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Spanning the Region

Sunday, July 1, 2012

St. Louis Fed Introduces Quarterly Housing Market Conditions Report

The St. Louis Fed provides an updated overview of the Eighth District’s housing market with the debut of the Bank’s new quarterly Housing Market Conditions report. Using color-coded heat maps, the report provides a snapshot and analysis of housing market conditions of the U.S. as well as the seven states that comprise the St. Louis Fed’s Eighth District: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

(Note: While the Eighth District is comprised of the entire state of Arkansas and only parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, analysis is conducted on a statewide basis for each state’s respective report.)

Each report shows the percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages (90-plus days overdue, or in foreclosure) by zip code, as well as the percentage change that has occurred in those zip codes since the previous quarter. The report also lists the top 10 zip codes in each state with the highest levels of mortgage stress for the most current quarter, as well as a map of seriously delinquent mortgages across the U.S. on a county-by-county basis. To view the quarterly report, visit

HOPE of Kentucky

Thanks to HOPE (Housing Opportunities Entities) of Kentucky, banks located in the Bluegrass State have the opportunity to finance affordable housing. In the wake of the Great Recession and struggling economy over the last several years, many Americans can no longer afford to own their home or rent at market rate. Affordable rental units, financed with the assistance of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), are in greater demand now than ever before in recent history.

Established in 2011, HOPE is a consortium of Kentucky banks formed to pool funds to make permanent loans on affordable housing projects financed principally utilizing equity generated from the sale of LIHTCs allocated to the projects. The consortium allows banks to diversify and limit their credit and interest-rate risks by lending to multiple projects across the state. This approach also allows banks to participate in the highly technical affordable housing industry without the need to employ that expertise on their own staff. Capacity and opportunities to finance affordable housing in rural areas often challenge banks located in those markets, according to Billie Wade, HOPE’s executive director.

To become a member of HOPE, banks must complete a simple application and pay a one-time fee based on asset size. The consortium also asks the bank to pledge the total dollars they are willing to commit to lend over the next three-year time frame, which allows realistic coordination of projects.

HOPE currently consists of 13 banks with assets from less than one million to several billion dollars. The consortium’s goal is to recruit more banks from the western portion of the state. For more information, contact Billie Wade at 502-736-1285 or

ITEN Launches New Programs

The Information Technology Entrepreneur Network (ITEN) has added two new programs to its curricula: the Concept Development and Growth Acceleration programs. The Concept Development program is the new initial step in ITEN’s development process for entrepreneurs. It is ideal for participants at the earliest stage of creating a startup. All that is needed at this step is an idea. The course pairs the entrepreneur with an advisor to flesh out an initial idea with one-on-one attention. The advisor helps identify problems, brainstorms concept ideas, and prepares the entrepreneur for Business Model Validation, the next step in the process.

The Growth Acceleration program takes entrepreneurs who have successfully found investors and helps them with the building blocks necessary to form a business. Each Growth Acceleration venture is paired with one key mentor to help them manage rapid growth and connect with premier service providers, sources of talent, PR, additional investors and Fortune 1000 executives. To learn more about ITEN’s programs, visit

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