Homeport is the largest developer of affordable housing in Central Ohio with more than 6,200 low- and moderate-income residents, half of whom are children. High quality partnerships help promote and provide stability and opportunity to our residents. Fifth Third Bank is the fifth in our partner profile series.
HOMEPORT: Can you tell us about Fifth Third Bank, its history? It seems long and significant.
FIFTH THIRD: Ohio-founded and headquartered Fifth Third Bank celebrated its 160th anniversary on June 17 and has worked hard to be the One Bank people most value and trust by improving lives and building stronger communities. Fifth Third takes pride in community involvement. In 1948, it became the first financial institution in the United States to establish a charitable foundation. Today, the Bank continues to invest the time, resources and people in their local communities. Within the past two years, our employees in Central Ohio have provided more than 7,500 employee volunteer service hours. Fifth Third is committed to making our local communities stronger.
In 2016, Fifth Third Bank made a five-year $30 billion community commitment to lend and invest in strategies to create healthy and sustainable communities across its service footprint of 10 states. The Bank has delivered $14.5 billion through the end of 2017 and $818 million in Central Ohio.
HOMEPORT: What is Fifth Third’s connection to the affordable housing industry?
FIFTH THIRD: One key component of Fifth Third’s Community Commitment is investing in affordable housing. Through our commitment and partnerships with agencies like Homeport, we are making homeownership a reality for many who never thought owning a home would be possible. Neighborhoods are being revitalized and small business owners are receiving access to the resources needed to help their businesses grow in local communities.
Fifth Third CDC has invested more than $3 billion into local communities since its inception. We have funded over 700 projects including affordable housing, commercial, retail, office and historic buildings and the creation and preservation of over 60,000 units of housing through equity investments. Fifth Third Bank has funded over $2 billion in community development loans which support affordable housing and economic development projects. In 2017, Fifth Third CDC invested $209 million to support local communities.
Regular interaction with community organizations and leaders is another way that we make a difference. Through partnerships with agencies like Homeport we provide investment dollars and employee service to assist in providing affordable housing, homebuyer’s education counseling and financial literacy programming to Homeport’s clients. Fifth Third’s Down Payment Assistance program is another way that we are committed to assisting individuals with achieving the dream of homeownership. Our Down Payment Assistance program offers 3 percent of the purchase price in down payment assistance, up to $3,600 for low-income borrowers, or those purchasing in a designated low-income area*.
*To be eligible for the down payment assistance of 3% of the home's purchase price, up to $3,600, the property must be in one of the following eligible states: MI, IN, IL, KY, TN, OH, WV, NC, GA, FL and either located in a low Income Census Tract or borrower must meet the low income limit threshold based on the qualifying income per FFIEC website. Down payment assistance may be taxable as income and reported to the IRS. Consult your tax advisor. Not available with all loan products
HOMEPORT: How does an organization like Homeport fit into Fifth Third’s mission?
FIFTH THIRD: One of the consistent themes that we hear is the need for affordable housing. Homeport’s mission is to create and preserve healthy, stable and affordable communities. This is important to Fifth Third's recent initiative to tackle the affordable housing shortage, especially in Central Ohio's hard hit neighborhoods.
Fifth Third provides direct support for Homeport’s homebuyer education programs including on-site programs, faith-based programs and Homeport’s 15 Lease Purchase Tax Credit Program. Fifth Third Bank Financial Center Managers and Membership Advantage Banking provide Empower U® financial literacy targeted to Homeport clients. Fifth Third employees also serve on Homeport’s Executive Board and other committees.
One of our recent initiatives is Milo-Grogan Homes. This affordable 33 single-family housing project is being built in partnership with Homeport, the City of Columbus and other financing sources. This project will allow families to rent these homes with the eventual goal of ownership. “Homeownership is a stabilizer of neighborhoods,” said Jordan A. Miller Jr., Regional Chairman of Fifth Third Bank, Central Ohio and who grew up in Milo-Grogan. “It’s especially important given the city's well-documented struggle with poverty.” Fifth Third’s total investment will support the building of homes, home renovation and commercial development. Fifth Third’s investment was provided through the Fifth Third CDC and the Strengthening Our Communities grant.
HOMEPORT: What does Fifth Third envision as its key characteristics, role and impact 10 years from now?
FIFTH THIRD: Over the next decade, Fifth Third will continue to focus on our key pillars which include financial stability, economic development, affordable housing, revitalization and stabilization. Another focus area is helping small business owners create and build sustainable businesses for the future.
We will continue empowering people at every stage of life, from fifth graders in our Young Bankers Club® learning money basics, to our e-bus that travels throughout our service regions providing adults with access to job search and training assistance, tax preparation and more.
Fifth Third will partner with agencies like Homeport to ensure that affordable housing remains a focus for Central Ohio. We will continue to listen to customers and inspire them with smart solutions that continually improve their lives and their communities.