SEATTLE, Wash. – HomeStreet Bank has received the 2015 American Bankers Association (ABA) “Community Commitment Award” for its Hometown Home Loan Program. The award, sponsored by the ABA Community Engagement Foundation, was given to HomeStreet for its endeavors in the Affordable Housing category and will be presented during ABA’s Annual Convention in Los Angeles on Nov. 10.
HomeStreet’s Hometown Home Loan Program provides the employees of over 175 public- and private-sector partner organizations with no-cost comprehensive financial education, down-payment assistance and reduced closing costs. Since 1994, the program has helped thousands of first-time and low/moderate-income employees of its partner organizations to become homeowners. HomeStreet offers reduced loan fees and the bank has formed partnerships with nonprofit housing organizations to provide in-depth credit and budget counseling and with local realtors and other service providers to offer reduced closing costs and down payment assistance.
From a record-high field of nearly 200 entries, the ABA selection committee chose six award-winning banks based on the creativity and thoughtfulness of their programs—traditional or innovative in nature and structure—that embody the ideals of corporate social responsibility and demonstrate success in measurable terms. Bank awards were made in six categories including affordable housing, community and economic development, financial education, nontraditional borrower and underbanked, protecting older Americans and volunteerism. Award winners were chosen by a field of nationally-recognized experts.
“The Hometown Home Loan Program demonstrates HomeStreet’s strong and passionate commitment to bettering the lives of its customers and local community,” said Frank Keating, ABA president and CEO. “Their work embodies the mission of the Community Commitment Awards and they are a truly well-deserved recipient.”
“We have had a long-standing tradition of service to the communities in which we do business,” said HomeStreet CEO Mark Mason. “The Hometown Home Loan Program allows us to go beyond traditional community involvement efforts to partner with local businesses and public sector employers to provide their employees with comprehensive financial education and innovative services to help make home ownership more affordable.”
The Hometown Home Loan program was developed in 1994 to help Seattle Police and Seattle Fire employees qualify for homes in neighborhoods close to where they worked. The goal was to improve emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster and increase homeownership opportunities in the city of Seattle.