BB&T, SunTrust pledge $30M for affordable housing in Charlotte

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BB&T and SunTrust Banks have pledged a combined $30 million for affordable housing in Charlotte, N.C., a show of commitment to a city that will serve as the headquarters of the merging banks.

Each institution has pledged $15 million to the Foundation for the Carolinas, which supports affordable housing development in Mecklenburg County through the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Fund, the two banks said Tuesday.

"Affordable housing is a critical component for any community, which helps them grow and thrive," BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King said in a press release. "As part of our mission, to help make the communities where we work better places to live, we're delighted to make this contribution to the Foundation for the Carolinas and support their affordable housing efforts throughout the Charlotte metro area."

BB&T and SunTrust announced in February that they would merge to create the country’s sixth-largest bank, with about $442 billion of assets. Though BB&T, of Winston-Salem, N.C., is technically the acquirer, both banks have stressed that the deal is a merger of equals. To underscore that point, the two organizations have pledged to start over with a new name and in a new headquarters city.

The Atlanta-based SunTrust has committed $2 million in below-market debt, a $2 million equity investment and a $1 million to the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Fund, as well as $10 million in future lending commitments. BB&T’s commitment breaks down similarly, with a $1 million grant, $4 million in fund debt or equity and $10 million in below-market loans.

Over the past three years, BB&T said it has invested about $53 million into affordable housing in the Charlotte and Mecklenburg areas, while SunTrust said it has invested $34 million over that time.

The Foundation for the Carolinas has been leading a campaign to raise $50 million from the private sector for the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund to match a $50 million bond referendum voters approved last fall. Mecklenburg County currently faces a shortage of about 30,000 affordable housing units, BB&T and SunTrust said.

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Affordable housing M&A CRA SunTrust BB&T North Carolina