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Kohl Announces Treasury initiative To Help Wisconsin Families Gain Access To Affordable Housing

Press Release

Location: Washington, D.C.

Today, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl announced that the United States Treasury Department will begin purchasing mortgage revenue bonds allowing housing finance agencies, such as the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), to continue their affordable home loan program and other housing development projects move forward. These programs provide housing solutions for low and moderate income families across the state.

WHEDA's first time homebuyer program depends on revenue generated from mortgage bonds. The agency has suspended their program for over a year due to the frozen bond markets. Senator Kohl, a member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee, sent a letter to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve System and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner encouraging the Federal Reserve Bank and Treasury to assist state HFAs. Kohl followed up by questioning Secretary Geithner about ways to support the struggling HFAs at a Banking Committee hearing in February.

"I am very pleased that the Department of the Treasury has made this announcement to help housing finance agencies like WHEDA," Kohl said. "WHEDA uses their mortgage revenue bonds to support their affordable home loan program. Since last year, their lending program has been suspended. This will allow them to start lending again to first time homebuyers who depend on WHEDA for affordable housing options and making the dream of owning a home a reality."

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