Harris Bank has launched an initiative to make $12 million in mortgages available to low- and moderate-income borrowers.

Harris, a $26 billion-asset subsidiary of Bank of Montreal, announced this week that it is working with the Illinois Housing Development Authority to lend primarily to borrowers in Chicago's West and South Side neighborhoods and in the suburbs of Maywood and Harvey. The $12 million in loans will be available for individuals to purchase one- to four-family homes at interest rates from 5% to 5.99% -- as much as 3 percentage points below market rates for similar mortgages.

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