The regulator for the home loan bank system Thursday proposed establishing affordable-housing goals for the banks akin to those that have long applied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The home loan banks currently devote 10% of their profits to affordable-housing grants under a 20-year-old policy that has steered about $3.7 billion to housing projects.

The proposed rule would require home loan banks that buy mortgages to adhere to certain new standards for a portion of their mortgage purchases.

Not all 12 home loan banks buy mortgages, and the proposed housing goals would apply only to those banks that buy more than $2.5 billion of mortgages in a given year.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie, Freddie and the home loan bank system, announced a 45-day comment period on its proposal, which was required under a 2008 housing law.

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