In 2022, the FHLBank Chicago Community Investment Advisory Council continued Deep Dive Discussions around topics of importance in the industry. These robust discussions between members of the CIAC, the Affordable Housing Committee of the Board of Directors, Bank leadership, and Community Investment staff ultimately informed FHLBank Chicago’s 2023 Targeted Community Lending Plan.
Discussion topics in 2022 focused on:
- The specialized housing needs of specific, underserved populations in our District, including permanent supportive housing, justice-involved housing, and housing for Native Americans. This CIAC discussion informed the Bank’s Community Investment outreach strategy and resulted in an expanded 2022-2023 outreach plan to reach identified communities.
- The housing and economic development challenges and opportunities in rural communities. The CIAC took part in the Board of Directors’ 2022 Cultural Exploration which focused on needs in rural areas. This experience highlighted the extreme lack of housing (both for-sale and rental) for low-moderate households, including workforce housing, in rural areas. Additional rural challenges identified were lack of access to healthcare, broadband availability, and structural challenges to building housing on tribal lands.
- The impact of climate change on affordable housing. Climate events have immediate impacts on existing housing as well as implications for the housing ecosystem of the future. Low- and moderate-income communities and households are disproportionately, adversely affected, and discussion revolved around how the Bank’s programs can support climate resilience in existing and future housing development.
- The increasing cost of affordable housing development. Affordable housing development is experiencing unprecedented financing challenges that began during the pandemic, but continue to persist. Increased construction costs, higher interest rates, labor shortages, and falling Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity pricing are all factors facing developers. Presentations from two member experts in the development finance field shared their perspectives on what FHLBank Chicago can do to assist the projects the Bank currently supports, as well as those that are in the development pipeline.