The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) and First Merchants Bank (FMB) have agreed to expand lending opportunities in majority-Black census tracts and neighborhoods throughout Marion County, Indiana. Relman, Dane & Colfax represented the FHCCI in the matter. 

Key features of the agreement include subsidies for loans in majority-black census tracts that are expected to result in $20-$30 million in mortgage loans over the next three years, up to $4 million in loans to support development of affordable multifamily housing in majority black census tracts, and support for a new fair lending educational and literacy program by the FHCCI.

FMB will also open a new loan production office in Marion County and a new full-service banking center in a majority black census tract in the county in the next year under the Agreement.   

The initiatives are reflected in an agreement between the FHCCI and FMB and will be implemented over three years. They include:  

  • A new full-service banking center by FMB located in one of Marion County’s majority-black census tracts as well as a new loan production office to be located in Marion County.
  • $1.12 million in loan subsidy funds to borrowers in the County’s majority-black census tracts, for assistance in down payments and closing costs (maximum subsidy of $7,500 per loan). This contribution is expected to result in $20 to $30 million in new mortgage loan originations in Marion County majority-black census tracts.
  • FMB will continue its Next Horizon Loan Program – with features designed to increase home ownership in majority-minority census tracts in Marion County – and a goal to originate a minimum of $5 million in mortgage loans for communities served by the three community development corporations (CDCs) receiving grant funds from FMB.
  • FMB will originate $4 million in loans for the development of new multifamily housing located in majority-black census tracts located in Marion County that will be affordable to households earning less than 60% of the area median income.
  • $500,000 in grants by FMB to be shared by three CDCs that serve majority-black census tracts of Marion County: Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation, King Park Development Corporation, and Near East Area Renewal (NEAR).
  • $150,000 to the FHCCI for a fair lending educational and literacy program designed to increase the number of qualified loan applications from African Americans in Marion County as well as to address lending discrimination in the financial services industry.
  • FMB will also spend a minimum of $150,000 on a targeted advertising and outreach campaign.
  • FMB will appoint a Community Lending and Development Director. The new director will focus on building relationships with community organizations and potential customers in Marion County.
  • Ongoing credit counseling and homebuyer outreach and education by FMB and training of executive leadership and staff on issues related to fair lending.
  • A contribution of $550,000 to the FHCCI by FMB.

The initiatives announced today reflect resolution of allegations of lending concerns raised by the FHCCI. FMB denies any fault as part of the resolution.

Relman, Dane & Colfax’s team was led by John Relman, Glenn Schlactus, Sara Pratt, and Lila Miller.

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