Dover, DE – August 24, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) and Congressman Michael N. Castle (R-DE) marked the 20th Anniversary of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) today with strong words of support for the program and recognized eleven First State banks for helping to bring $15 million in housing assistance to Delaware.
The senator and congressman joined nonprofit groups, developers, bankers and other community leaders at Vera’s Haven, a transitional housing program for very-low-income families leaving emergency shelters, to mark the 20th Anniversary of legislation that enacted the AHP, the annual grants program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank). Through eleven banks in Delaware, AHP provides private funding for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of lower-income affordable housing units across the First State. A companion program, now twelve years old, has also provided grants to first-time homebuyers for down payment and closing costs.
Honored for their work during today’s anniversary celebration were Artisans’ Bank, Chase Bank, Citicorp Trust Bank, Citizens Bank, County Bank, Delaware National Bank, PNC Bank, Sovereign Bank, TD Bank, Wilmington Trust Company and WSFS Bank. Each bank works with nonprofits sponsors and developers to identify community housing needs, assists in grant applications, participates in funding workshops and delivers awarded grants made during competitive funding rounds.
“I am happy to be here not only to celebrate more affordable housing in Dover, but also to celebrate the work the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh does here in our community,” said Sen. Carper. “They continue to make Delaware a better place and we are grateful.”
“Safe and affordable housing provides a foundation for individuals and families to pursue their goals,” said Rep. Castle. “The eleven Delaware banks honored here today are examples of how beneficial it is to give back to the community by enabling sustainable homeownership, and we are thankful for their work.”
Each year, ten percent of FHLBank’s earnings are allocated to the AHP, which became law on August 9, 1989. Since the first AHP funding in 1990, $9.78 million has helped create 1,323 units of affordable housing in the First State, while another $5.14 million in first-time homeowner grants has helped lower-income families in the state close on 1,205 homes. In all, approximately $15 million in combined funds has supported 2,528 affordable housing units in Delaware.
“AHP takes the form of gap funding, meaning that many times, our grants provide the final piece of the funding puzzle necessary to complete a project,” explained Dave Buches, manager of Community Investment for FHLBank, based in Dover. “AHP utilizes private funds in combination with other funding programs such as the Low-income Housing Tax Credit, HOME, and the Community Development Block Grant program.”
AHP is one of the largest private sources of grant funds for affordable housing in the United States. Across the country, the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks, created by Congress 77 years ago to foster housing finance, serve a wide range of neighborhood needs including housing for seniors, the disabled, homeless families, first-time homebuyers and others with limited resources. All AHP recipients must have incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
Nationally, AHP has awarded $3.6 billion in grants, helping to build or rehabilitate more than 623,000 single- or multi-family housing units, including 391,000 units for very-low-income families. Across its district of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, FHLBank Pittsburgh has helped fund 877 affordable housing projects with a total of 24,760 units through AHP as well as 8,224 down payment and closing cost transactions.
FHLBank Pittsburgh provides a steady stream of low-cost liquidity to local lenders in support of housing finance and community and economic development. FHLBank is privately funded and capitalized and uses no taxpayer dollars. At June 30, 2009, the Bank had 319 members in its cooperative and approximately $76 billion in assets.
Emily Cunningham, Senator Thomas Carper, 302-573-6460, cell: 302-598-4915;
Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Congressman Michael Castle, 202-225-4165;
Ruth Pugh, executive director, Whatcoat Social Service Agency, 302-734-0319
Neil Cotiaux, FHLBank, 412-335-9488;