• Community Reinvestment

    Strengthening Communities Through the CRA

  • The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a federal law passed in 1977 that encourages financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of their entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound banking practices.

    Do Great Things

    At First Niagara, we’re committed to Doing Great Things in our community. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is good for us and good for the neighborhoods and communities in which we live, work, invest, give and volunteer.

    We’re growing and Doing Great Things in more places than ever before. We have the loans, investments and services that really make a difference in our rural communities, small towns and big cities.

    Rebuild Great Communities

    Breathing new life into neighborhoods takes teamwork. First Niagara provides crucial capital and credit to diverse local partners – community development financial institutions (CDFIs), nonprofit and for-profit housing developers, social service organizations, government agencies and other community developers – to start a program, finish a project or expand their reach.

    In addition, we make mortgages to homeowners and loans to business owners to help establish and grow their markets.

    At First Niagara, we don’t simply talk about reinvesting in our communities. We act on it.

    Small Business

    First Niagara helps entrepreneurs and business owners get the credit they need to create jobs and keep contributing to the local economy. From clean energy to healthy foods, we understand what’s needed to grow. We make SBA loans available to companies of all sizes. We invest in local organizations to enable them to make micro and small business loans and deliver practical business advice to entrepreneurs who are starting out or looking to expand.

    Affordable Housing

    Safe, decent, affordable housing is the backbone of a vibrant neighborhood. Our bridge loans, predevelopment loans and construction financing help build and rehab homes and apartments for low- and moderate-income seniors, families, veterans and people with disabilities. We assist housing developers with programs such as Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program.

    Homeownership

    First Niagara’s government loans and affordable housing programs make owning a home a reality for many families with low and moderate incomes. We offer USDA, FHA and VA loans, as well as state programs, that help first-time buyers, veterans and other qualified borrowers share in the American dream.

    Real Estate Development

    Office buildings, shopping centers, and health care and social service facilities are part of the fabric of flourishing neighborhoods. Through construction financing and the use of an innovative tax credit program, First Niagara makes projects happen that bring businesses, jobs and vital services to communities.

    In the historic Larkin District in Buffalo, N.Y., we utilized New Markets Tax Credits to renovate a century-old warehouse into our new corporate headquarters. The building is the centerpiece of a major revitalization effort in the once-thriving industrial area. On the drawing board is an improved transportation system, a growing network of green spaces, and commercial space for small retailers. We believe there’s no better way to demonstrate our commitment to this community than by basing our operations here.

    First Niagara is also making strides in sustainability to make our communities cleaner and healthier places to live. Through several initiatives and partnerships with organizations like Leadership in Energy & Environment Design (LEED) and the rePurpose program, we’re helping reduce emissions, recycle and conserve.

    CRA Services in Action

    Volunteering

    First Niagara encourages its team members to get involved in their communities by volunteering and contributing their expertise and skills to local nonprofits that serve low- and moderate-income communities. First Niagara’s eight regional Employee Volunteer Council chapters connect our volunteers to a variety of community development activities.

    Financial Education

    At a time when understanding money has never been more important, First Niagara is making sure that individuals and families have tools to make sound financial decisions. Our team members teach free courses on spending, saving, borrowing and banking in communities within our footprint.

    For more information on First Niagara’s CRA activities, contact:

    Patricia Mills
    First VP CRA Officer
    First Niagara Bank
    923 Main Street
    Manchester, CT 06040
    Patricia.Mills@fnfg.com
    Office Phone: 860-645-2190  

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