Affordable Housing Program Awardees

October 16, 2012

Contact: Eric Amig - (212) 441-6807
Brian Finnegan - (212) 441-6877

FHLBNY Awards $500,000 in Affordable Housing Grants in Albany

Two initiatives will create more than 30 affordable homes in Albany

Albany, New York – The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York announced today the award of a $350,000 grant to the Albany Housing Authority to help finance the Academy Lofts project, which will convert a school building into 22 residential lofts for very low-income households; and a $150,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity Capital District to help fund the Sheridan Hollow Redevelopment Project, which will construct 10 single-family homes for low- and very low-income households. Home Loan Bank members M&T Bank and First Niagara Bank submitted the applications for the funding.

“Affordable housing is the cornerstone to creating ladders of opportunity for low-income households to enter the middle class,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-21). “These are the sort of investments that allow us to reuse old buildings, improve quality of life and rebuild our urban centers.”

“As a community bank, we can help promote neighborhood development by finding additional ways to finance the construction and rehabilitation of safe and affordable housing. By partnering with the Federal Home Loan Bank, M&T Bank was able to bring additional financing to the Albany Housing Authority to develop 22 new housing units at the Academy Lofts here in Albany,” Michael T. Keegan, regional president for M&T Bank in Albany.

“The need for safe and affordable housing is more critical than ever, given the current economic environment,” said Peter Cosgrove, Upstate New York Regional President of First Niagara Bank. “First Niagara is proud to support our community in this impactful way.”

“Housing is a cornerstone of our economy, a key driver of economic development and job growth, and the foundation of strong families and vibrant communities,” said Alfred DelliBovi, president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. “The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is proud to support affordable housing initiatives across our region and beyond. We thank all of our partners – the local lenders, the housing groups and our elected officials – for their continued support of the Affordable Housing Program. When we strive to ensure that all have access to affordable housing, we strengthen the fabric of our society.”

Academy Lofts is an adaptive reuse project that consists of the conversion of a school building into 22 residential lofts which will be made available to very low-income households. The vacant school building, which was built in 1906, was a blight on Albany’s Arbor Hill Historic District and this project is supported by the City of Albany’s revitalization plan for the neighborhood. In addition to the residential units, space will also be converted into commercial work/performing space for a myriad of arts and cultural uses. The Affordable Housing Program subsidy will be used to partially finance construction costs. Additional financing will be provided by a Empire State Development Corp. RESTORE grant (construction and permanent financing), tax exempt bonds issued by the Auburn Industrial Development Authority, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the Division of Homes and Community Renewal, and Historic Tax Credits syndicated by Stratford Capital. M&T Bank submitted the application for this project.

The Sheridan Hollow Redevelopment Project is an affordable housing initiative which will eliminate blight and promote re-investment in an important and historically significant neighborhood in the City of Albany. This phase of the project involves the construction of 10 single-family homes. These homes will be sold to very low- and low-income families that will be required to commit to providing 350 hours of “sweat equity.” Prospective homeowner families must also have a need for adequate housing and the ability to repay an affordable mortgage. Habitat for Humanity Capital District also mandates that all prospective Habitat homebuyers complete pre-purchase counseling covering topics ranging from financial literacy and budgeting to home maintenance. The Affordable Housing Program subsidy will be used to partially finance construction of the homes. Other funding sources may include New York State Homes and Community Renewal and other corporate and philanthropic sponsors. First Niagara Bank submitted the application for this project.

The grants are part of $26.4 million in Affordable Housing Program subsidies that the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York will award as its 2012 AHP grant round. In total, these grants will help to finance 37 affordable housing initiatives which will create or preserve 2,679 units of affordable housing, including more than 2,000 units of very low-income housing, in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The Federal Home Loan Banks have distributed more than $4.6 billion in AHP funds since 1990. At the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, the AHP has supported 1,355 projects with nearly $450 million in grants, helping to create or preserve nearly 58,000 units of affordable housing and generating an estimated $8.1 billion in total development costs. For more information on today’s grants, please click here.

The Federal Home Loan Bank System’s Affordable Housing Program, created in 1989, provides member community lenders with direct subsidies, which are passed on to qualified households through a sponsoring local non-profit organization. AHP financing is combined with other funding sources to create housing for moderate-, low- and very-low-income families. Program awardees receive this funding through semi-annual competitive rounds. Each competing project must be sponsored by a financial organization that is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank in partnership with a community-based sponsoring organization.

M&T Bank
M&T is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.

About First Niagara
First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $35 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com.

Federal Home Loan Bank of New York
The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is a Congressionally chartered, wholesale Bank. It is part of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, a national wholesale banking network of 12 regional, stockholder-owned banks. The FHLB of New York currently serves more than 340 financial institutions in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The mission of the Federal Home Loan Banks is to support the efforts of local members to help provide financing for America’s homebuyers.

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This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. These statements may use forward-looking terms, such as "projected," "expects," "may," or their negatives or other variations on these terms. The Bank cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk or uncertainty and that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements or could affect the extent to which a particular objective, projection, estimate, or prediction is realized. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, regulatory and accounting rule adjustments or requirements, changes in interest rates, changes in projected business volumes, changes in prepayment speeds on mortgage assets, the cost of our funding, changes in our membership profile, the withdrawal of one or more large members, competitive pressures, shifts in demand for our products, and general economic conditions. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.