Increased Funding Available for Downpayment Plus® Grant Program Puts Home Ownership in Reach for More Illinois and Wisconsin Home Buyers

  • March 26, 2024

To further support housing affordability, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago) is increasing the maximum per member limit available for its Downpayment Plus® (DPP®) grant program to $1 million per member. The increment represents a nearly 43% increase over the 2023 limit of $700,000. More than 200 member banks, credit unions and CDFIs, use the DPP program to provide down payment grant assistance to qualified home buyers.

The 2024 member limit increase is the latest in a series of program enhancements to provide more resources to home buyers through member financial institutions in Illinois and Wisconsin. After increasing the DPP grant amount last year to $10,000, continuing to offer the program year-round, and growing the Bank’s participating members in the program, FHLBank Chicago is now increasing the member maximum to allow members to provide even more grants to their communities.

“While the market continues to be difficult for many home buyers, FHLBank Chicago is ready to assist more members and more home buyers through Downpayment Plus,” said Katie Naftzger, Senior Vice President, Community Investment Officer, FHLBank Chicago. “We see growing demand for DPP grants throughout the year. As a housing leader, we want members to take advantage of this program to support home buyers in their communities.”

With an annual 2024 program budget of more than $31 million, DPP provides down payment assistance to support families and individuals earning up to 80% of the area median income who are purchasing a home. Eligible households may access grants of up to $10,000 through participating members of FHLBank Chicago that are providing their first mortgage financing.

“The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s mission has helped strengthen our community,” said Sandy DeMond, SVP, Director of Community Banking at Busey Bank. “We’ve been utilizing the Downpayment Plus Program since 2009, and since then we’ve been able to disperse over $7 million in funds to the community, to these homeowners, and over 1,200 families that have been assisted.”

More than 200 members, 40 of which were new users, disbursed DPP grants to homebuyers last year, and first-time homebuyers comprised 92% of DPP beneficiaries. In 2023 alone, DPP grants totaling over $33 million supported affordable homeownership for more than 3,500 households.

Learn more about the DPP grant program here

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