Wintrust to fund $40M in affordable loans for Habitat

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Wintrust Mortgage in Rosemont, Ill., has committed to funding $40 million in below-market fixed interest-rate loans in the Chicago area through a partnership with nonprofit Habitat for Humanity.

The Wintrust Financial Corp. subsidiary will be originating, processing, underwriting, funding and closing the loans with the aim of relieving Habitat for Humanity affiliates currently filling those roles of the compliance burden in the future.

Habitat affiliates have typically originated and serviced their own loans, but the Minneapolis region recently initiated a public-private partnership which the Wintrust model is based on. Some other affiliates of Habitat for Humanity also have begun considering the strategy.

Wintrust's program will start next month and fund 250 Habitat for Humanity homes. The loans will be made over the next few years to families that will spend a maximum of 30% of their income on housing.

"We've had a relationship with Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity for four years, so our employees have seen first-hand the impact the organization has on local families," said Wintrust Mortgage President and CEO David Hrobon in a press release.

"These added resources illustrate the value we put on the important work Habitat does," he said.

Other partnerships the Barrington Bank & Trust Co. division has had with Habitat in the past have included corporate sponsorship of an initiative in which local Habitat affiliates coordinate simultaneous efforts to construct new affordable homes throughout the region.

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