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Columbus, OH 43215


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Council and CME Federal Credit Union Partner to Launch First Responder Downpayment Assistance Program

Home Loan Program Encourages Fire and Police Officers to Own Homes in Columbus Neighborhoods

[Columbus, OH] On June 15, 2020, a loan program that helps first responders live in the neighborhoods they serve began. The Safety Forces Residential Incentives Program (SFRIP), in partnership with CME Federal Credit Union, grants mortgage downpayment assistance to police and fire personnel to live within the City of Columbus.

"We want to offer an incentive for first responders to live in the community they serve,” said Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown. “Ideally, we want to encourage as many of our public safety forces as possible to reside in Columbus. The focus is to build community relations."

At the close of 2019, Council passed ordinance 3210-2019 to appropriate $100,000 to the SFRIP. This pilot program provides up to $10,000 in the form of a forgivable second mortgage, to police and firefighters who have completed their probationary period and want to purchase a home in Columbus. Under the SFRIP, the loan will be forgiven should the officer or firefighter live in that home for five years.

Initially, Council intended to launch the program in March of this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in almost all entities being required to shelter-in-place, delaying implementation. This program has been 18 months in the making.

"I am excited to be able to provide our Public Safety forces the opportunity to reside in the community they are sworn to protect," Brown continued. "While this is a pilot program, it is my hope that the concept will be expanded in the future."

CME Federal Credit Union will facilitate these loans, and advertise directly to police and fire personnel who already bank with the institution.

"As the credit union founded by Columbus firefighters and proudly serving first responders since 1935, we are pleased to partner with the City of Columbus on this program," said President and CEO Jeffery Carpenter. "Today, as a credit union serving everyone who lives or works in the City of Columbus, we are excited to participate in this program that will strengthen our community by creating strong bonds between neighbors in our City."

"Don't just hope; go vote," Councilmember Brown concluded.