Member fosters community growth through Home$tart program

last updated on Monday, August 8, 2016 in Affordable Housing

FHLB Des Moines member Banner Bank, based in Walla Walla, Washington, manages Home$tart through their CRA Department and promotes the program by marketing it through real estate loan officers. Keeping those loan officers informed about the parameters and who qualifies for the program has been effective.

“Loan officers whose main focus is low-and-moderate income homebuyers and who do a lot of first-time homebuyer classes had those types of outreach, so they already have a pipeline of potential users of Home$tart,” said Tai Weber, a CRA service coordinator at Banner Bank.

Banner Bank has had good success with the Home$tart program. One key Home$tart user is Catholic Charities in Yakima, Washington. While they don't use Banner Bank for their loans, a close relationship with the bank provides Catholic Charities with the ability to utilize Home$tart for their self-help housing users and a pool of many first-time homebuyers.

Yakima also has a considerable farmworker population, traditionally fitting within the parameters of Home$tart, so they work with Catholic Charities to utilize the funds meaningfully in their communities. “That's worked really well for them,” Weber said.

Additionally, according to Weber, the FHLB Des Moines new online application process is “awesome,” which helped Banner Bank by creating checklists internally to get more efficient results.

Learn how your institution can benefit from using the Home$tart program.


  1. Community Investment Programs
  2. Home$tart
  3. Partnerships