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Coalition project recognized

The Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless was one of six West Virginia agencies recognized by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito [R-WV-2] during a public policy briefing and presentation in Charleston on April 27, 2011.

The Coalition was recognized for a sucessful application to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Program (AHP), which will be used to assist in the rehabilitation of The Flats, a building in the East Wheeling neighborhood. Once complete, the renovated building will provide 18 permanent housing beds for homeless adults with a disability. As one of 308 member financial institutions in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, WesBanco of Wheeling assisted with the application.

“In today’s economic environment, an ample supply of affordable housing is more important than ever,” said Congresswoman Capito. “These six grants will provide lower-income individuals and families, including many with special needs, with the warm surroundings and sense of stability they need as they continue to build their economic self-sufficiency in trying times.”
“FHLBank Pittsburgh is again pleased to help improve the stock of affordable housing in the Mountain State,” said Winthrop Watson, the Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “Renters, first-time homebuyers, seniors and those with transitional needs will all benefit from the wide variety of projects that we are funding today. We especially thank First State Bank, Pendleton Community Bank, Pioneer Community Bank, United Bank and WesBanco Bank for their outstanding work in helping to make these projects a reality.”

“AHP takes the form of gap funding, meaning that many times, our grants provide the first or last funding that a sponsor needs to make their project happen,” explained John J. Bendel, director of Community Investment at FHLBank. “The AHP utilizes private funds in combination with other funding programs at the federal, state and local levels. This ongoing partnership helps create the total resources that project sponsors need.”

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 79 years ago to foster housing finance, serve a wide range of neighborhood needs. All AHP recipients must have incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

Nationally, the FHLBanks have awarded more than $4 billion in grants, while across its own district of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, FHLBank Pittsburgh has committed more than $200 million to the program and created a total of more than 35,000 affordable housing units to date.

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.

Announced in December, 2010, after an intensive application and review process, the FHLB program provided nearly $800,000 in funding to agencies across West Virginia. Created by Congress in 1989, AHP allows project sponsors - with assistance from FHLBank member financial institutions - to submit grant proposals to obtain gap funding for qualifying affordable housing projects serving low- to moderate-income individuals and families. These grant applications are scored competitively during one or more funding rounds each year, providing tens of millions of dollars in grants across FHLBank’s district to date.

FHLBank Pittsburgh is one of twelve FHLBanks nationwide. Congress created this national network of privately owned wholesale banks in 1932 to ensure available funding for mortgages. Today, as the only wholesale source of community-building funds for neighborhood banks, the FHLBanks fill a critical vacuum by providing liquidity for small business, community development, rural and agricultural loans — as well as home mortgage financing.

Each year, FHLBank Pittsburgh sets aside approximately 10 percent of its net income to fund the AHP. Low income is just one of many common denominators AHP-eligible individuals and families share. As a result, AHP funds are increasingly being channeled toward projects that provide special-needs populations — such as the mentally/physically disabled, frail elderly, persons with HIV/AIDS, persons recovering from drug/alcohol addiction or victims of domestic violence — with counseling, vocational and educational services, medical support and other forms of assistance, in addition to housing.

In addition to the Congresswoman, several other speakers discussed West Virginia’s economic forecast, highlighting current Federal policy debates involving banking and community/affordable housing development during the event, which took place at The Summit Conference Center in Charleston. They included Michelle Connor of Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity, Dr. George Hammond of the West Virginia Economic Outlook Project and Peter Knight of FHLBank Pittsburgh.

Projects Receiving FHLB Funding in 2010

Algoma Apartments
FHLBank Member: Pioneer Community Bank
Sponsor: SAFE Housing and Economic Development, Inc. (SHED)
Coalfield Housing
FHLBank Member: United Bank
Sponsor: Southern Appalachian Labor School

Fairmont Southside Home Rehab Program
FHLBank Member: United Bank
Sponsor: Fairmont Housing Authority
The Flats
FHLBank Member: WesBanco Bank
Sponsor: Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless

The Healing Place of Huntington
FHLBank Member: First State Bank
Sponsor: The Healing Place of Huntington
White Sulphur Springs AHP Project
FHLBank Member: Pendleton Community Bank
Sponsor: Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity