Fahe is Piloting an Innovative Program for First Responders

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Fahe is Piloting an Innovative Program for First Responders

JustChoice Lending, a division of Fahe, is collaborating with the City of Bloomington, Indiana to roll out an innovative program for first responders later this year.

In December 2024, the City of Bloomington, Indiana announced a new program designed to attract and retain up to 20 police officers and firefighters. The program will encourage them to establish deeper connections with the city they serve by living in city neighborhoods and will also support first responders in building wealth and stability over time.

“I think this is a game changer,” said Fahe’s Vice President of Single Family Lending, Janel Lawson. “Many employers are struggling to retain staff post COVID and first responders are extremely important to our communities… so why not find a solution to assist in retaining them in the community they serve?”

JustChoice Lending will accept applications for mortgages from Bloomington’s first responders and qualifying individuals will receive a secondary mortgage loan of $100,000. The City will pay $10,000 per year over ten years on behalf of sworn public safety officers to pay off the secondary mortgage.

Fahe’s Director of Investments, Chad McPherson explains how this program came about: “Fahe’s expertise in making and servicing subordinated mortgages, such as this, was key to making this deal happen. The City prepaid all expenses related to the program through a grant, giving Fahe the ability to test out the product at lower risk.”

This program will potentially be able to be replicated in the Appalachian region. “If successful, the Bloomington collaboration can serve as a model for our Appalachian communities to attract and retain first responders,” McPherson added. “The Fahe Membership would see a strengthening of their communities, and this can provide long-term benefits in the region.”

CDFI Friendly America, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to unlocking opportunities for people and places who are systematically under financed and excluded, introduced Fahe to the former mayor of Bloomington John Hamilton to get the program started. Bloomington Mayor Kerry Thomson is now helming the deployment of the program.

Read the press release here: https://bloomington.in.gov/news/2023/12/20/5828

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