Turning Point, an emergency domestic violence shelter for women and their families in Mt. Clemens, MI., has expanded operations through significant fundraising and a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Talmer Bank and Trust, coupled with a commercial loan from the bank. While AHP was a new funding source for Turning Point and the first time Talmer had applied for AHP funding from the FHLBI, the Talmer Community Development staff has been a long-time user of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s AHP in previous banking relationships. The bank’s expansion into Michigan through the acquisition of several financial institutions has extended their lending footprint and philanthropic inclinations to the Detroit area, with their Michigan headquarters in Troy.
In recent years Michigan’s funding for local projects has declined markedly as large regional financial institutions that previously were active AHP users are no longer applying for grants due to mergers, charter consolidations or acquisitions, resulting in fewer Michigan awards. Since AHP’s inception in 1990 through 2013, dollars awarded to FHLBI’s Michigan members total $68.8 million, creating or preserving 10,323 units of housing.
Thomas P. FitzGibbon Jr., Talmer Bank and Trust’s Managing Director of Corporate and Community Development, said, “Doing the first AHP project is a bit of a learning curve for everyone. Our Community Development staff have successfully been awarded more than $11 million or 15 AHP grants through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, so we were happy to expand our use of the program in Michigan by sponsoring Turning Point’s AHP project. We want to make a difference in Michigan too.” FitzGibbon added, “Talmer was awarded a second AHP award of $499,000 on Sept. 27, 2013, for another Michigan non-profit, Community Housing Network, to further support affordable housing and special needs housing in southeastern Michigan.”
Hundreds of Turning Point supporters celebrated the grand opening of the new shelter in downtown Mt. Clemens. Sue Coats, President & CEO of Turning Point, said, “We have been planning this facility since 2007. We are very pleased and excited that our dream has come to fruition.” Residents moved into the new shelter in early October.
The expansion increases shelter capacity to 52 beds from 37. Thirteen rooms with private or adjoining bathrooms accomodate small or large families, families with teenage boys, and families with physical illnesses or handicaps needing a private room. David Berryman, Talmer’s Mortgage Operations Specialist and a Turning Point board member, talked with FitzGibbon about the project and Turning Point’s 30-year track record of serving women and children in Macomb County.
They determined it was a perfect candidate for AHP funding, and since it was Turning Point’s first AHP application, Talmer’s experience with AHP helped them put together a successful application. Angel Beltran, Talmer's Integration Project Manager, helped guide the Turning Point staff on the application process, while FHLBI staff provided additional technical assistance and support. "Talmer often worked on joint projects in Illinois, so working together with Turning Point and FHLBI was a natural and comfortable process," FitzGibbon noted.
FHLBI also assists affordable housing projects and other community economic development activities by making its lowest cost funding available to its members through Community Investment Program (CIP) advances. Talmer regularly uses CIP advances for funding a portion of its mortgage business serving households at 115% or less of the area median income and has used CIP advances for construction and permanent financing of AHP projects as well.