April 24, 2018
Disaster Relief Program Grants Introduced in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
In the second half of last year, in response to the devastation wrought by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, our team – at the request of the Board of Directors – developed a strategic framework for our disaster response efforts to ensure that we are best-positioned to work with our members to support relief and recovery efforts in any future disaster. This framework will allow us to more efficiently respond to disaster events in our District, focusing on the most effective forms of assistance and resources that we are able to provide.
And while the tools at our disposal include our Disaster Relief Loan Program – $1 billion of which we made available following these hurricanes, and which has provided support following past disasters, including Superstorm Sandy – our Community Lending Programs and even our Affordable Housing Program for more long-term recovery, we also created a pair of grant programs to respond to the specific needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
On March 19, we unveiled our Homeowner Recovery Grant and Small Business Recovery Grant programs. These programs, funded with $5 million approved by our Board, are administered by our Caribbean member institutions – the local lenders who know the needs of the communities as they continue to recover from last year’s storms.
These members are responsible for identifying grant recipients, and can partner with local non-profits as they do so, and will submit applications to the FHLBNY on behalf of these recipients. The Homeowner Recovery Grant Program provides up to $10,000 per household to owner-occupied single family primary residences in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with household income at or below 140 percent of the area median income; while the Small Business Recovery Grant Program provides up to $10,000 to small businesses located in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands that sustained damage as a result of the hurricanes. The grants must be used to cover the cost of temporary and/or permanent repairs to homes and small businesses damaged as a result of the September 2017 hurricanes. We believe that having our members administer these programs will allow for the funding to most effectively reach the affected communities, to the benefit of households and small businesses as they continue to recover and rebuild.
A Strong 2017 For the Federal Home Loan Bank System
Last month, we reported on the Federal Home Loan Bank System’s 2017 performance. On March 23, the Office of Finance issued the System’s 2017 Combined Financial Report. In another strong year for the System, our cooperative shined brightly: we were the largest of the eleven Federal Home Loan Banks in terms of both advances and assets balances, had the highest proportion of advances-to- assets, and the second-highest net income.
Overall, Federal Home Loan Bank System advances increased by 3.7 percent in 2017,
closing out the year with more than $730 billion in funding
flowing through communities across the nation.
Fostering Diversity & Inclusion
We take pride not only in our position within the Federal Home Loan Bank System with regards to advances and income, but also in our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion across our business, where our efforts have long positioned us as a leader among the Federal Home Loan Banks. Last month, we submitted our 2017 Diversity & Inclusion Annual Status Report to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, providing our regulator with a comprehensive account of the FHLBNY’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion throughout the year. Though FHFA regulations on diversity are relatively new, the ideals of mutual respect, teamwork, and serving the diverse communities in our district have always been at the core of our corporate culture and are the driving force behind our diversity and inclusion efforts. Our collaborative approach to diversity and inclusion – which concentrates not only on employment but also governance, procurement, our capital markets activities and our Affordable Housing and Community Lending programs – also helps facilitate and strengthen the relationships we have with our employees and business partners. We foster diversity and inclusion across our business because it creates value, has a positive impact to our bottom line and our culture, is aligned with our mission and, most importantly, because it is the right thing to do. The responsibility for ensuring that diversity and inclusion is part of the FHLBNY’s business activities is enterprise-wide, from our Board – which reviewed and approved our annual status report at its March 2018 meeting – to our management team to all of our business functions. As we stated in our submission to the FHFA: “It takes a diverse and inclusive effort to have a diverse and inclusive workplace.” In 2017, we succeeded in fostering diversity and inclusion across our business and our FHLBNY, and as we move through 2018, we continue this focus for the benefit of our cooperative.
We are also focused on providing our members with the tools and information needed to navigate through our operating environment. In this issue of the Member Advantage, we offer insight into the funding environment as we see it, as well as potential strategies for finding opportunities in the current market.
José R. González
President and Chief Executive Officer
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Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This report may contain 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 of 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.
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