First Midwest BankFirst Midwest Bank logoArrow DownIcon of an arrow pointing downwardsArrow LeftIcon of an arrow pointing to the leftArrow RightIcon of an arrow pointing to the rightArrow UpIcon of an arrow pointing upwardsBank IconIcon of a bank buildingCheck IconIcon of a bank checkCheckmark IconIcon of a checkmarkCredit-Card IconIcon of a credit-cardFunds IconIcon of hands holding a bag of moneyAlert IconIcon of an exclaimation markIdea IconIcon of a bright light bulbKey IconIcon of a keyLock IconIcon of a padlockMail IconIcon of an envelopeMobile Banking IconIcon of a mobile phone with a dollar sign in a speech bubbleMoney in Home IconIcon of a dollar sign inside of a housePhone IconIcon of a phone handsetPlanning IconIcon of a compassReload IconIcon of two arrows pointing head to tail in a circleSearch IconIcon of a magnifying glassFacebook IconIcon of the Facebook logoLinkedIn IconIcon of the LinkedIn LogoXX Symbol, typically used to close a menu
Skip to nav Skip to content

How Old National is Creating New Homeowners, Meeting Demand for Majority-Minority Area Home Ownership

By Christian Gilhuly | Old National Bank Community Development Loan Officer, Grand Rapids

After almost 25 years in banking, and now recently changing roles to that of a community development loan officer, I’ve never received more job satisfaction than my current work. In concert with local non-profits and county agencies, I offer homeownership opportunities to those who could not previously find the means.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., the organization LINC UP builds affordable housing, including single-family homes, townhomes, and multi-family apartments. Through affordable housing, LINC UP aims to empower under-resourced communities and advance racial equity. 

Currently, the competition for affordable housing is incredibly high. In the area of community development, it takes local non-profits, the state, competitive lending programs, and passionate work by all to help people get into homes.

Meeting the demand for minority homeownership

There is such a great demand, and the community members have such a great desire, to learn about homeownership. The non-profits we work with are some of the few organizations driving the affordable housing market. We recently worked with four newly-built townhouses that came on the market, specifically for low-income residents, and there were hundreds of qualified residents vying for just four homes.

As these townhouses were located in a majority-minority census tract (50% or more of residents designated minority), the residents received a flat $15,000 from Old National that could go toward the down payment or other costs, in addition to financial contributions from the county. In this case the county came back with an additional $65,000, with no payments, that was fully forgivable after five years. In many cases, residents only have to invest 1% of the purchase price. This is what we do in terms of working with the local government arms and non-profits and other entities to take advantage of all the resources available for potential lower-income home buyers.

This majority-minority census tract doesn't historically have any sort of development, especially new development, so it is exciting to see these beautiful new townhouses go up, with more to come, and seeing these neighborhoods on the rise.

What are ONB’s programs for homebuyers?

Old National’s Home Manager Mortgage Program assists first-time homeowners to purchase a home. Additionally, our Down Payment Assistance Program works with any conventional lending products, as well as the aforementioned Home Manager mortgage, to aid in additional down-payment support. 

These programs in particular assist homebuyers to forward community development in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Home Manager Mortgage Program

  • Purchase home with as little as 3% down

  • Lower monthly payment with no Private Mortgage Insurance requirements

  • Fixed-rate mortgage with set principal and interest payment

Down Payment Assistance Program

  • Could receive up to 3% the purchase price up to $10,000 maximum towards down payment

  • Could receive $15,000 towards purchase price, if the property is within certain communities

Case Study: a 73-year-old that had never owned a home
They say it takes a village, and in this instance, it truly does to get a quote on a loan, to get qualified income-wise, and to work with the county and community organizations to make it all happen. It can be a grind of a process, but in my more than 20 years in the industry, this is the best I’ve seen in terms of the relationships we’ve put together that are getting people into homes.

The power of this process was shown recently when we worked with a 73-year-old preschool teacher who was retired and had never owned a home. Her granddaughter reached out to me when the woman was considering prequalification to potentially buy the condominium she was renting.

Working with Old National, we acquired down payment assistance of $15,000, as the condo was located in a majority-minority census tract. So, after 15 years of paying rent, this woman was now in her own home, and it was a glorious thing for everyone involved.

Down payment assistance options
What separates Old National from other banks is what we come to the table with in terms of our down payment assistance, which is difficult for other banks to match. In the Grand Rapids market, we can extend up to a $15,000 grant if it is in a majority-minority census tract. In addition, the interest rates on a 30-year fixed oftentimes run a full half-point less than standard conventional. In this case, you're a half-percent lower than standard market, with no private mortgage insurance.

It is fulfilling to see community members in a situation they thought they would never see themselves in, as homeowners, after we’ve built genuine relationships and leveraged the work done by our non-profit and county partners.

To find out more about these opportunities at Old National, contact me at

Community Development Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS# 135360
All Old National loan products are subject to full credit review and approval. Property insurance is required for loans secured by real estate. Down payment assistance programs are subject to availability and may include additional requirements such as successful completion of a Home Buyer Education Program certified by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or may require you to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI). Depending on the program, geographic limitations and other program restrictions and qualifications may also apply.

Subscribe for Insights