Community First February Newsletter

  • February 3, 2020
The February 2020 edition of the Community First Newsletter is now available. 
Click here to see the browser version.

0b-Project Spotlight Photo

Register for a 2020 AHP Learning Opportunity
Learn about the 2020 competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) at a complimentary workshop. Topics covered include eligibility, project feasibility, and scoring. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Potential AHP project sponsors, FHLBank Chicago member institutions, and development consultants are encouraged to attend.

2020 FHLBank Chicago AHP Workshop - hero newsletter

Register for a workshop.

Additionally, those with previous AHP experience can register for a webinar. These identical webinars focus on significant changes from 2019 to 2020. Register for a webinar.

CDFI Forum
On January 8 and 9, the FHLBank Chicago hosted the 2020 FHLBank CDFI Forum celebrating ten years of partnerships between the FHLBank System and community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Attendees from across the country gathered in Chicago to discuss CDFI membership in the FHLBank System and opportunities for collaboration.


Community Small Business Advance Available
FHLBank Chicago members can access the Community Small Business Advance with 0% financing to support small business lending in income-eligible communities throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. This product combines competitive pricing with support for local economies and community revitalization efforts. In order to qualify, members must complete the Community Small Business Advance application and demonstrate the eligibility of the small business as outlined in the application.


Downpayment Plus Programs Update
The 2020 Downpayment Plus (DPP®) and Downpayment Plus Advantage® (DPP Advantage®) programs opened on January 13 with an initial allocation of $5 million; additional allocations will be made. Participating members may reserve up to $420,000 in the general pool on a first-come, first-served basis to help their income-eligible borrowers with down payment and closing costs. Member resources are available on our website, including the DPP Program Guide, a recorded DPP webinar, and customizable marketing flyers to promote access to the program.


Disaster Relief Program Update
In October 2019, the FHLBank Chicago allocated $500,000 through its Community First Disaster-Relief Program to support members institutions and their communities affected by FEMA-declared disasters in Illinois and Wisconsin. Since the program closed on December 20, 2019, 53 grants have been awarded; 39 to support homeowners and 14 to support small businesses.


FHLBank Chicago In Your Community
Community Investment staff is available to attend groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, and grand openings for competitive AHP projects in your communities. If you have an upcoming event you'd like us to attend, please email

Community Revitalization Challenge
The Community Revitalization Challenge (CRC) is an initiative led by Housing Action Illinois that connects community-based organizations with financial institutions to design and implement potentially Community Reinvestment Act-eligible projects. These collaborations aim to expand access to affordable housing and promote economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents throughout Illinois. To learn more, visit the CRC webpage


Policy Corner
2020 AHP Announced
The FHLBank Chicago’s Board of Directors approved the 2020 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Implementation Plan (Plan). The Plan outlines requirements and guidelines applicable to the Downpayment Plus programs and the competitive AHP.

Appointments to the Community Investment Advisory Council 
The FHLBank Chicago’s Board of Directors recently appointed the following individuals to the Community Investment Advisory Council.
  • Joaquin J. Altoro, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
  • Kristin L. Faust, Illinois Housing Development Authority
Additionally, the following individuals were reappointed to the Community Investment Advisory Council for an additional term:
  • Tom Landgraf, Dimension Development LLC
  • Jackie L. Newman, Springfield Housing Authority
  • Valerie Johnson Renk, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County
Project Spotlight
8Twenty Park Phase I
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
AHP Award: $715,478
Member: Town Bank
Sponsor: Dane County Housing Authority
Photo courtesy of JT Klein Company

Upcoming Events

February 20 Home Buyers Round Table of Dane County's Lender's Down Payment Assistance Training
Madison, WI | Attending and Presenting
February 26-27 Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' Rural Community Economic Development Conference
Springfield, IL | Attending, Exhibiting, and Sponsoring
March 2-3 Illinois Housing Council's 2020 Affordable Housing Forum
Chicago, IL | Attending, Exhibiting, Speaking, and Sponsoring
March 4 Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago's Annual Awards Dinner
Chicago, IL ǀ Attending
March 9-12 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference
Denver, COǀ Attending
March 12 Layton Boulevard West Neighbors' Executive Breakfast
Milwaukee, WI ǀ Attending and Sponsoring
April 2 LISC Milwaukee's Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation
Milwaukee, WI | Attending and Sponsoring
April 23 LISC Chicago's Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards
Chicago, IL ǀ Attending, Judging, and Sponsoring

Contact Us

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Casey Reidy 
Director, Communications

Heather Bockstruck
Assistant Director, Communications