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Spanning the Region

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

IFF To Open Office in Missouri in January

IFF announced that it will open a St. Louis office to house its Missouri lending operation in January 2008. Kirby Burkholder will serve as the office director in Missouri.

IFF is a community development financial institution that serves nonprofit credit needs in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin. It provides nonprofits with loans and facilities planning and development. IFF loans are used to acquire, expand and maintain community facilities, affordable housing, and other physical infrastructure.

With assets of more than $100 million, IFF has 539 loans totaling $157 million that have leveraged more than $360 million in new capital for nonprofits through June 2007.

Illinois Doubles Funding for Home Modification Program

Beginning in early 2008, the Illinois Housing Development Authority will make $2.3 million available to senior residents and people with disabilities for home modifications that address accessibility or health and safety concerns.

Eligible households can receive a maximum of between $15,000 to $25,000 as a five-year forgivable loan.

Twelve nonprofit and public agencies around the state will administer the program. Four entities in the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District will receive grants: St. Clair County, $150,000; Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council, $165,000; BCMW Community Services, $180,000; and Wabash Area Development Inc., $150,000.

To qualify for the program, a person must be an Illinois resident with a household income of less than 50 percent of the median income, based on household size and the area where the resident lives. Qualified individuals also must be referred to the program through the Department of Aging or the Department of Human Services.

p>For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Aging Help Line at 1-800-252-8966 or the Department of Human Services at 1-800-447-6404. Information also is available online at, or


Louisville Scholar House Focuses on Unemployed

Kentucky Housing Corp., the state’s housing finance agency, held a ground-breaking ceremony recently for Louisville Scholar House.

This new initiative is designed to help unemployed and underemployed Kentuckians pursue higher education and become self-sufficient. The goal is to remove barriers to higher education and employment by providing housing, child care and educational services.

Louisville Scholar House will have a child development center that will be operated in partnership with the University of Louisville and Project Women, a nonprofit organization.

Scholar House participants will attend workshops on topics such as health maintenance, parenting skills and job-search techniques, in addition to academic or vocational classes.

All services are free as long as the participant is a full-time student and meets the eligibility requirements for the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Housing units will be available to single parents, as well as married couples, with or without children.

Louisville Scholar House is one of four such developments planned around the state. The other sites are in Owensboro, Bowling Green and Morehead.

For more information, contact Tammy Stansbury with Kentucky Housing Corp. at 1-800-633-8896 or 502-564-7630, ext. 411, or e-mail


Kentucky Joins Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System

Beginning Jan. 2, 2008, the Kentucky Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) will join several other states as participants in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. The system is a pilot program developed by state regulators through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators.

The web-based licensing system will allow state-licensed mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers to apply for, amend or renew a license online. The goal of the new system is to streamline the licensing process for both regulators and the mortgage industry by using a national online system and a single set of uniform forms.

All companies that currently hold a license with OFI will need to complete a two-part process to get set up on the system.

For information, visit and click the “Mortgage Lending” tab. OFI has scheduled additional training and resources for licensees on using the system. Updates will be posted on OFI’s web site,

Missouri Gives Tax Credits for Matched-Savings Program

A new Missouri law allows some organizations to receive tax credits for projects developed under the Family Development Account program.

Community-based, religious or charitable organizations formed under Chapter 352, RSMo, or any nonprofit corporation formed under Chapter 355, RSMo, are eligible for the tax credits.

The Family Development Account program is a community building initiative that guides low-income Missourians to self-sufficiency through asset development. Organizations approved to administer a Family Development Account project recruit low-income Missourians to participate in a matched savings program. Participants may use their savings to help pay for job training; purchase of a primary residence; major repairs or improvements to a primary residence; education at an accredited institution of higher learning; or start-up capitalization of a small business.

For more information, contact the Missouri Department of Economic Development at 573-751-4539 or e-mail

Arkansans Can Dial 2-1-1 for Community Services

In February, Arkansas will become the 17th state to offer 2-1-1 services statewide. The easy-to-remember phone number connects individuals with community-based and government resources in their community.

Callers can find information about rent assistance, food banks, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, elderly care, financial literacy and job-training programs.

The 2-1-1 service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A collaboration of United Way organizations, businesses, government and service agencies offered direction for the statewide initiative. Funding for the program comes from both private and public sources.

For more information, visit

Other states in the Bank’s Eighth District that offer the 2-1-1 service are Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.