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CINCINNATI –Fifth Third Bank partnered with the National Development Council to offer Rental Housing Development Finance, a class in NDC’s Housing Development Finance Professional Certification series, to nearly 40 emerging community leaders from eight states. The participants were identified as high performing real estate professionals who are dedicated to helping low- to moderate-income families get into affordable rental housing.

Through its emerging community leaders program, Fifth Third has enabled nearly 90 emerging or long-standing leaders to participate in educational forums and conferences over the past six years.

During the five-day course, participants learned about the underwriting criteria lenders use and the rates of return that private equity investors demand in order to secure their support of a rental housing project. The course also explored methods practitioners can use to attract the maximum amount of private capital to rental housing projects as well as the techniques to fill financing gaps with public resources.

Tom Jackson, director of training at NDC, said courses like this are critical to communities. “The need for more affordable housing is an issue that affects the entire United States, especially in minority, low- and moderate-income neighborhoods,” he said. “This training prepares staff from housing advocacy and development organizations to more effectively tackle their communities’ needs by building their capacity to close financing gaps that keep critical projects from moving from plans to occupancy. The elements of risk that drive lender underwriting and investor rates of returns are explored in depth to help practitioners maximize debt and equity to better understand remaining financing gaps.”

Public and philanthropic resources to close financing gaps are scarce, he said, adding that unrealistic expectations about the availability of grants in lieu of debt and equity can impede the development of new affordable housing.

In November 2016, Fifth Third and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition announced the Bank’s landmark $30 billion, five-year Community Commitment. Part of the plan includes $11 billion in mortgage credit and $9 billion in community development lending and investments. Byna Elliott, senior vice president, director of community economic development, Fifth Third, said partnering with the NDC is part of Fifth Third’s commitment to reinvest in the community.

“This training is important to help develop capacity for nonprofit developers, government staff and quasi-government agencies to gain the necessary skills for financing and project development,” she said. The leaders who attended the training will positively impact their neighborhoods, she said. “These are mission-based individuals who will focus on neighborhood redevelopment and quality affordable housing. Through this training they will be equipped to take an idea from paper to a tangible development project and ensure that these projects create sustainable community redevelopment and stabilize communities throughout our Fifth Third footprint.”

Jackson said courses such as the Rental Housing Development Finance class are crucial in helping community groups understand how to advance their projects. “Many community groups have projects that they would like to move forward, but understanding how projects get financed and how to close financing gaps is crucial to getting these projects off the drawing board and into construction. This NDC course builds capacity in Fifth Third’s community partners to engage with lenders, tax credit investors, and public and philanthropic funders to meet the needs of their neighborhoods, cities and regions better,” he said.

For information about the Fifth Third’s $30 billion Community Commitment, click here. For more information about the National Development Council’s training sessions, click here.

About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of Sept. 30, 2017, the Company had $142 billion in assets and operated 1,155 full-service Banking Centers and 2,465 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to more than 45,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third also has an 8.6 percent interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Sept. 30, 2017, had $348 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $36 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender