ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Freedom First Credit Union has received a $5 million secondary capital investment from the Inclusiv Southern Equity Fund to boost its affordable housing program. The program strives to help potential home buyers “of modest means overcome conventional mortgage qualifying hurdles so they have a chance to become a homeowner,” according to a statement from Freedom First.

“Not only does the program offer potential homebuyers a non-conforming conventional mortgage, but a dedicated mortgage officer works with applicants, for years in some cases, to improve their credit through Impact Banking products and provides financial coaching to prepare them for responsible homeownership,” said Freedom First.

“Financial exclusion has been a persistent problem in the South, particularly for communities of color,” said Director of Inclusiv/Capital Cathi Kim.

“The Inclusiv Southern Equity Fund is designed to promote economic mobility among low wealth and underserved communities, preserve and build diversity in community-owned and controlled financial services, and increase the impact of scalable institutions throughout the American South,” Kim said.

Freedom First President and CEO Paul Phillips said with funding from Inclusiv, “We are able to help more hard-working people overcome barriers and realize the dream of homeownership.”