Fifth Third Bank celebrates Historic West End support

Photo courtesy of Fifth Third Bank

CHARLOTTE – Fifth Third Bank and Enterprise Community Partners have established a neighborhood program to support and revitalize the Historic West End community.

The Neighborhood Investment Program spans over three years with a focus on the Historic West End Community, LISC Charlotte and cross-sector collaborations.

This opportunity allows Fifth Third to invest in a unique way by taking a thoughtfully structured approach to solve existing real issues,” said Lee Fite, president of the mid-Atlantic region of Fifth Third Bank. “This program is more than simply providing capital; it is about partnering directly with communities to make a lasting impact that benefits everyone. We are working to make a significant impact in the Historic West End by targeting investments in specific areas and collaborating with the neighborhood, its leaders and organizations like LISC Charlotte to drive lasting prosperity through tangible place-based methods.”

Fifth Third is collaborating on the initiative with Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. Together, they managed a criteria-based, invitation-only application process to select nine majority-Black neighborhoods that have seen a sustained period of disinvestment.

The Historic West End was one of the locations selected. Enterprise will provide technical assistance to support each neighborhood in developing and implementing a plan tailored to the unique challenges it faces. Enterprise will then assist with assessing the plan’s effectiveness at improving the economic well-being of residents and small locally owned businesses. Successful outcomes will include investments in small businesses, homeownership and workforce development to create successful outcomes such as increased employment, economic stability and growth.

The Fifth Third Neighborhood Investment Program shows what is possible when we make intentional investments that center on Black life and legacy,” said Priscilla Almodovar, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners. “Enterprise is so excited to join Fifth Third and this group of committed neighborhood partners on an initiative that powerfully aligns with our goals as an organization: increase the housing supply, advance racial equity and build resilience and upward mobility.”

Locally, we have been working with LISC Charlotte and other community partners in the West End for several years and we see this is an opportunity to increase our commitment and expand those efforts,” said Joel Dancy, mid-Atlantic regional community and economic development manager for Fifth Third. “This is more than giving bank dollars and programs to communities in need. Through the Neighborhood Investment Program, we will look to the community for direction while providing them with strategic insight and support.”

Fifth Third intends to commit up to $20 million in lending, investments and philanthropic support, including grants from the Fifth Third Foundation to the Historic West End. A combination of capital, products and services will be invested into small business, mortgages and neighborhood revitalization loans and investments and philanthropic efforts.

The Historic West End was invited to apply for the program based on its ability to meet specific criteria, including collaborating with the neighborhood’s Black residents, existing civic infrastructure in the neighborhood and its capability to manage equitable investment and wealth-building opportunities. The program’s funds will cultivate investments and resources from additional stakeholders to support the economic mobility of low-to moderate-income residents in the target neighborhoods.

Ralphine Caldwell, executive director of LISC Charlotte, which partners with local organizations on a range of programs and investments, said her organization will use the funds to initiate several segments in a collaborative community plan. These segments include:

Support for small and commercial businesses, including technical assistance and lending products that address each phase of a business’s life cycle.

Training and education for Historic West End homeowners, including home repair and anti-displacement strategies and best practices in maintaining and building equity through homeownership.

Expanded support of the Westside Community Land Trust and of developers producing affordable multifamily and homeownership properties.

Collaboration with For the Struggle, Historic West End Partners and West Side Community Land Trust to implement comprehensive strategy for the initiative.

We are thrilled to receive an award that will benefit the Historic West End corridor,” Caldwell said. “Our neighborhood partners are already doing incredible work in their respective areas. Lifting their current efforts to new heights will continue to drive change – and create the opportunity for the stabilization and revitalization of the community to incorporate the vision of its residents.”

The Neighborhood Investment Program is part of Fifth Third’s $2.8 billion commitment that will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility and $40 million in philanthropy from the Fifth Third Foundation as part of Fifth Third’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative.

Visit to learn more about the Neighborhood Investment Program.

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