The Star-Ledger

TD Banknorth And Commerce Bank Pledge $677 Million For Affordable Housing

The Star-Ledger — Wednesday, July 2, 2008

By Tom Hester / The Star-Ledger

TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank will contribute more than $675 million over the next three years to make housing more affordable in New Jersey, housing activists said today.

The banks will offer loans, grants and low-interest mortgages to low-income homeowners and non-profit housing groups through the deal. It was arranged through two non-profit organizations: Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey and New Jersey Citizen Action.

"This agreement represents precisely the sort of private sector commitment New Jersey's communities need to turn their fortunes around,'' said Paige Carlson-Heim, director of the Housing and Community Development Network.

The programs include:

- $160 million in below market-rate mortgages for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers and refinancing.

- A minimum of $10 million in home improvement loans for homeowners and renters.

- $130 million in loans and investments for community development organizations.

- $24 million in low-income tax credits.

- $350 million in small business loans.

- $1.5 million in grants to non-profit housing groups.

TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank operate in every county in the state. The banks are preparing to merge as TD Commerce Bank by autumn.

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