Roosevelt Savings Bank is teaming with the government to help customers save for first-time home purchases.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is giving $400,000 to Roosevelt, a Garden City, N.Y., bank, as part of an incentive program for prospective mortgage borrowers. Roosevelt was chosen from among several banks that applied for the program. Home loan bank officials said the program will be expanded to all its New York members in the near future.

Participants must make regular deposits into a Roosevelt homebuyer's club account for at least six months. The bank, relying on Federal Home Loan Bank subsidies, will then triple the amount the customer saved, up to $4,000.

To qualify, borrowers' income must be 80% or less of the median family income in their community.

The program, which should bolster the bank's Community Reinvestment Act compliance efforts, is designed to expand the bank's reach in its community, Roosevelt chairman and chief executive John M. Tsimbinos said.

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