Homebuyers


​The FHLB Chicago is a wholesale bank, or simply put, a bank for banks. Owned by its member financial institutions chartered in Illinois and Wisconsin, the FHLB Chicago provides access to low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. As a wholesale bank, we do not provide retail services, such as mortgages, to consumers.

The FHLB Chicago offers several grant programs to assist in creating and preserving affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for income-eligible families and individuals. These programs can be accessed through FHLB Chicago members and community based organizations that have partnered with members.
 

Downpayment Plus® (DPP®) 

Downpayment Plus (DPP) is a matching program that provides down payment and closing cost assistance for income-eligible homebuyers. Under the matching funds structure, members have the opportunity to serve even more homebuyers with DPP within the same member limit. ​FHLB Chicago members enrolled in the DPP Program may access grants of three time the homebuyer's contribution, up to $6,000 per household, on behalf of eligible homebuyers to whom they are providing first mortgages. The subsidy may be used for down payment and closing cost assistance, homebuyer counseling costs (up to $700), and/or eligible rehabilitation costs associated with the purchase of a home. The DPP grant will be provided by the member at the closing. 
 

Eligible Households

  • Total household income may not exceed 80% of the area median income (based on income guidelines published annually by HUD)
  • Homebuyer(s) must contribute at least $1,000 toward the home purchase. 
  • Homebuyer(s) must complete a pre-purchase homebuyer or homeowner counseling program, which provides a comprehensive financial literacy component including information alerting borrowers to practices characteristic of predatory lending.
  • Homebuyer(s) must use the home as their primary residence. 
  • Homebuyer(s) must sign a 5-year retention agreement and agree to a recorded retention agrement on the property for the amount of the DPP grant. DPP grants are forgiven over a period of 5 years (1/60th per full month). In the event of property sale or release of the AHP/DPP retention agreement prior to the end of the 5-year retention period, the homebuyer(s) must repay a pro rata of the grant. 
​​To find out if you are eligible for a DPP subsidy, contact a participating FHLB Chicago member in Illinois or Wisconsin.
 

Downpayment Plus Advantage® (DPP Advantage®)

The DPP Advantage Program is an offshoot of the FHLB Chicago's DPP Program. 
The program provides assistance to homebuyers receiving mortgage financing through a nonprofit organization, such as Habitat for Humanity or Neighborhood Housing Services. The nonprofit organization works with a FHLB Chicago member to access the DPP Advantage grant.

Like the DPP Program, FHLB Chicago members enrolled in the DPP Advantage Program may access grants of up to $6,000 per household on behalf of eligible homebuyers; however, it is not a matching program. The DPP Advantage grant may be used for down payment and closing cost assistance, homebuyer counseling costs (up to $700), and/or eligible rehabilitation costs associated with the purchase of a home. The grant will be provided by the member at the closing. To find out if you are eligible for a DPP Advantage grant, contact a participating FHLB Chicago member​ in Illinois or Wisconsin.
 

Eligible Households

  • Total household income may not exceed 80% of the area median income (based on income guidelines published annually by HUD)
  • First mortgage financing must be provided by a nonprofit organization that provides mortgage financing directly to the homebuyer.
  • Homebuyer(s) must complete a pre-purchase homebuyer or homeowner counseling program, which provides a comprehensive financial literacy component including information alerting borrowers to practices characteristic of predatory lending.
  • Homebuyer(s) must use the home as their primary residence.
  • Homebuyer(s) must sign a 5-year retention agreement and agree to a recorded retention agreement on the property for the amount of the DPP grant. DPP grants are forgiven over a period of 5 years (1/60th per month). In the event of property sale or release of the AHP/DPP retention agreement prior to the end of the 5-year retention period, the homebuyer must repay a pro rata portion of the grant.

 

For further information on the DPP Advantage Program, review the related information links above. Check with the nonprofit organization providing your mortgage financing to see if they have partnered with a FHLB Chicago member to participate in the DPP Advantage Program. 

 

Predatory Lending 

Predatory lending is abusive and/or illegal lending practices by lenders, mortgage brokers, home improvement contractors, realtors, or appraisers that take advantage of unsuspecting borrowers. Predatory lenders offer unfair loans that exploit a borrower's lack of knowledge or they handle borrowers with deception, fraud, or high pressure sales approaches. To find out more about predatory lending, review our Predatory Lending Brochure.
 
If you believe that you have been targeted by a predatory lender or that you have signed a predatory mortgage document, contact one of the following agencies:
 
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
www.idfpr.com
Division of Financial Institutions
Chicago (312) 814-2000
Springfield (217) 782-2831
Office of Banks and Real Estate
Chicago (877) 793-3470
 
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Madison (608) 261-9555 
 

Other Resources

Other resources that provide information about housing opportunities are:
 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers consumer information regarding homeownership assistance programs, rental and homebuying assistance programs and consumer workshops. They also offer a list of HUD approved housing counseling agencies.
 
Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is an independent and self-supporting authority that relies on federal and state funding sources to create and preserve affordable housing in Illinois. Their website offers information about its mortgage financing and down payment assistance for potential homeowners and a housing search tool to help users find affordable rental housing across the state of Illinois.
 
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is an independent public body that provides low-interest loans, not just to families in search of affordable housing, but to small- and medium-sized businesses, farmers, and assisted living projects. Their website offers information for homebuyers as well as a housing search tool to help users find affordable rental housing in Wisconsin.
 
Mortgage Bankers Association of America, a national membership association, offers homebuying tips, information about refinancing, detailed news on purchasing, owning and managing a home mortgage.
 
Contact your county or city housing authority for additional information about affordable rental housing in your community.