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March 13, 2024 A Message from Jeffrey Kuzbel By Jeffrey Kuzbel

I am pleased to deliver my first quarterly update after moving into the President and CEO role at the beginning of the year. My first few months have been filled with interactions with Congressional contacts, housing partners, FHLBank System colleagues, regulators and most importantly, many of our members. 

FHLBank Topeka is an amazing, purpose-driven organization – one I’m honored to lead. As we set our goals for 2024 and the future, one item at the top of my list is to foster an even stronger cooperative organization. To do this, I’m talking to our employees to determine how we can reduce friction for all members. I welcome your feedback as well on ways we can improve our processes, products, and delivery to better serve you. Feel free to respond to this message with your thoughts.  

As your cooperative partner, the strong financial results we released in our 2023 10-K earlier this week highlight our shared success. Our members have continued to see a strong return on their investment in the cooperative through an attractive dividend which has translated into lower dividend adjusted pricing for our advances and higher pricing for MPF loan purchases. The positive financial performance translates to more funding allocated to our affordable housing and community development efforts, which build and strengthen your communities across our four-state area.  

FHLBanks at 100 
As you most likely know, the FHLBanks at 100 review by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, our regulator, began in 2021. My predecessor Mark Yardley has shared information along the way, including commentary after the release of the FHFA report in November 2023. 

Since the report was released, we are continuing to evaluate the possible implications and embracing the opportunities the report could present. Our foundational mission is providing liquidity to members to support your communities and the dual mandate of affordable housing and community development. We see examples of how that liquidity makes a difference every day and encourage your continued engagement by telling the story of how FHLBank Topeka funding supports your community. 

If rulemaking occurs, we’ll be reaching out to ask for your support to share how your cooperative helps expand lending in your communities. We will work with your trade organizations as well, which are led by many of you. We appreciate your attention and continued engagement. If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out to me, your regional account manager or our Director of Government and Industry Relations Ryan Gilliland at ryan.gillliland@fhlbtopeka.com. 

Digital Transformation 
One of the ways we are already working toward reducing friction and enhancing member experiences is through our digital transformation initiative. On February 6, we released our new Master Transaction Agreement (MTA) for your review through Adobe Sign.  

The new MTA combines ten FHLBank agreements into one electronic document to give your institution the power to efficiently manage online authorization control through our Members Only website. Members have until May 3 to review the MTA with their board and sign digitally.  

Visit our landing page to see all the communications we have released in one place. This week, we also opened access on Members Only for your member administrators to authorize users to the new roles associated with the MTA.  

Please contact our Product Administration team at 800.809.2733 or FHLB_ProdAdmin@fhlbtopeka.com with your questions. Change is not easy, and we want to be there to support your efforts.   

Building Communities Together 
At the end of February when our operating highlights were released, we shared the amounts for our full suite of housing and community development programs. Collectively, more than $50 million in funding is available to support your communities in 2024. 

Our new suite of downpayment assistance programs, called TurnKey, supports not only the first-time homebuyers earning less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) under our traditional program, but also we have created our Homeownership Possibilities Expanded (HOPE) program that has an option to help the “missing middle” homeowners regardless of whether they’ve owned a home in the past who earn up to 150% of AMI. We have kept assistance for first-time homebuyers in high-cost areas but expanded the footprint to include difficult development areas to our newly minted Homeownership Set Aside Plus (HSP+). 

We’ve put together a short, animated video to explain the three TurnKey programs. Visit our TurnKey page to watch the video and find other resources to help you get started. The TurnKey programs opened March 4 with a total of $17 million in funding and will remain open until the end of November on a first-come, first-served basis. We look forward to seeing how FHLBank Topeka’s TurnKey programs, available only through FHLBank Topeka members, help you build your communities.  

We will open applications to our competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) in July with $29 million in grant funding available. The AHP has long been an important funding source for owner-occupied and rental projects. The AHP is one of the largest privately funded housing grant programs in the United States. As a member, we encourage you to partner with housing developers in your community to submit AHP grant applications for up to $1.5 million.  

We are also bringing back a new program that debuted in 2023. Our Native American Housing Initiatives (NAHI) Grants Program provides Native American tribes and tribally designated housing entities with access to grant funds to build communities supporting tribal members in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. In 2023, seven members partnered with us to fulfill $3 million in NAHI grants. In 2024, we expect to fund $3.6 million in requests. Applications open in June for our NAHI Program. 

Finally, our Community Development Program and Community Housing Program are special advance programs available year-round through a simple, non-competitive application process subject to collateral and credit considerations. The CDP helps members finance qualifying commercial loans, farm loans and economic development initiatives. The CHP helps finance qualifying owner-occupied and rental housing. Please contact our Housing and Community Development department at 866.571.8155 or HCDCSP@fhlbtopeka.com to inquire about participating in these special advance programs.  

Telling Our Collective Story at AMC 
Our largest member event, the Annual Management Conference, kicks off this April in Overland Park, Kansas. This year’s theme is focused on storytelling. I will be providing an update about your cooperative the first morning of the conference. Our AMC slate is full of storytellers – from economists to authors - who will share their insights with attendees. As always, our AMC is a great event. 

I speak on behalf of all FHLBank staff who attend by saying our favorite part of the AMC is the interactions we have with many of you. I hope you’ll be a part of this year’s story and join us April 17-19. Registration is available at www.fhlbtopeka.com/amc. 

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Jeffrey Kuzbel
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