Council and CME Federal Credit Union Partner to Launch First Responder Downpayment Assistance Program
Program Encourages Fire and Police Officers to Own Homes in Columbus
[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
"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.