Des Moines, Iowa (December 3, 2010) – Ms. Bo Thao-Urabe, director of BRIDGE (Building Responsive Infrastructure to Develop Global Equity) at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, was recently appointed to serve on the 15-member, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Affordable Housing Advisory Council.
Ms. Thao-Urabe will be responsible for advising the Bank on the housing and economic development needs for communities in a five state district. Her three-year term will begin on January 1, 2011.
As director of BRIDGE, Bo is responsible for development, implementation and evaluation of capacity and infrastructure building programs and strategies at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Her personal experience with low-income housing after immigrating from Laos helps her understand the important role affordable housing plays in an individual’s success.
Throughout her career Bo has worked on various aspects of low- and moderate-income housing and community investment, ranging from research to building community capacity. Prior to her current position, she was senior project manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis where she assessed trends related to Sharia financing, housing in refugee populations and community development trends in North Dakota.
Thao-Urabe currently sits on the Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota board. She also administers a grant making portfolio that funds several community organizations that focus on affordable housing.
As part of her role with the FHLB Des Moines Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Bo will help define priorities for the Bank’s Affordable Housing Program. Currently, the Bank targets Native American housing, supportive housing and homelessness as primary concerns for its five state district.
Started in 1990, the Affordable Housing Program is considered to be on the most effective affordable housing programs created by Congress. A key strength of these programs is the flexibility it provides FHLB Des Moines to adapt funds to communities across its district. AHP can be used for acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction. It is also used to supplement other sources of funding by filling in gaps, but requires no matching funds. In total, the Bank has committed over $200 million to create homes for nearly 40,000 people.