Huntington, F.N.B. Striving to Diversify Homeownership

Both Huntington National Bank and F.N.B. Corp. on Tuesday announced initiatives to expand home ownership to diverse communities.

Huntington launched Huntington Home for Good, a new mortgage product designed to meet the needs of applicants from historically under-resourced communities.

“Huntington Bank’s Home for Good program is a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to providing equal economic opportunity and access to all,” said Brant Standridge, president of consumer and business banking at Huntington Bank. “We believe Home for Good will help provide equitable access to credit for people who may have encountered barriers to fulfilling their dreams of homeownership. Additionally, it creates an avenue of transferring wealth to succeeding generations, which is important to many consumers.”

The U.S. Census enumerates Black homeownership at 44.6% in the second quarter of 2021, compared with 74.2% for whites and 48.4% for Hispanics.

By modifying eligible credit criteria, expanding the use of alternative credit, lowering down payment requirements allowing higher debt-to-income limits compared to traditional affordable lending programs and providing more debt evaluation flexibility, the program is designed to help build generational wealth through homeownership in historically under-resourced communities.

The Huntington product will offer closing costs assistance to borrowers who qualify. Home for Good will be introduced in the city of Detroit and select markets in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Likewise, the F.N.B. Special Purpose Credit Program will expand access to credit in communities of color, promote homeownership and economic equality. It will be available to consumers in majority-minority neighborhoods throughout the F.N.B. footprint.

F.N.B. Homeownership Plus is committed to providing up to $3 million in closing costs assistance annually, allowing for down payments as low as 0%, requiring no private mortgage insurance, allowing flexibility in qualification standards and offering a solution for borrowers whose levels of existing debt or credit scores make them ineligible for conventional loans.

“For our communities to thrive, it is essential that we continue to provide banking resources that fit our customers’ wide range of needs, circumstances and backgrounds,” said Vincent J. Delie Jr, chairman, president and CEO of F.N.B. Corp. and First National Bank. “In addition to our long-standing proprietary affordable mortgage programs, our new special purpose program presents another avenue for F.N.B. to foster equal access to credit, which is a fundamental building block toward homeownership, wealth creation and financial stability for families and the neighborhoods they call home.”

F.N.B. remains one of a few banks nationwide to offer a special purpose home equity solution, F.N.B. Home Equity Plus, which helps borrowers monetize the money invested in their homes so they can finance other priorities.

This latest effort joins others by F.N.B. over the past two years, including a $2.5 million equity commitment to Black Tech Nation Ventures, which helps provide funding and resources for diverse entrepreneurs in the tech space, as well as $2 million in Equity Equivalent Investments to Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and Invest PGH programs, which support minority-owned businesses in two underserved communities.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.