In response to the severe and extensive damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and María, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (“FHLBNY”) has made $1 billion in disaster relief funding available to its members to help rebuild communities in FEMA-designated disaster areas in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and the Southeast.
The funds are being made available by the FHLBNY through its Community Lending Programs to be used as both immediate gap financing and longer-term funding to restore homes and businesses.
“Communities across our nation are suffering in the aftermath of the destruction wrought by three powerful storms,” said José R. González, president of the FHLBNY.
“In our district, Puerto Rico and the USVI are in the initial stages of recovering from unprecedented damage,” he said.
“As we have seen in past natural disasters, the local lender is key to relief and rebuilding efforts. The $1 billion in funding will help our members — these local lenders serving the affected communities — make a long-term, positive impact on recovery, relief and rebuilding efforts,” he said.
In addition to the disaster relief funding, the FHLBNY will donate $500,000 to charities in Puerto Rico and the USVI working on the ground to provide immediate relief.
This follows a pair of $1 million donations made by the Federal Home Loan Bank System: one for Hurricane Irma and María relief efforts, to be split evenly between Puerto Rico and the USVI, and Florida and the Southeast; and another one for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas.
In total, the FHLBNY will channel $1 million in donations to a number of Puerto Rico and USVI organizations, including the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Americares, Catholic Charities, United Way of Puerto Rico, All Hands and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
The $1 billion CLP commitment can be used for any residential lending activity for households whose incomes are at or below 115 percent of the area median income, as well as all small business and economic development lending in FEMA-designated disaster areas, and bridge financing.
These low-cost loans can be used by the FHLBNY’s member-lenders to support critical disaster relief financial activities, and meet the short-, medium-, and long-term funding needs of affected communities.