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March 10, 2020 - Fifth Third Bank today presented a check for $15,000 to the Pathfinder Services HomeOwnership Center at the Pathfinder Services office, 1005 West Rudisill Blvd., Suite 301.The City's Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services is currently funding a Down Payment Assistance Program operated by Pathfinder Services.

Mayor Tom Henry, Pathfinder Services President and CEO John Niederman, and Fifth Third Regional President Kevin Hipskind took part in the check presentation.

Fifth Third is a top contributor to the HomeOwnership Center and committed the money to be used for counseling and education that is required for people who qualify for the Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program.

The Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program is a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne and Pathfinder Services to help Fort Wayne residents who are considering buying a home and qualify to receive down payment assistance.

“Pathfinder Services is paving the way for stronger communities throughout Northern Indiana with its dynamic housing and credit counseling services,” says Kevin Hipskind, Fifth Third Bank Regional President. “We are pleased to fund their meaningful work and look forward to continuing our support through grants as well as providing workshops on Fifth Third Bank’s enhanced Down Payment Assistance Program.”

“Pathfinder Services as an organization has a vision of strengthening the communities we serve through acceptance and inclusion of all people and to help them thrive,” says Pathfinder Services President and CEO John Niederman. “We are extremely grateful to Fifth Third for funding the essential counseling and education for home ownership, which is critical to improving communities.”

“Homeownership plays a critical role in building strong and vibrant neighborhoods, as well as stable families,” said Housing & Neighborhood Services Director Kelly Lundberg. “Homeownership can help residents reduce their monthly housing costs, build equity and benefit from tax breaks.”

Applicants with household income up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income may qualify for the program, which provides forgivable loans up to $8,000 to assist with down payment, closing and pre-paid costs. Recipients are not required to make payments on the loan as long as they live in the home as their primary residence and maintain homeowner’s insurance. Twenty percent of the loan amount is forgiven each full year of residency and is fully forgiven after five years of residency.

City of Fort Wayne residents may call Kristy Wall at 260-355-2517 to complete a prescreening and see if they qualify for the Down Payment Assistance program. Information and an online application are also available at www.pathfinderhomes.org. Language translation service is available by phone and in person.