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20th Anniversary of the Federal Home Loan Banks' Affordable Housing Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. MOORE of Kansas. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 20th anniversary of a program that has truly served this Nation well: the Federal Home Loan Banks' Affordable Housing Program, AHP. The AHP is funded by contributions of 10 percent of the Federal Home Loan Banks' net income. The AHP represents the largest, single source of private sector grants for housing and community development in the country targeted at underserved segments of the market. The Federal Home Loan Banks have distributed nearly $4 billion in AHP funds since the program's initiation in 1990.

* The AHP is a flexible source of grants and loans designed to help community-based lending institutions and their community partners develop affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income families and individuals. Applicants are encouraged to leverage their awards with other funding sources, including conventional loans, government-supported financing, tax-credit equity, foundation grants, and bond financing.

* The Federal Home Loan Banks' affordable housing funds are a significant driver of job growth, housing production, and expanded tax bases, according to a research study recently completed by The Hendrickson Company and The Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida. The study sought to quantify the ``ripple effect'' of AHP dollars in employment, broader development spending, and growth of municipal tax bases. By creating more jobs and building tax bases, as well as developing affordable housing, AHP funds are having a unique and very positive economic impact that goes far beyond the units AHP helps fund or the dollars AHP awards, researchers found.

* Created by Congress in 1932, the Federal Home Loan Banks are 12 regional banks, cooperatively owned and used by financial institutions serving America's communities to finance housing and economic development. More than 8,000 lenders are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, representing approximately 80 percent of America's insured lending institutions. The Federal Home Loan Banks and their members have been the largest and most reliable source of funding for community lending for nearly eight decades.

* As Congress turns to housing finance reform next year, I strongly encourage returning and new Members of Congress to consider the successes of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and seek to only build upon them in crafting a stronger, more stable housing finance system in the United States for generations to come.

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