The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) kicked off its FHLBank System at 100: Focusing on the Future initiative with three listening sessions that wrapped up this week. Throughout these sessions, we appreciated hearing from a few FHLBank Chicago members and partners on how this has impacted their communities, and what FHLBank Chicago means to them.
"FHLBank Chicago assists Bay Bank with its mission to provide access to capital for Oneida Nation tribal members. We have increased home ownership among Native Americans as a result of our partnership with FHLBank Chicago, which has purchased almost 800 loans.”
— Jeff Bowman, Bay Bank
“In addition to the products and solutions, we rely heavily on the intellectual capital of the FHLBank Chicago professionals to help us manage our balance sheet and risk, and achieve our strategic objectives with our communities and customers.”
— Micah Bartlett, Town and Country Bank
“The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago is a critical part of our ability to finance residential mortgages and multifamily housing. Without the advance products available, it would be much more difficult for us to offer these mortgages to lower income or credit challenged borrowers.”
— Sean Rathjen, CEO of Consumers Credit Union
One of the experiences that we appreciate is the understanding of mission. Certainly the cornerstone is low- and moderate-income housing, and beyond that is a focus on community and economic development. If we are building houses in communities without economic opportunity and basic infrastructure, we know how far that goes, so we try to stay focused on a broader mission.”
— Dirk Meminger, Sauk Valley Bank
“The Federal Home Loan Bank has been a great partner to us and has provided access to very important, consistent funding that we have relied upon to support our efforts and that we redeployed largely into high-quality, mortgage-related assets.”
— Eric Johnson, CNO Financial Group
“The fact that Federal Home Loan Bank allocates 10% of its profit to community investment and AHP each year, a rare and unprecedented feature of the system, ensures the district will have access to a reliable resource for affordable housing. Other funders, members and community partners know this and rely on it.”
— Kristin Faust, Illinois Housing Development Authority
“The FHLBanks should serve as a model for how a government agency can work constructively with community banks. The ebbs and flows in advances are solid proof that the system is doing precisely what it was designed to do – to support members, the stability of the financial system and the broader economy for consumers.”
— David Schroeder, Community Bankers Association of Illinois
While the September 29, September 30, and October 4 listening sessions have concluded, we encourage you to share relevant details of your FHLBank Chicago experience with the FHFA. The FHFA extended their deadline, and you can provide written comments through October 31, 2022 to the FHFA on their website (under “provide input” please select FHLBank System at 100: Focusing on the Future topic) or mailed to:
Federal Housing Finance Agency
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
If you are providing comments to the FHFA, please send us a copy of your letter to us. In addition, you can find guidance on what will be most helpful to the FHFA’s review, some thought starters are listed below, and a comment letter toolkit is available here.
- Why is your institution a FHLBank member?
- Which FHLBank products and services does your institution use?
- How does your institutions’ usage benefit your customers and your community?