Using Home$tart to Increase Homeownership

last updated on Friday, January 13, 2017 in Affordable Housing

Member Profile

Opportunity Bank of Montana opened its doors in Helena in 1922. It became a state chartered bank in 2014 and has grown into a full-service community bank with three locations in Helena, as well as branches in Big Timber, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Hamilton, Livingston, Missoula and Townsend.


Opportunity Bank has experienced growth in loan demand and an increased need for affordable housing opportunities in the Montana communities that it serves. Because these communities are vital to its success, Opportunity Bank's mission is to assist families and individuals across the income spectrum. In an effort to meet loan demand, grow its mortgage business and help homeowners with down payment and closing cost assistance, Opportunity Bank turned to a trusted partner for the solution.


Opportunity Bank took advantage of the FHLB Des Moines Home$tart Program to meet the affordable housing needs of its community. In addition to receiving favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration, it leverages the program with other funding providers in the state to assist low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time homebuyers. To fund its short-term pipeline of loan originations before they are sold, Opportunity Bank utilizes FHLB Des Moines overnight advances. It also uses advances to compliment deposits to fund commercial and consumer lending growth on its balance sheet.


Opportunity Bank took advantage of $697,223 through the Home$tart program to assist more than 147 homeowners with down payment and closing cost assistance in the state Montana. In addition, over the past several quarters, Opportunity Bank has experienced a 25-30 percent overall growth in loan demand and, with the help of FHLB Des Moines advances, it was able to make more than 1,300 residential mortgage loans totaling $285 million.

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Home$tart Program
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  1. Community Investment Programs
  2. Home$tart