Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has announced that it had access to $160,000 of Affordable Housing Program (AHP), funds, through its membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. Blue Cross and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity have entered into an agreement to allow the charitable non profit to serve as the underwriter and administrator for grants that will be available to qualified first-time Minnesota homebuyers. A grant up to $5,000 can be awarded for down payment assistance and closing costs.
FHLBanks provide AHP funds typically to their member financial institutions who have their own mortgage loan programs. Blue Cross, as a result this collaboration with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity was structured, has become the FHLB Des Moines’ first health insurance company to have access to AHP funds.
Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs) are a system of 11 FHLBanks spread across the United States. Each FHLBank is a separate, government-chartered, member-owned corporation. Commercial banks, credit unions and insurance companies are all members of the FHLBank.
Each FHLBank has its own Affordable housing program and distributes AHP funding to finance the construction or renovation of owner-occupied homes for households with low or moderate incomes (incomes of 80 percent or lower of the median area income). Members can apply for AHP funding on behalf of non-profits, with their applications being evaluated according to a scoring system.
Blue Cross will distribute the funds equally between two FHLB programs that offer down payment assistance: HomeStart, and Native American Homeowner Initiative. FHLB Des Moines’ Affordable Housing Program was launched in 1990. Since then, it has provided more than $844 millions to 124,000 families and individual to afford housing.
More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, including the health plan’s commitment to racial and health equity, can be found at bluecrossmn.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility.
Visit tchabitat.org for more information on Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.