The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago) has partnered with local housing counseling agencies to facilitate expanded service to minority and low- and moderate-income homebuyers. The Community First® Housing Counseling Resource Program (Housing Counseling Resource Program) provides grants to agencies in Illinois and Wisconsin that support these programs.
Two FHLBank Chicago housing associates, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), are administering the Housing Counseling Resource Program on behalf of FHLBank Chicago. IHDA selected 21 beneficiary organizations throughout Illinois and WHEDA selected 9 beneficiary organizations across Wisconsin. Selected beneficiaries were awarded through a competitive process, and statewide coverage was a priority.
“IHDA and WHEDA are important partners doing excellent work to address the gaps that underserved households face when buying a home,” said Katie Naftzger, Vice President, Community Investment Officer, FHLBank Chicago. “Housing Counseling Agencies support financial coaching, credit readiness, lending, and real estate support.”
In parts of Illinois, purchasing a home is 36 percent less expensive than renting, and a homeowner’s net worth is expected to be 45 times greater than that of a renter, according to data from IHDA. Financial counseling and education are excellent options to rebuild credit, manage debt and establish savings.
Since 2020, IHDA’s homeownership programs have provided $2.1 billion in first mortgages and $110 million in down payment assistance to more than 14,000 new homebuyers throughout the state.
“Illinois working families face many obstacles to building household wealth to pass on to future generations,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “Through the Housing Counseling Resource Program, these 21 beneficiary organizations and agencies will be able to provide counseling to thousands of additional low- and moderate-income homebuyers. This counseling doesn’t just create homebuyers, it builds communities.”
WHEDA has helped more than 137,800 Wisconsin renters, first-time home buyers, non-first-time home buyers, eligible veterans and more achieve their dream of homeownership and finance their principal residence with a WHEDA loan.
“Learning to navigate the home buying process is an important early step to the benefits of homeownership because we know a safe, affordable place to live is foundational to prosperity,” said WHEDA Executive Director and CEO Elmer Moore, Jr. “We appreciate the support from the FHLBank Chicago which allows WHEDA to provide additional housing counseling resources to help more Wisconsinites get on the path to homeownership and build generational wealth for a brighter future.”
FHLBank Chicago committed over $3 million to each state agency, IHDA and WHEDA, over a three-year period. The 30 beneficiary organizations receiving FHLBank Chicago funds in 2022 are:
Illinois Recipients (Counties served):
- Chinese American Service League (Cook)
- Community Partners for Affordable Housing (Lake, Northern Cook)
- Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Illinois (McHenry, Lake, Kane)
- DuPage Homeownership Center dba H.O.M.E. DuPage Inc. (DuPage)
- Embarras River Basin Agency, Inc. (Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland)
- Far South CDC (Cook)
- Great Lakes Credit Union (Cook, Lake)
- Justine Petersen (Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Macoupin, Jersey)
- Lake County Housing Authority (Statewide)
- Navicore Solutions (Statewide)
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. (Cook)
- Northside Community Development Corporation (Cook)
- Northwest Side Housing Center (Cook)
- NW HomeStart, Inc. (Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Ogle, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Lee, DeKalb, LaSalle)
- Oak Park Regional Housing Center (Cook)
- Restoration America (Kane, McHenry, Lake)
- Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (Rock Island, Mercer, Whiteside, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Sangamon)
- South Suburban Housing Center (Cook, Will, Kankakee)
- Spanish Coalition for Housing (Cook)
- The Neighbor Project (DuPage, Kane, Kendall)
- The Resurrection Project (Cook)
Wisconsin Recipients (Counties served):
- ACTS Housing (Milwaukee, Beloit)
- Housing Resources, Inc. (Milwaukee)
- United Community Center (Milwaukee)
- Social Development Commission (Milwaukee)
- La Casa de Esperanza (Waukesha)
- Coulee Cap (La Crosse)
- Neighborhood Housing Services South West Wisconsin (Southwest WI Region)
- NeighborWorks Green Bay (Green Bay)
- Movin’ Out (Dane)