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August 14, 2023 A Message From the President

I have been honored to play a part in the management of your cooperative for nearly 39 years. As I announced in June, I plan to retire as president and CEO by no later than June 30, 2024.

Our board of directors has started the process of identifying a new leader, but my work at FHLBank Topeka isn’t yet complete. I look forward to continuing to serve you and the rest of our membership through my retirement date next year. That could be earlier than June 30 if the board’s search process is completed sooner. Stay tuned for any updates.

I hope to catch up with many of you at our upcoming regional meetings. I urge you to join me for one of these free events to learn more about your cooperative and what’s going on in the industry and economy. Registration closes today for Colorado’s session.

2023 Regional Meetings

Arrowhead Golf Course in Littleton 
Monday, Aug. 21 

Country Club of Lincoln 
Monday, Aug. 28 

Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan 
Thursday, Sept. 28 

Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City 
Wednesday, Oct. 4 

Register now on our website

FHLBank System at 100: Focusing on the Future 
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) wrapped up its review of the FHLBank System at the end of March. Thanks to many of our members who submitted comments to the FHFA in support of FHLBank Topeka. I appreciate the confidence and support you expressed in us and the products and services we provide as we partner to grow your communities. 

The FHFA has announced that it intends to issue the report on its review by September 30, 2023. The FHFA’s report will include recommendations that must be implemented through legislation, regulations or other actions. In the interim, we have seen numerous articles, op eds and other commentaries on the review. Some of these missives, primarily fueled by non-members or those who seek to gain by damaging the reputation of your cooperative, have included inaccuracies and unfounded speculation as to FHFA recommendations that will be part of its report. 

Our members as well as brokers, financial regulators, rating agencies and other participants in the financial markets understand the critical, foundational and stabilizing role played by the FHLBank System. That story will continue to be told, as it has during the FHFA review. We also know that it has always been and should continue to be Congress that determines the powers, authorities and mission of FHLBank System. As it routinely has over time, Congress will make appropriate adjustments, if any, to the FHLBank System it considers necessary to serve the broader financial system. Thus, the issuance of the FHFA’s report on its review will just be the beginning of the process. It is our simple desire that the process remain as fair, transparent and bi-partisan as it has in the past. 

As members of a privately capitalized cooperative representing one of the most successful public/private partnerships in existence, we hope you’ll stay engaged as the discussion continues. If you have any questions on the FHFA’s review, including articles being published or the FHFA’s report when issued, please reach out to me or Ryan Gilliland, Director of Government and Industry Relations. 

Liquidity Preparation 
Our Sales, Lending and Collateral teams have noticed some trends with our members this year with the turmoil in the financial markets. Many of our members are making sure they have adequate collateral in place at FHLBank Topeka in case they would need it in an emergency.   

We also have been working with members to subordinate assets to the Federal Reserve Bank and corporate credit unions to establish contingency funding arrangements, which are a prudent part of any member’s liquidity contingency plan. We strive to be our members’ funder of first choice whether during the normal course of business or an emergency but understand that a well-rounded liquidity contingency plan includes other sources. We’ve always been there when our members have needed liquidity over our 90 plus year history and do not anticipate that will change in the future.  

We have recently posted a few resources on the topic – including a recorded webinar and a Financial Intelligence white paper. Both resources offer steps you can take to make sure you are optimizing your collateral to be able to access the funding you need from FHLBank Topeka at a reasonable cost. 

View the recorded webinar session - Prepare for Future Funding Needs

Read the white paper – Set the Stage for your Liquidity Needs

Building Communities Together 
FHLBank Topeka and the other 10 Federal Home Loan Banks play a critical and important role in providing critical liquidity to our members. This liquidity supports vibrant communities by allowing our members to fund mortgages, small business loans and economic development projects.  

Providing liquidity to our members is the foundational mission of the FHLBank System. The System was created to provide a reliable and readily accessible flow of liquidity to its members. It is imperative that FHLBank Topeka serve as a reliable, stable and stabilizing source of funding for our members in all financial market conditions, whether in normal or challenging economic times. 

An additional benefit of your partnership with FHLBank is the ability to tap into housing and community development grants to grow your community. 

Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Competitive Round 
Our 2023 AHP competitive round application period is currently underway with this year’s round closing on Friday, Aug. 18. AHP can be used to support projects for low-income homeowners and renters alike.  

We’ve recently celebrated the opening of two AHP projects – Canyon Creek senior duplexes in Manhattan, Kansas, and The Commons supportive housing for veterans and unhoused individuals and families in Colorado Springs. You can read about both communities in the case studies on our website. 

Read more about recent AHP projects
Find out how you can participate in 2023

Homeownership Set-aside Program (HSP) 
Our HSP provides down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers who qualify in our district. The HSP opens each year in March. In addition to our original HSP that offers up to $7,500 per homebuyer, in 2023 we also debuted the high-cost area HSP with grants up to $15,000 for defined, high-cost counties. 

As of this morning, we have $145,056 remaining in the 2023 HSP and $510,000 in our High-Cost Area HSP. Visit our HSP page to learn more about the program.  

Native American Housing Initiatives (NAHI) Grants Program 
As part of our growing voluntary commitment to affordable housing and community development, we announced at least $1 million in grants for our new NAHI program supporting Native American tribes and tribally designated entities earlier this year. Applications closed in July.  

We received 13 applications requesting almost $6 million. We plan to announce successful applicants by Oct. 31. As an FHLBank with the largest percentage of Native American individuals in our district, we see this program as an important part of our outreach efforts. 

If you have questions about how to participate in our housing and community development programs, please contact our Housing and Community Development (HCD) staff at 866.571.8155. 

Corporate Social Responsibility Report 
Our foundational liquidity mission provides the funding to support our work through our HCD programs as well as other efforts we, along with the other FHLBanks, offer as strong corporate citizens. In June, we released our first System Corporate Social Responsibility Report.  

If you haven’t taken a look at the System report, you will see mentions of our partnership with members, such as through discounted Community Development Program advances and the Mortgage Partnership Finance® (MPF®) Program.  

We plan to release an FHLBank Topeka-specific report very soon. We look forward to sharing the stories of our common success in serving communities through our members in the Tenth District. 

I speak for everyone at FHLBank Topeka when I say that we value our partnership with each of our 670 members. Please reach out to me or anyone on our team with your questions.

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