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FirstMerit Bank Wins American Bankers Association Community Commitment Award

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstMerit Corporation (Nasdaq: FMER) was nationally recognized by the American Bankers Association with a Community Commitment Award in the Affordable Housing category. FirstMerit was presented the award for the Moon-Mallison Homes development in Akron, Ohio.

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The Moon-Mallison Homes development broke ground in August 2012 and was the first concentrated new construction, single-family Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing project primarily focused in the South Edgewood Neighborhood of Akron. The scattered site project involves the new construction of 30 single family homes within the City of Akron's Edgewood Urban Renewal plan located approximately one mile west of downtown Akron.  While the project has made a tremendous impact in stabilizing the neighborhood, it also addresses the need for increased affordable housing options while helping to eliminate blight.

"FirstMerit Bank is honored to receive this award which truly reflects our long-standing commitment to the city of Akron and our broader mission to improve and preserve the well-being of the communities we serve." Paul Greig, chairman, president and CEO, FirstMerit Corporation.

The Moon-Mallison Homes development was conceived and initiated by EANDC, a 30-year neighborhood-based, community development agency located in Akron.  FirstMerit Bank provided the construction loan for the project and contributed to the equity pool, which helped fund this project.  Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) provided the equity through the syndication of the low income housing tax credits.  

"EANDC will always be a willing and grateful partner with banks who seek to invest in all corners of Akron," said Grady Appleton, Executive Director, East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC).  "We greatly appreciate FirstMerit's support with the Moon-Mallison project and we would like to thank the American Bankers Association for recognizing FirstMerit's commitment to Akron.  We hope the FirstMerit & EANDC partnership is seen as a best practices model between community development agencies and banks.  It certainly worked here in Akron."

Entries were divided into six categories including affordable housing, economic development, small business lending, financial education and volunteerism and philanthropy. From a record high field of more than 150 nominations, the ABA selection committee chose six banks based on the creativity and thoughtfulness of programs- traditional or innovative in nature and structure- that embody the ideals of corporate social responsibility and demonstrate success in measurable terms.

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