Charleston, WV – August 24, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (WV-02) marked the 20th Anniversary of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) today with strong words of support for the program and recognized 16 West Virginia banks for helping to bring more than $10 million in housing assistance to the state.
Rep. Capito joined nonprofit groups, developers, bankers and other community leaders at the Rea of Hope New Life Apartments, a transitional housing program for women recovering from chemical dependency, 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 16 banks in West Virginia, AHP provides private funding for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of lower-income affordable housing units across the Mountain 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: Citizens Bank of Weston, Citizens Bank of West Virginia, First Central Bank, First National Bank in Ronceverte, First National Bank of Williamson, First Sentry Bank, Grant County Bank, Huntington Federal Savings Bank, Main Street Bank, Mountain Valley Bank, Pendleton Community Bank, Pioneer Community Bank, PNC Bank, United Bank, WesBanco Bank and West Union Bank. Each bank works with nonprofit 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.
“Community cooperation is critical when it comes to developing and providing affordable housing,” said Capito. “Programs like this one help make it possible for families across our state to find affordable housing when they need it. And as affordable housing remains a priority in Congress, it’s also critical that our communities play a role in the solution. I applaud the work of the Affordable Housing Program and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, and look forward to seeing the program’s continued success.”
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, $9.7 million has helped create 1,213 units of affordable housing in the state, while another $929,000 in first-time homebuyer grants has helped lower-income families close on 155 homes.
In all, nearly $10.6 million in combined funds has supported 1,368 affordable housing units in West Virginia.
“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 Pat Bond, a founding general partner of Mountaineer Capital, LP in Charleston and a member of FHLBank’s Board of Directors. “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.