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Federal Home Loan Bank awards $703K to San Juan affordable housing complex

The El Zorzal Apartments has been included in a group of 46 affordable housing initiatives that will receive funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP), the stateside entity announced.

The 24-unit, one-bedroom apartments reserved for the homeless, physically challenged, or mentally challenged population will get $703,540, José R. González, president of the FHLBNY, said.

The project is sponsored by nonprofit Lucha Contra El Sida Inc. and is being financed through FHLBNY partner Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. The development and rehabilitation of the El Zorzal Apartments complex began in June 2019.

The local grant is part of a global $36.9 million allocation that the FHLBNY is making in 2020 to benefit 46 affordable housing initiatives across New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. that will create, rehabilitate or preserve 3,140 units, the FHLBNY stated in a press release.

“The pandemic has shown just how prevalent housing instability is, both in our region and across the country,” said González, who until recently was a member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico.

“The Affordable Housing Program has always served as a way for the FHLBNY and our members to join with our housing partners to create affordable housing opportunities that create stability for households and families,” he said.

“At the FHLBNY, we know the importance of creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities, and the value of having a safe and stable home. It is the foundation from which we grow as individuals, families and communities,” he said. “And in these communities, it is the local lender that drives these housing opportunities.”

The $36.9 million in grants represent a portion of the AHP funds that are drawn from the FHLBNY’s earnings. As mandated by Congress, the FHLBNY forgoes 10% of its earnings each year to support these neighborhood housing and economic development initiatives.

The AHP program provides members — local financial institutions — with direct subsidies which are passed on to income-qualified households through sponsoring local community-based organizations.

AHP financing is combined with other funding sources to create housing for moderate-, low- and very low-income households. Program awardees receive this funding through a competitive application process. Each competing project must be sponsored by a financial organization that is a member of the FHLBNY in partnership with a community-based sponsoring organization, the New York-based institution confirmed.

The AHP was created by Congress in 1989, and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks have awarded more than $6.6 billion in AHP funds between the first awards in 1990 and the 2019 round.

At the FHLBNY, the AHP has supported 1,928 projects with more than $820 million in grants, helping to create or preserve nearly 95,000 units of affordable housing and generating an estimated $15 billion in total development costs, it stated.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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