Affordable Housing Program

Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati

AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM (AHP)

Overview

The AHP was designed to help member institutions and housing associates (members) develop affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income families and individuals. This program provides direct grants and subsidized loans to assist members in meeting their community's affordable housing needs. Members partner with local housing organizations (project sponsors) to develop AHP projects.The Federal Home Loan Bank's overall goal in implementing the AHP is to increase housing opportunities and help improve the quality of housing and the quality of life in residential neighborhoods and communities.Additionally, the Federal Home Loan Bank works with members to achieve their Community Reinvestment objectives. Since 1990, the AHP has funded over $127 million in grants to help provide housing for more than 29,000 families.

Use of Funds

AHP funds are intended to assist members in financing the purchase, construction, and/or rehabilitation of single-family, rental, transitional and single-room housing in their community. Funds must be used to benefit households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area. AHP funds may be used to pay closing costs or down payments, to buy down principal amounts or interest rates, or any combination of the above. AHP funds may also be used to refinance an existing loan (provided that the equity proceeds are used for the development of AHP-eligible housing) or to assist with rehabilitation or construction costs. Homebuyer education and counseling costs also qualify, if the household purchases an AHP-assisted unit.

There are many advantages to using AHP grant funds to assist in meeting community housing needs. For instance, funds can be used to:

  • Finance Critical Housing. Affordable housing is in great demand. Many individuals and families who have good credit ratings are not able to accumulate the funds necessary to pay the down payment and closing costs associated with the purchase of a new home. Through the AHP, these families can receive assistance with both, thus enabling them to become homeowners while fostering relationships between the member and its customers.
     
  • Rehabilitate Existing Housing. Many homeowners, particularly those who are elderly and living on a fixed income, find themselves unable to afford the repair and maintenance of their home. Through the AHP, grant funds may be obtained to pay all or part of their rehabilitation costs.
     
  • Expand Affordable Rental Housing. Principal reductions or interest rate subsidies obtained through the AHP can substantially reduce the member's credit risk and increase their ability to initiate rental programs that otherwise would not meet cash flow projections and other underwriting criteria.
     
  • Satisfy CRA Requirements. Participation in the AHP can assist in satisfying CRA requirements and responsibilities.

Application Process

All Federal Home Loan Bank members are eligible to apply for AHP funds, which are allocated via a District-wide competition. Applications are accepted during two semi-annual application periods. Deadlines for application submission are April 15 and October 15 of each year.

Applications submitted for consideration in the program competition must meet minimum standards before they are eligible to be part of the scoring process. The project must be operationally feasible, and for multifamily projects, five-year income/expense projections must be submitted. These projections must include adequate reserves and an acceptable debt coverage ratio that demonstrates the need for AHP funds. Operating expenses must meet the Bank's feasibility guidelines. A 100-point scoring system is used to evaluate applications. Those achieving the highest scores will receive first priority for funding.

Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Project utilizes property that was donated or conveyed by the United States Government or any agency or instrumentality of the United States. Acceptable organizations include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Farmers' Home Administration, Veterans Administration, Federal National Mortgage Association, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or any other party.
     
  • Project finances the purchase, construction, and/or rehabilitation of housing which is sponsored by one of the following: any nonprofit organization; any state or political subdivision of any state; any state housing agency; any local housing authority; any Native American Tribe; any Alaskan Native Village; or the government entity for Native Hawaiian Home Lands.
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  • Project finances the purchase, construction, and/or rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes for very low- to moderate-income households or rental housing. At least 20 percent of the units will be occupied by and affordable for very low-income households.
     
  • Project provides permanent housing for the homeless, i.e. facilities providing transitional shelter with at least a six-month occupancy requirement in conjunction with counseling.
     
  • Project empowers urban or rural targeted-income households through employment, education, training, counseling, resident involvement or similar programs and services. These services are offered in conjunction with housing that meets critical urban or rural housing needs and assist residents in moving toward better economic opportunities.
     
  • Project leverages AHP dollars with other funding sources. The score is based on the amount of subsidy dollars required per unit.
     
  • A description of how the project promotes community stability and creates community revitalization to serve very low- to moderate-income households must be provided.
     
  • Each year the Bank establishes two additional scoring criteria, called District priorities, which reflect regional housing needs. Applications will be scored based on how well the project meets each of these. Please contact the Community Investment Department for the current District priorities.

All applicants will be required to show evidence of long-term retention (five years for owner-occupied projects and 15 years for rental projects). In addition, applicants must demonstrate compliance with Fair Housing Laws. The AHP funds are not federal funds but come from the earnings of the Federal Home Loan Bank. As a result, they may be used in conjunction with programs offered by other organizations.

Innovative use of other sources of funds to leverage AHP grants is highly encouraged, taking into account the size of the institution and the resources available to it. Some examples of such programs include:

  • The Federal Home Loan Bank's Community Investment Program (CIP)
     
  • HUD's Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)
     
  • Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs)
     
  • HOME/HOPE Programs
     
  • Mortgage Revenue Bond Program
     
  • HUD's Section 8 Program
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  • Low-income Housing Tax Credits
     
  • Loan programs of the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA)

Program Requirements

Project sponsors will be required to file status reports with the member until all program obligations have been met. For owner-occupied projects, sponsors must certify annually that households receiving AHP grant funds are eligible, and must maintain documentation to verify compliance. After completion of rental projects, sponsors must certify that services and activities have been provided and that tenant rents and incomes comply with the rent and targeting commitments outlined in the AHP application. Sponsors must also certify that the project is habitable and maintain documentation to verify compliance.

Similarly, members will also be required to file status reports with the Bank. For owner- occupied projects, each member must certify that AHP subsidies were used in accordance with the AHP application parameters and that all subsidized units meet the retention requirements. After completion of rental projects, members must certify that the project is habitable, that the project meets the income requirements, and that rents do not exceed the levels committed to in the AMP application.

In addition to the required reports and certifications, each member and sponsor receiving AHP grants will be monitored to insure full compliance with program objectives.

Each member and sponsor must appoint an officer to act as program coordinator. This person will be the primary contact with the Bank.

CONTACT INFORMATION
The Federal Home Loan Bank's Community Investment Department provides creative ideas, assistance, and applications for Housing & Economic Development Programs.

Tennessee is served by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati. They can be contacted by going to www.fhlbcin.com or for assistance, please contact W. Jeff Reynolds, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer, reynoldswj@fhlbcin.com.
(513) 852-7615 or toll free (888) 345-2246

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF CINCINNATI
Community Investment Department
221 East Fourth St.
1000 Atrium Two
Cincinnati, OH 45202

513-852-7615

For projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, you may contact the Community Investment Department at 800-362-2944 or visit http://www.fhlb.com.


FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF DALLAS
Community Investment Department
8500 Freeport Parkway South, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75063-2 547
P.O. Box 619026
Dallas, Texas 75261-9026
8OO-362-2944