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Guest blog from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York on its Affordable Housing Program

04.26.2018

The Federal Home Loan Bank Guest Blogs About the Affordable Housing Program Application

The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has long been focused on using its Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to help fund affordable and supportive housing projects serving low and very-low income individuals and families: the AHP has supported 1,530 projects with more than $580 million in grants, helping to create or preserve nearly 70,000 units of affordable and supportive housing.

In 2017, the Bank’s community investment staff conducted a thorough review of the AHP to determine how best to use the program to support initiatives addressing homelessness across the district, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Through a survey of programs at the other Federal Home Loan Banks, extensive outreach with community groups and other stakeholders in the district, and consultations with industry experts, the staff gained a better understanding of several unmet local housing needs.

In particular, the Bank focused its research in the area of supportive housing for special needs populations. Bank staff sought out community groups, as well as state funding agencies with a focus on supportive housing, to understand how financing these kinds of projects may be different and more difficult than those faced by typical AHP applicants.

The Bank concluded that supportive housing is an effective model that addresses homelessness. Going into 2018, the AHP scoring review will give extra points to projects that provide supportive housing services to a range of special needs populations including people with behavioral disabilities and the formerly incarcerated. This should make these projects more competitive in the application process.

Affordable Housing Program provides member-lenders with direct subsidies which are passed on to income-qualified households through sponsoring local community-based organizations.  AHP financing is combined with other funding sources to create housing for moderate-, low- and very low-income households.  Program awardees receive this funding through a competitive application process.  Each competing project must be sponsored by a financial organization that is a member of the Bank in partnership with a community-based sponsoring organization. 

The FHLBNY has just released it 2018 Affordable Housing Program application package, which can provide up to $40,000 per unit for competitive projects. To view a description of the application, click here; to view more details on the Network’s Funding Guide, click here; to view more details on our website click here.

The Bank is continuing its efforts to seek better ways to provide housing for other populations that are in need of both housing and supportive services. In particular, Bank staff are researching the best approaches for funding projects that provide housing for youth aging out of foster care as well as seeking better ways to support housing for the district’s aging population.

The Bank looks forward to working with the Supportive Housing Network of New York and its members as we continue our research efforts and endeavor to reduce homelessness in our district.

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