Support for Affordable Housing Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was established by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and is responsible for the supervision, regulation, and housing mission oversight of the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks, FHL Bank System), the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). FHFA's mission is to ensure that these regulated entities operate in a safe and sound manner so that they serve as a reliable source of liquidity and funding for housing finance. Since 2008, FHFA has also served as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The FHLBanks support a range of low-income housing and community development activities through three programs: the Affordable Housing Program (AHP), the Community Investment Program (CIP), and the Community Investme nt Cash Advance Program (CICA). Under these programs, the FHLBanks provide loans (referred to as advances) and grants to their members, and their members then use these funds to benefit very low - and low - or moderate - income households and communities.

The FHLBanks awarded approximately $322 million in total AHP funds in 2015, helping over 36,000 low - or moderate - income households including about 20,000 very low-income households. Through the CIP, the FHLBanks also funded approximately $3.2 billion in targeted housing and economic development advances in 2015, an increase of over 33 percent from 2014. The program assisted almost 39,000 housing units. The FHLBank's CICA funding, which supports targeted economic development, was about $4 billion in 2015, approximately 48 percent higher than in 2014.

The FHL Banks also support low-income housing and community development through other activities, including their non-depository Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) memberships

At the end of 2015, 41 non-depository CDFIs were FHLBank members, and they had outstanding advances of approximately $114.5 million. Additionally, each FHLBank is subject to housing goals if its Acquired Member Assets (AMA) purchases exceed an annual volume threshold of $2.5 billion. While one FHLB ank exceeded this level in 2015 and FHFA is evaluating whether that FHLBank met the housing goals for 2015, regardless of that FHLBank's performance against the goals, FHFA will not require it to take any remedial steps because FHFA is in the process of reviewing and possibly updating the regulation.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency

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Caroline Diehl is a serial social entrepreneur in the impact media space. She is Executive Chair and Founder of the UK’s only charitable and co-operatively owned national broadcast television channel Together TV, the leading broadcaster for social change runs a national TV channel in the UK and digital platform which helps people find inspiration to do good in their lives and communities.