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FHLBank Atlanta Gives $9.9M to First-time Home Buyers

The ""Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta"":http://www.fhlbatl.com (FHLBank Atlanta) announced last week that it will continue its initiatives to spur home purchases by providing potential homeowners with access to $9.9 million as part of its ""2009 First-time Homebuyer Program"":http://www.fhlbatl.com/ahponline/2009FHPAnnouncement.pdf (FHP).
FHLBank Atlanta offers the matching funds through its member financial institutions for the down payment and closing costs of eligible first-time home buyers in its district, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
By participating in FHP, the Atlanta bank's members can access up to $1 million annually and distribute matching FHP awards of up to $10,000 per household to eligible home buyers. According to FHLBank Atlanta, its member institutions will be able to access a wider customer base, originate new mortgages, and attract home buyers into the market as a result of the additional funding.
The FHP offering cycle opened April 1, 2009, and continues through Dec. 31, 2009 or until the available funds are disbursed. Funds are provided to member institutions on a first-come, first-served basis, and home buyer applicants must request the funds from their member institution.
Since the program's inception in 1997, FHLBank Atlanta has contributed more than $50 million to first-time home buyers, directly resulting in more than 8,000 families and individuals being able to purchase a home, the bank said. FHLBank Atlanta estimates that for every $1 of FHP funding awarded, $17 is generated in new mortgage business for its members.
Arthur Fleming, first vice president and director of community investment services at FHLBank Atlanta, commented, ""First-time home buyers are critical to stimulating much needed home sales in local markets. There has never been a better time for member financial institutions to participate in the First-time Homebuyer Program. FHP funds offer a very attractive incentive for first-time home buyers to work with FHLBank Atlanta lenders, representing a 'win-win' for both lender and home buyer.""
Individual participants receiving FHP funds must complete a home buyer counseling program that includes educational training on the home-buying process, including courses on budgeting, mortgage financing, lending laws, and homeownership fundamentals.
The Atlanta branch, with more than 1,200 member financial institutions itself, is one of 12 district banks in the ""Federal Home Loan Bank System"":http://www.fhlbanks.com, which since 1990 has contributed more than $3 billion to the nation's Affordable Housing Program.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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