The Chicago Treasurer’s Office invested $10 million in Albany Bank & Trust in an effort to build more affordable housing in the city’s North and Northwest neighborhoods.

According to Melissa Conyears-Ervin, city treasurer for the Chicago Tribune, giving money to community banks like Albank — the only such bank licensed to process city deposits — is the best way to ensure taxpayer money goes to areas that need it most. Way Report.

“We know community banks are more inclined to invest directly in our residents and our small business owners,” she told the outlet.

Deposits are especially timely given today’s tight lending environment. Rising interest rates and high construction costs have made it difficult for many developers to secure adequate financing for new projects.

With $700 million in assets, the majority of Albank’s loans are for affordable multifamily developments in 25 communities on the North and Northwest Sides.

“That’s our livelihood,” senior vice president Adam Steinbeck told the media. “Our lending is very focused on serving the community and economic development of low- and moderate-income residents. That’s what we do every day, and this is a great opportunity to do more.”

In Albany Park, nearly 16 percent of residents earn less than $25,000 a year, according to a 2022 Chicago Metropolitan Planning Authority report.

Conyears-Ervin wants more community banks in Chicago to handle deposits from the city, especially in the South and West, two areas that have historically been divested. Many community banks don’t apply for municipal approval, but she hopes Albank will make a splash.

— Quinn Donoghue

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