F&M Bank CEO Steve Fisher and Chanaka Yatawara, Executive Director of Salisbury Community Development Corporation, reminisce on past successes and celebrate even more to come.
F&M Bank changes lives, one neighbor at a time
Jersey City is home to a historically black neighborhood that’s thriving today. However, that wasn’t always the case. As families aged or moved away, many houses in the community were left neglected or abandoned. Over twenty years ago, the Jersey City neighborhood was at risk of rezoning and redevelopment.
In 2002, F&M Bank formed a partnership with the Salisbury Community Development Corporation, the Salisbury City Council and Mayor Susan Kluttz to revitalize and sustain this historical neighborhood. This collaboration led to the immediate creation of four new homes—the first new homes built in Jersey City in over 50 years.
Together, we not only helped improve the neighborhood for current homeowners, but also gave new families a chance at first-time homeownership.
Low income families had the opportunity to buy the new homes with a down payment of only $750 and participation in homeownership courses. In addition to financing construction and all four of the mortgages, F&M Bank donated computers and desks for each home to help the homeowners stay connected and succeed. In celebration of this historic event and labor of love, F&M Bank funded a Parade of Homes block party in Jersey City to welcome the new homeowners in 2002.
Over the years, F&M Bank has provided the Salisbury Community Development Corporation with a dedicated line of credit for improvements in Jersey City. This has allowed the Corporation and its partners to develop or renovate over a dozen properties in the community, including improved sidewalks, a bus shelter and park playground, culminating in a total investment of $1.7 million dollars.
For two decades F&M Bank has helped families in Jersey City make their dreams of homeownership a reality, and we're still making a difference today.
In 2022, F&M Bank provided construction financing to PRESPRO Homes & Neighborhoods to develop eight of twelve new townhomes at the entrance to Jersey City. Our hope is to continue to lift this community by providing a new housing option.
Because of our decades-long commitment to this area, other investors have also started to contribute to the revitalization of this community. To this day, F&M Bank continues to work in Jersey City and other underserved neighborhoods in our markets.
"We're proud to be leaders in support of our community," said F&M Bank CEO Steve Fisher. "Jersey City is full of history, and we're honored to help ensure it has a strong future ahead."