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PITTSBURGH-The board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh has approved approximately $8.9 million in grants to help finance 30 affordable housing projects in six states. The projects have an aggregate of 987 residences, including both rental and owner-occupied units, at a total development cost of more than $157 million.

The funding comes from FHLBank’s Affordable Housing Program, and it takes the locally based wholesale bank’s total 2007 AHP funding to nearly $18 million. The bank uses private capital, not taxpayer funds, and distributes the funds through its member financial institutions to community sponsors and developers.

Project beneficiaries in this round of funding are located in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Eight projects in Philadelphia alone will create 230 units. The largest among them is St. John Neumann Place, an 87,000-sf former school building, which is being renovated into 75 apartments for low-income seniors at a cost of approximately $17.2 million.

An AHP grant of $250,000 will be used to jump-start Country Club Apartments in Lancaster. It consists of 95 units of work force housing in 18 multifamily buildings. Small projects are also including in this round of funding. For example, Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity Queen Street Homes will use a grant of $80,000 to help buy and raze five condemned row houses and replace them with eight new ones.

Five projects in as many locations in West Virginia aggregate 42 units. One near Parkersburg will provide seven units for people transitioning from state mental health facilities. Another in Weston will provide eight transitional units for victims of domestic violence. This follows completion of the 54-unit Knollview Village in St. Albans, WV, which was completed with help from an FHLBank AHP grant in 2006.

John Rice, the bank’s president and CEO, says total funding from this FHLBank in calendar 2007 helped create 2,093 units of affordable housing within 61 projects. Congress created FHLBank of Pittsburgh in 1932. It is one of 12 FHLBanks, all cooperatively owned by member banks, with an initial goal of funding low-cost housing, The mission has since been expanded to include financing for business startup and expansion and other community and economic development needs.

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