The First City Fund Corporation (FCFC), Start Community Bank’s parent company, was formed in 2004 as a result of a challenge of the city of New Haven to New Haven Savings Bank’s conversion to a public company.
Our name, Start Community Bank, represents not only the start of a new kind of bank — a community development bank — but also symbolizes our position at the ‘start’ line to begin a journey that will invest capital in our community, serve as a catalyst for economic and social improvement in New Haven, and create a pathway we will travel together from start to finish to help New Haven families create wealth for themselves and their children.
One example of FCFC’s role as catalyst for change is as the first and principal founder of the Elm City Resident Card, a program that encouraged all residents of the city of New Haven to identify themselves and to rise up to meet the responsibilities and opportunities that come with residency in New Haven. Another example is FCFC’s funding of New Haven’s ROOF Program, an ambitious partnership between the City of New Haven, the Jerome Frank Clinic at Yale Law School, and the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund. The program has reached out to, counseled, and supported hundreds of New Haven families during the threat of home mortgage foreclosure.
In the fall of 2012 we received our certification as a Community Development Financial Institution, (CDFI). There are only 100 CDFI certified banks in the country; Start Community Bank is the only bank so designated in New Haven. CDFIs are specialized community based financial institutions with a mission to promote economic development by providing financial products and services to people and communities underserved by traditional financial institutions, particularly in low income communities.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014 Start Community Bank was one of fewer than 60 FDIC-insured financial institutions in the country to receive a Bank Enterprise Award from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), which acknowledged the bank’s support of affordable housing development by providing affordable housing development loans and project investments, small business loans and project investments, and commercial real estate loans and project investments in distressed communities in New Haven, Connecticut.