FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with numerous locations in Arizona, is teaming up with Trellis, a 501(c)(3), to help low income families secure a mortgage with as little as $1,000 down (less than the average tax refund of $3,120).  

FirstBank made this possible with a $1 million investment administered through Trellis, Arizona’s only nonprofit mortgage banker which provides home ownership counselling, affordable loans and down payment assistance.

FirstBank’s contribution funds the Community Second Mortgage program, designed to help qualified families achieve homeownership with a 1 percent down payment. This solves one of the biggest challenges for new homebuyers, who often struggle to come up with the 3 percent down payment minimum required for a mortgage. It may also help consumers avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) and gain equity in their homes much faster.

Here’s how the Community Second Mortgage works:

• The homebuyer provides $1,000 or 1 percent of the purchase price

• Trellis loans up to $45,000 for remainder of the down payment thanks to funds provided by FirstBank

• FirstBank provides the buyer a 30-year fixed rate mortgage

Under the program, homebuyers will get 20 years to repay the Community Second Mortgage, and Trellis uses the payments to provide assistance to other home buyers across Arizona, in perpetuity.

“This program allows young families the opportunity to buy their own home without having to wait years to scrape together enough money for a down payment,” says Bryce Lloyd, FirstBank’s President- Phoenix.  “With housing prices inching toward record numbers, we felt it was imperative to drum up more affordable housing and down payment assistance options in Arizona. We invested $1 million into Trellis’ Community Second Mortgage program to ensure numerous families would be able to achieve the dream of homeownership, despite rising costs.”

 “Affordable housing programs that make it easier for families to own their first home are extremely important to creating stable neighborhoods,” said Joel McCabe, COO and Vice President of Trellis. “FirstBank’s generous contribution benefits low-income individuals and families who contribute to the economic well-being of the entire community through job and tax revenue.”

FirstBank is the main sponsor of Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online giving initiative that has generated over $12.5 million in donations for nonprofits around the state including Trellis, since inception.

Trellis was founded in 1975 with the help of the City of Phoenix to offer education, financial access and neighborhood development in Maricopa County. Those wanting more information about the program may contact Trellis directly or visit for more details.