CINCINNATI—Fifth Third Bank, National Association, and Enterprise Community Partners today announced the launch of a $180 million neighborhood program to accelerate revitalization in nine key majority-Black communities across seven states that have experienced disinvestment. Over a three-year period, the program will focus on organizations that create cross-sector partnerships to serve the communities within Fifth Third’s retail banking footprint.
“This opportunity allows Fifth Third to invest in a unique way by taking a thoughtfully structured approach to solve real-world systemic issues,” said Greg Carmichael, Fifth Third chairman and CEO. “This program goes beyond infusing capital into neighborhoods. We are working to make a significant impact by targeting investments in specific areas, collaborating with communities and their leading organizations and driving change through tangible place-based methods.”
Fifth Third is collaborating with Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. Together, they managed a criteria-based, invitation-only application process to select nine majority-Black neighborhoods that have seen a sustained period of disinvestment. Enterprise will provide technical assistance to support each neighborhood in developing and implementing a plan tailored to the unique challenges it faces. Enterprise will then assist with assessing the plan’s effectiveness at improving the economic well-being of residents and small locally owned businesses. Among other solutions, the program will include investments in small businesses, homeownership and workforce development to create successful outcomes such as increased employment, economic stability and growth.
“The Fifth Third neighborhood program shows what is possible when we make intentional investments that center on Black life and legacy," said Priscilla Almodovar, president and chief executive officer of Enterprise Community Partners. "Enterprise is so excited to join Fifth Third and this group of committed neighborhood partners on an initiative that powerfully aligns with our goals as an organization: increase the housing supply, advance racial equity and build resilience and upward mobility."
“We are committed to providing strategic insight that will help establish an upward trajectory to create economic opportunities in communities that have historically had limited investment,” said Jada Grandy-Mock, Fifth Third’s chief corporate community and economic development officer. “Through the Neighborhood Investment Program, we’ll connect comprehensive assistance to build relationships within these communities, developing a foundation of equity to help eliminate racial disparities and level the playing field.”
Fifth Third intends to commit up to $20 million in lending, investments and philanthropic support, including grants from the Fifth Third Foundation, depending on each neighborhood’s aspirations, opportunities, and economic mobility plan. A combination of capital, products and services will be invested into small businesses, mortgages, philanthropic efforts, and neighborhood revitalization loans and investments.
The recipient neighborhoods and lead organizations that will drive each community’s efforts are:
- Avondale, Cincinnati, Ohio: Avondale Development Corp.
- South Chicago, Chicago, Illinois: Claretian Associates.
- Buckeye, Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.
- East Tampa, Tampa, Florida: Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc.
- Grove Park, Atlanta, Georgia: Grove Park Foundation.
- Arlington Woods, Indianapolis, Indiana: Jewell Human Services Corp.
- Historic West End, Charlotte, North Carolina: LISC.
- Near East Side, Columbus, Ohio: Partners Achieving Community Transformation.
- Russell, Louisville, Kentucky: Russell: A Place of Promise.
Organizations were invited based on their ability to meet specific criteria, including collaboration with the neighborhood’s Black residents, existing civic infrastructure in the neighborhood and the organization’s capacity to manage equitable investment and wealth-building opportunities. The program’s funds will cultivate investments and resources from additional stakeholders to support the economic mobility of low- to moderate-income residents in the target neighborhoods.
Angela Hurlock, executive director of Claretian Associates, said her organization will use the funds to initiate several segments of her organization’s “We’re STEEL Here: Working Together to Reinvigorate South Chicago” initiative. “This crucial, critical investment is going to close our funding gap and make this plan come to fruition. We are so excited to bond our local, regional and federal partners with our great national partners in Fifth Third and Enterprise and make this a healthy community of choice where people can thrive,” she said. The plan includes affordable housing, safe and accessible community spaces, workforce development programming and a revitalized business corridor. Bringing together a wide array of partners, the organization plans to use the neighborhood program’s investment to revitalize East 91st and 92nd streets to meet the residents’ needs for affordable housing, commercial and retail development, tourism and recreational activities.
Ernest Coney Jr., president and CEO of Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc., said his organization will use the dollars to limit gentrification in East Tampa, coordinating the work of two dozen cross-sector partners in six areas: affordable housing, commercial development, small business growth, homebuyer development, workforce development and asset growth. Plans include lending for home mortgages, small businesses and commercial properties, as well as the development of more than 300 affordable housing units and 100,000 square feet of new commercial space that can house entrepreneurs and small businesses. “The residents of East Tampa have been waiting and hoping for economic inclusion for a long time. The partnership with Fifth Third will allow us to significantly increase the economic mobility and redevelopment process in East Tampa, helping to bring unfilled dreams and aspirations to reality,” he said.
The Neighborhood Investment Program is part of Fifth Third’s $2.8 billion commitment that will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility and $40 million in philanthropy from the Fifth Third Foundation as part of Fifth Third’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The commitment is focused on four strategic pillars that directly impact customers and communities with targeted outcomes enabling Fifth Third to track progress and measure success in the areas of strategic investments, access to capital, financial inclusion and education, and social justice and advocacy. This program also aligns with Enterprise’s new strategic plan and three central goals: to increase housing supply, advance racial equity and build resilience and upward mobility.
“This is an opportunity to pioneer a new approach,” said Tim Spence, Fifth Third Bancorp president. “We believe this is truly an innovative initiative that will bring resources and expertise from across our banking teams to focus on building long-term, sustainable growth for each of these communities. Our aspiration is to help these neighborhoods create transformational and sustainable impact.”
To learn more about the Neighborhood Investment Program, please visit 53NeighborhoodInvest.org.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $44 billion and created 781,000 homes across all 50 states – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging. Join us at enterprisecommunity.org.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2021, the Company had $205 billion in assets and operates 1,096 full-service Banking Centers, and 2,369 Fifth Third branded ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2021, had $483 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $61 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.”
About the Fifth Third Foundation
Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first charitable foundations created by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthy causes in the areas of health and human services, education, community development and the arts in the states where Fifth Third Bank operates.