Letter From Our CEO

In 1932, a year marked by economic hardship for millions of Americans,  the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) were created by Congress to provide short-term liquidity and long-term funding to their members to help stabilize a battered mortgage market and steer our country out of  the Great Depression. As the FHLBank System approaches its centennial, we reflect on the strides made in service of U.S. homebuyers and renters, housing developers and small businesses, while focusing on how to meet and anticipate their liquidity needs going forward.

In November 2023, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its FHLBank System at 100: Focusing on the Future Report, detailing  recommendations to ensure FHLBanks are fit for the future. FHLBank Chicago has reviewed the recommendations and will continue to engage with  the FHFA, Congress, our Board, our members and key stakeholders in the year ahead to continue delivering on our mission for the next 100 yearsRead more >


Michael Ericson
President and CEO,
Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

2023 Impact at a Glance

Impact at a Glance for Web

Story Highlights From the Report

Affordable Housing Where Everyone Feels Included

In October, we were pleased to join our member IFF, a community development financial institution and nonprofit developer Movin’ Out, Inc. in Madison for the grand opening of the André Apartments. FHLBank Chicago awarded a $480,000 grant through our Affordable Housing Program General Fund in 2020 to close a funding gap for the construction of this new multi-family development. 

This special place is named in honor of André Brown, a community leader who passed away in 2022. André inspired the creation of Movin’ Out, Inc.—an organization established in 1995 to advance disability justice by co-creating safe, affordable, community-integrated homes—and became one of its longest serving employees. “We feel very strongly that community integrated housing that supports self determination is a civil rights issue for people with disabilities and we approach it through that lens,” said Kathryne Auerback, CEO, Movin’ Out, Inc. “Our partnership with FHLBank Chicago is really important to us because we could not do this kind of project without this additional funding source.”

The property features 38 affordable housing units, with nine specifically designated  for residents with disabilities, and an Early  Childhood Education (ECE) center operated by The Red Caboose on the ground floor. The Red Caboose, a nonprofit serving Madison families for more than 50 years, has been able to triple its enrollment and offer more comprehensive programming with this new facility. The ECE center includes flexible community rooms, a commercial kitchen, multiple classrooms and a nature-based playground.

This community-integrated housing provides more independence for residents with disabilities and fosters interactions with those without disabilities. Steven Salmon, an accomplished author with disabilities, spent eight years living in a group home after his mother passed away. He recognized the limitations of the group home environment on his lifestyle and aspired to have a home of his own that would allow him to fully immerse himself in his writing career. Now, Steven is a proud resident of the André Apartments.



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“The MPF Program benefits mean we can price loans competitively and pass savings on to our members. This is important because affordability is the biggest barrier to homeownership in our communities. And by pairing the MPF Program with FHLBank Chicago’s Downpayment Plus Programs, we can also help members with down payment and closing costs, which can do even more to prevent payment shock—especially for first-time homebuyers.”

Matt Gerber, Vice President, Mortgage Lending,
Royal Credit Union

Members Appreciate the Reliability and Value of MPF Program

Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wisconsin started in 1964 serving 100 Uniroyal Tire Company employees. Since then, they have grown to serve 300,000 members across Wisconsin and Minnesota and historically relied primarily on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as their sole secondary mortgage market outlets. That changed in 2022 when they recognized the need to diversify due to an acquisition that expanded their membership. As a long-time FHLBank Chicago member, they looked to us for solutions, and we helped them expand their usage of the MPF Program.

“Royal already had a solid relationship with our FHLBank Chicago representative,” said Matt Gerber, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, Royal Credit Union. “He’d witnessed our expansion, understood where we were and where we wanted to be, and knew the MPF Program presented a key opportunity for us, both at that time and for the future.”
Royal Credit Union now delivers over 50 percent of its saleable mortgages through the MPF Program. 


Historical woman-owned business modernizes and scales operations

Bay View Printing Co., a historical letterpress shop nestled in the heart of Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, serves as a welcoming space for community events, including letterpress workshops and popular Drink & Ink gatherings. When purchasing the business, owner Ashley Town faced challenges while trying to secure a loan as a woman with limited business experience. However, First Federal Bank of Wisconsin emerged as a steadfast ally, understanding Ashley’s vision and providing unwavering support throughout her journey.

The business achieved a significant milestone in 2023 by securing a $25,000 Community First Accelerate Grant for Small Business, thanks to First Federal Bank of Wisconsin’s membership with FHLBank Chicago. The Accelerate Grant was instrumental in fueling the shop’s growth and enhancing its role as a vibrant community space. The funding allowed Ashley to modernize her shop, update her equipment, and work toward expanding Bay View Printing Co’s retail line. Ashley’s dedication to preserving the shop’s historical legacy while embracing modern innovations has garnered admiration from both loyal customers and newcomers alike.

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Inspiring Change: Park Bank’s DEI Journey

We welcomed member representatives from Park Bank in Madison, Wisconsin to our 2022 DEI Open House as a way exchange ideas on fostering more inclusive cultures within our organizations. They left with tools and resources that they implemented to further support their associates and their community.

In 2023, we visited their offices and celebrated the formalization of their Associate Resource Groups.