CHICAGO -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago set aside $100 million in low-cost financing that member banks and thrifts may use to help flood victims in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Lenders in officially declared disaster areas may borrow money at interest rates barely above Treasury rates. The actual rate varies with the term of the loan, but it is set 5 basis points below the bank's special Community Investment Program, which makes loans at the bank's cost.

The funds will be available through January 1994, and terms are flexible, from one month to 20 years. The money may go to homeowners whose income does not exceed 115% of the area median, or to businesses in areas where a majority of households have incomes of 80% of the median or less.

The money can be used to help those waiting for insurance reimbursement for rehabilitation and repair loans, construction loans, and permanent mortgage financing. It can also be used to finance commercial projects which are in low-income and moderate-income neighborhoods, or which employ low-income and moderate-income people.

The briefs were compiled from staff and wire reports.

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