Community Spotlight


FHLBank Topeka's mission is to partner with our members to make a difference in communities throughout Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Here are four examples of our partnerships in action.

Cripple Creek, Colorado
Affordable Housing Program Grant


You hear a lot about young adults in the millennial generation not pursuing homeownership. Tristen Miller, a 22-year-old Coloradan, broke that mold.


Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Teller County, Tristen and her two young nieces moved into a new home in October 2015.


"Having this home provides us stability and peace of mind," she said. "It’s great to have a designated place to do homework and a good neighborhood for the girls to play in."


As part of the Habitat for Humanity project, Tristen not only purchased her own home, she also helped build it. She provided 300 hours of sweat equity to make her new home a reality.

One way Habitat for Humanity of Colorado supplements their funding pool for projects like Tristen's house is through help from FHLBank Topeka and its members. The Habitat for Humanity state organization was awarded a $400,000 Affordable Housing Program grant in 2012 through FirstBank, Lakewood, Colo.


"With over 20 years of history between us, FirstBank is proud to be associated with such a worthwhile organization like Habitat for Humanity," said Mark O’Connor, SVP, Director of Investments for FirstBank. "The Bank anticipates future projects where this partnership will continue for many years to come."



Baldwin City, Kansas
Affordable Housing Program Grant


“You have two years to meet accessibility standards” — These aren’t words a modest senior living community in a small town wants to hear.

Orchard Lane was built in the late ’70s in Baldwin City, Kan., and hadn’t seen extensive renovations since. Management found out they needed to make numerous changes in a short time to comply with ADA requirements.

Christie Waters, director of Orchard Lane, said she didn’t know how to finance the upgrades until a fellow apartment manager told her about the Affordable Housing Program.

“I had no idea where we’d come up with the funding to make the improvements,” she explained. “Without this (AHP) grant, there was no way we could complete the work.”
Orchard Lane turned to their local FHLBank Topeka member, Mid-America Bank, which was more than happy to help.

“Mid-America Bank was pleased to sponsor Orchard Lane’s AHP application,” said Dave Hill, president of Mid-America Bank. “The changes made as a result of the grant increased the occupancy level of the development as well as the comfort and happiness of the residents.”

The $400,000 grant transformed not just the dark, dated apartments but also helped with needed improvements to outdoor space and common areas, as well. Other upgrades include new flooring, new exterior doors, new washers and dryers in the laundry room, an updated fire alarm system and new guttering and eaves.

“We have a newly paved parking lot and patio and an accessible kitchen in our community room,” Christine said. “The renovations changed the whole environment to a fresh, happy place. Our residents love it.”


Columbus, Nebraska

Homeownership Set-aside Program

Justin and Krista Moon knew they wanted more children, but the two-bedroom home they rented wasn’t fit for their growing family. Without the other knowing, both Justin and Krista began to casually search for a new home online. 

When they discussed starting to look for a house, they were surprised that they both already had a favorite – the same 1930s Craftsman-style home with a practical layout and architectural appeal. They then contacted a realtor to see the home in person.

“We got pre-approved with no money down to see what the monthly payments would be,” said Krista. “It resulted in a monthly payment that we wouldn’t be able to afford."

Luckily, Justin and Krista’s realtor helped connect them with Hollie Olk at Pinnacle Bank. She helped find the best financing options and applied for a Homeownership Set-aside Program grant through FHLBank Topeka. Pinnacle Bank, an FHLBank Topeka member since 1992, helped 25 new homebuyers through the HSP in 2016.


The $5,000 down payment helped bring the Moon family’s monthly payment to an amount they could afford, and they moved into their new home this summer. The move came just in time – Krista is expecting their third child later this year.


Lincoln, Nebraska

Discounted Advance Program

After a debilitating car accident, professional skateboarder Billy Moyle suffered a broken vertebrae and partially severed spine. Billy found a rehabilitation program in Lincoln, Neb., but needed somewhere to live nearby. Prairie Crossing Apartments, right across the street from his rehabilitation center, was the perfect solution.

“Rehabilitation is my life right now. It’s everything to me,” he said. “Having this affordable apartment that is wheelchair accessible helps me focus on getting better.”


Prairie Crossing is a 76-unit apartment and townhouse development managed by the Lincoln Housing Authority. It is open to Lincoln residents with low incomes and includes several wheelchair-accessible apartments.The project was financed by West Gate Bank, Lincoln, with help from a $2 million discounted Community Housing Program advance through FHLBank Topeka.


“With this and other projects in low-income areas," said Carl Sjulin, West Gate Bank’s president, "FHLBank’s special funding is one of the key parts of our success.”


Yukon, Oklahoma

Homeownership Set-aside Program


Ann Hauenstein, an interior designer in Oklahoma City, wanted to purchase a home before her upcoming wedding. As a new homeowner, the downpayment was daunting. That’s where The First State Bank, Oklahoma City, Okla., stepped in to help with the support of FHLBank Topeka’s Homeownership Set-aside Program.


“Without that grant, we would not have been able to purchase this home,” Ann said. “It has opened up so many other things we can do now. We finally feel like we’ve put down some roots.”


The First State Bank was able to offer Ann a $7,500 HSP grant to help with her downpayment on a new home in Yukon, Okla. Matt Brown, VP of mortgage lending for The First State Bank, worked with Ann on her mortgage and presented the opportunity for an HSP grant.


“We don’t take the responsibility of helping our customers lightly. We know it’s a huge milestone for them to acquire their first home,” Matt explained. “The Homeownership Set-aside Program gets buyers into homes when they are almost there. It helps them achieve their goal.”

The First State Bank, an FHLBank Topeka member since 2006, helped 43 new homebuyers through the HSP in 2014. They were able to help so many in the Oklahoma City area due to a change to the program that expanded grant opportunities to urban areas. Previously only rural first-time homebuyers had been able to participate in the HSP.


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