comprised 92% of DPP beneficiaries. In 2023 alone, DPP grants totaling over $33 million supported affordable homeownership for more than 3,500 households.

?The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago?s mission has helped strengthen our community,? said Sandy DeMond, SVP, Director of Community Banking at Busey Bank. ?We?ve been utilizing the Downpayment Plus Program since 2009, and since then we?ve been able to disperse over $7 million in funds to the community, to these homeowners, and over 1,200 families that have been assisted.?

Learn more about the DPP grant programs, and other Community Investment products and programs offered, by visiting the FHLBank Chicago website.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

FHLBank Chicago is a regional bank in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. FHLBanks are government-sponsored enterprises created by Congress to ensure access to low-cost funding for their member financial institutions, with a focus on providing solutions that support the housing and community development needs of members? customers. FHLBank Chicago is a self-capitalizing cooperative, owned by its Illinois and Wisconsin members, including commercial banks, credit unions, insurance companies, savings institutions, and community development financial institutions. To learn more about FHLBank Chicago, please visit fhlbc.com.

"Downpayment Plus", "DPP", ?Downpayment Plus Advantage? and ?DPP Advantage? are registered trademarks of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.

Source: Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

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