FirstBank Leads Way in Affordable Housing Financing, Including Colorado’s Largest Zero-Carbon Emission Development

The bank has financed over $500 million since 2020 to support multiple affordable housing developments

LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” has financed over $500 million in affordable housing since 2020. Recently FirstBank financed $55 million in loans for Willoughby Corner, one of the largest net-zero-ready affordable housing developments in Colorado. Once complete, Willoughby Corner will feature 400 affordable ‘for rent’ and ‘for sale’ units.

FirstBank, which is financing the first two phases including 129 units and community center, was able to provide the developer, Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA), with an extended ‘rate-lock’ on its loan amid rising interest rates. This helped BCHA navigate a complicated closing process and deliver much needed affordable housing to the Boulder area.

“Our team is stacked with wonderful partners, and FirstBank has been especially instrumental in supplying financial resources to bring this project to life,” said Molly Chiang, Development Director at BCHA. “Their commitment to increasing affordable housing in our local community and throughout Colorado is evident. We’re thankful to have a financial partner who prioritizes the needs of the community as much as we do.”

Willoughby Corner will offer housing for families, individuals, and senior citizens in east Lafayette who are at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom will range from $821 - $1,642, depending on income. Once finished, it will be Net Zero Ready certified through the use of on-site solar production and geothermal technology, as well as energy-efficient building designs and materials. The first phase is estimated to be complete by year-end 2024.

FirstBank also recently financed the following projects in the metro Denver area, including:

  • Peoria Crossing: Peoria Crossing is a transit-oriented development located a half mile from the RTD Light Rail in Aurora. FirstBank help financed $21 million towards phase two for the Housing Authority of the City of Aurora, which brings another 72 units online or a total of 154 units. Qualified tenants can earn no more than 60 percent of the area median income.
  • Belmar Groves: Belmar Groves in Lakewood has been around since 1972, however, they are undergoing a substantial renovation to make their 118-unit apartment more accessible to underserved and disabled communities. Owned by Metro West Housing Solutions, the $25 million renovation will include new roofs, upgraded appliances for visually challenged residents and improved landscaping, to name a few updates.

“The growing need for affordable housing in Colorado is a top priority,” said Kevin Classen, CEO of FirstBank. “We know access to safe, attainable and stable housing provides residents with more than financial benefits. It can also have positive effects on physical and mental health, and it plays an important part in our communities’ economic well-being. This is why FirstBank is doing more than just financing developments. We’re actively working with several organizations to increase affordable housing and create solutions to make obtaining and owning a home more accessible.”

In addition to providing affordable housing loans, FirstBank introduced the Providing Access to Homeownership (PATH) grant program. PATH helps remove barriers to homeownership for Black and African American families – the historically least likely ethnic/racial group to own a home. Since its inception in 2021, PATH has helped more than 200 families purchase their first home.

To learn more about how FirstBank supports attainable housing, check out the bank’s Unlocking Colorado series.

About FirstBank
FirstBank began providing banking services in 1963. Today, it’s known as an industry leader in digital banking. It has grown to be one of the top performing and largest privately held banks in the United States, maintaining over 100 branch locations across Colorado, Arizona, and California. FirstBank offers a variety of consumer deposit accounts, home equity loans, mortgages, rental property loans, and a full range of commercial banking services, including business financing, commercial real estate loans, treasury management, and more. Since 2000, FirstBank has been recognized as a top corporate philanthropist, contributing more than $90 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable organizations. The company is also unique in that a large portion of its stock is owned by management and employees, giving employees a financial stake in the bank’s success through its Employee Stock Ownership Program. For more information, visit Member FDIC.

Media Contact
Chandra Brin

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

A rendering of the Willoughby Corner development featuring a park and open areas surrounded by housing.