Community First February Newsletter

  • February 1, 2021
Register for a 2021 AHP Learning Opportunity
It’s time to start planning for the 2021 Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The 2021 AHP Implementation Plan is available on our website. Our popular AHP workshops will be held as live webinars this year, as we continue working in a virtual environment. We will be offering three identical webinars, which will cover project eligibility, financial feasibility, and scoring. Potential AHP project sponsors, FHLBank Chicago member institutions, real estate developers, and consultants are encouraged to attend. Register here.

Additionally, those with previous AHP experience can register for our Experienced Users Webinar. This webinar will focus on significant changes for this year’s program. Register here. For those unable to attend, we will also be producing a series of recorded webinar presentations covering the same content, which will be available on our website in early March.

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. To participate, members must complete the Community Small Business Advance application and demonstrate the eligibility of the small business as outlined in the application. Email with questions and requests for technical assistance.

Community First® Award Nominations Due February 12
The annual Community First Awards recognize FHLBank Chicago members and local partners for their work in building and strengthening communities. Members may submit nominations in four categories – Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Emerging Leader – and awardees identify a nonprofit organization to receive $10,000. For more information on award categories and to submit a nomination, please read our recent bulletin and view the nomination form.

2021 Downpayment Plus® Programs are Open
The 2021 Downpayment Plus® (DPP®) and Downpayment Plus Advantage® (DPP Advantage®) programs opened January 19. To assist participating members, we have recorded two new DPP videos: one on completing the Household Member Questionnaire and another on completing the Income Calculation Workbook. Additional member resources are available on our website, including the DPP Program Guide and customizable marketing flyers. We encourage members to review these resources and share with colleagues involved in submitting DPP grant reservations.

Policy Corner: Community Support Program – Request for Public Comments
To maintain access to FHLBank long-term credit and Community Investment products, FHLBank members are required to submit a Community Support Statement (CSS) to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) every two years to document their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance and record of lending to first-time homebuyers. As part of the Community Support Program review, the FHFA accepts public comments, both positive and negative, concerning individual FHLBank members. Public comments may be submitted to the FHFA via email at between March 1 and March 31, 2021.

A list of FHLBank Chicago members subject to Community Support Program review will be available on our Community Support Statements webpage on March 1. If you have any questions, please email

Policy Corner: Changes to AHP Long-Term Monitoring
Effective January 1, 2021, FHLBank Chicago will no longer require member institutions with AHP projects in Long-Term Monitoring to assess whether these projects are suitable for occupancy based on an exterior visual inspection. This means members will no longer need to travel to visually inspect and certify the habitability of their projects. Please note initial visual inspections should still be completed for AHP projects at the time of Project Completion Reporting.

Advisory Council Spotlight: 2021 Advisory Council Leadership
FHLBank Chicago’s Community Investment Advisory Council recently selected its 2021 Chair and Vice Chair. Congratulations to Jackie Newman and Dave Porterfield on their re-election to serve in these roles, respectively. We look forward to their continued leadership!

Contact Us

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Casey Reidy 
Director, Communications

Heather Bockstruck
Assistant Director, Communications