Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski Unites Community and Bank Representatives For An Affordable Housing Tour and Discussion on Economic Development

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh

    HAZLETON, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressman Kanjorski spent time
 this morning with representatives from the Federal Home Loan Bank of
 Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and First Federal Bank of Hazleton, discussing economic
 development and touring St. Gabriel House, a former convent that was
 rehabilitated in 1999.  The renovation of the convent created twelve low-
 income housing units and office space for two nonprofit organizations.
     The project was assisted by a $135,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP)
 grant provided by the FHLBank and was designed to house the homeless, the
 disabled and single-parent families in the community.
     "Affordable housing is an important priority for me in Congress," said
 Congressman Kanjorski.  "I was pleased to see how well St. Gabriel House is
 doing since it opened in 1999."  The congressman has been a strong supporter
 of the FHLBank's Affordable Housing Program.
     "We are delighted to work with Congressman Kanjorski and applaud the
 leadership he provides both in northeastern Pennsylvania and in Congress,"
 said James D. Roy, president of the FHLBank.  "During the landmark revision of
 the nation's financial services law in 1999, Congressman Kanjorski led the
 effort to modernize the Federal Home Loan Banks to expand our primary housing
 focus to include economic development, on the idea that economic growth drives
 a demand for housing."
     The Housing Development Corporation of northeastern Pennsylvania, which
 sponsored the rehabilitation of the facility, was approved for an AHP grant
 from the FHLBank in March 1996.  First Federal Bank of Hazleton applied for
 and received the AHP funding on behalf of the project.  Additional sources of
 funding for the project came from the Home Program Loan of Luzerne County and
 Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
     The housing units include individual kitchens, bathrooms and bedroom
 facilities.  Initial housing applications came from residents in the community
 who were unable to afford their current rent or were homeless at the time.
 Applicants with incomes at or below 50 percent of median household income
 levels can apply to secure housing.  The Hazleton Housing Authority, through a
 special assistance program, provides a rental subsidy allowing tenants to
 contribute only 30 percent of their household income toward housing costs.
 Currently the house is at capacity with all twelve households being occupied.
     "We are very happy that Congressman Kanjorski has taken the time to visit
 St. Gabriel House.  This house is a product of years of planning by a diverse
 group of private and public partners," said Gene Brady, chairman of the board
 for the Housing Development Corporation.  "Their efforts and cooperation
 turned a vacant convent with a great deal of architectural history into a
 comfortable and affordable house for qualified Hazleton citizens."
     The FHLBank, with the encouragement and support of Congressman Kanjorski,
 recently opened an office in Wilkes-Barre to coordinate its affordable housing
 and economic development efforts in northeastern Pennsylvania.
     As an example of the difference it will make, the FHLBank has already
 approved $1.35 million in small business assistance for northeastern
 Pennsylvania through its new Banking On Business (BOB) program, which
 supplements local resources with regional assistance.  Banks are sometimes
 unable to lend money to small businesses that lack sufficient equity or cash
 flow.  BOB funds help to make these deals more bankable so that financial
 institutions will become more willing to make these loans.
     The funding is expected to leverage three to five times that amount -- a
 total of $3.9 million to $6.5 million in financing -- for small businesses in
 the region to start up or expand.  This is crucial for small businesses
 because they sometimes lack sufficient equity or cash flow to secure
 traditional loans without this kind of help.
     The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, with assets of more than
 $40 billion, serves nearly 360 financial institutions members in Delaware,
 Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and is one of twelve Federal Home Loan Banks.
 The FHLBanks are private cooperatively owned Banks that provide wholesale
 housing finance, community lending and correspondent banking services to
 member banks, savings institutions, credit unions and insurance companies.  In
 2000, the FHLBank of Pittsburgh awarded more than $14 million in affordable
 housing grants to qualified housing programs.
 
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SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh
    HAZLETON, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressman Kanjorski spent time
 this morning with representatives from the Federal Home Loan Bank of
 Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and First Federal Bank of Hazleton, discussing economic
 development and touring St. Gabriel House, a former convent that was
 rehabilitated in 1999.  The renovation of the convent created twelve low-
 income housing units and office space for two nonprofit organizations.
     The project was assisted by a $135,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP)
 grant provided by the FHLBank and was designed to house the homeless, the
 disabled and single-parent families in the community.
     "Affordable housing is an important priority for me in Congress," said
 Congressman Kanjorski.  "I was pleased to see how well St. Gabriel House is
 doing since it opened in 1999."  The congressman has been a strong supporter
 of the FHLBank's Affordable Housing Program.
     "We are delighted to work with Congressman Kanjorski and applaud the
 leadership he provides both in northeastern Pennsylvania and in Congress,"
 said James D. Roy, president of the FHLBank.  "During the landmark revision of
 the nation's financial services law in 1999, Congressman Kanjorski led the
 effort to modernize the Federal Home Loan Banks to expand our primary housing
 focus to include economic development, on the idea that economic growth drives
 a demand for housing."
     The Housing Development Corporation of northeastern Pennsylvania, which
 sponsored the rehabilitation of the facility, was approved for an AHP grant
 from the FHLBank in March 1996.  First Federal Bank of Hazleton applied for
 and received the AHP funding on behalf of the project.  Additional sources of
 funding for the project came from the Home Program Loan of Luzerne County and
 Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
     The housing units include individual kitchens, bathrooms and bedroom
 facilities.  Initial housing applications came from residents in the community
 who were unable to afford their current rent or were homeless at the time.
 Applicants with incomes at or below 50 percent of median household income
 levels can apply to secure housing.  The Hazleton Housing Authority, through a
 special assistance program, provides a rental subsidy allowing tenants to
 contribute only 30 percent of their household income toward housing costs.
 Currently the house is at capacity with all twelve households being occupied.
     "We are very happy that Congressman Kanjorski has taken the time to visit
 St. Gabriel House.  This house is a product of years of planning by a diverse
 group of private and public partners," said Gene Brady, chairman of the board
 for the Housing Development Corporation.  "Their efforts and cooperation
 turned a vacant convent with a great deal of architectural history into a
 comfortable and affordable house for qualified Hazleton citizens."
     The FHLBank, with the encouragement and support of Congressman Kanjorski,
 recently opened an office in Wilkes-Barre to coordinate its affordable housing
 and economic development efforts in northeastern Pennsylvania.
     As an example of the difference it will make, the FHLBank has already
 approved $1.35 million in small business assistance for northeastern
 Pennsylvania through its new Banking On Business (BOB) program, which
 supplements local resources with regional assistance.  Banks are sometimes
 unable to lend money to small businesses that lack sufficient equity or cash
 flow.  BOB funds help to make these deals more bankable so that financial
 institutions will become more willing to make these loans.
     The funding is expected to leverage three to five times that amount -- a
 total of $3.9 million to $6.5 million in financing -- for small businesses in
 the region to start up or expand.  This is crucial for small businesses
 because they sometimes lack sufficient equity or cash flow to secure
 traditional loans without this kind of help.
     The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, with assets of more than
 $40 billion, serves nearly 360 financial institutions members in Delaware,
 Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and is one of twelve Federal Home Loan Banks.
 The FHLBanks are private cooperatively owned Banks that provide wholesale
 housing finance, community lending and correspondent banking services to
 member banks, savings institutions, credit unions and insurance companies.  In
 2000, the FHLBank of Pittsburgh awarded more than $14 million in affordable
 housing grants to qualified housing programs.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X30948216
 
 SOURCE  Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh