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FIRST FIDELITY INVESTS $2 MILLION IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING; MONEY TARGETED TOWARD COMMUNITY RENEWAL IN NEWARK AND PHILADELPHIA

 PHILADELPHIA, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing the importance of investing in the communities where it is based, First Fidelity Bancorporation (NYSE: FFB) today announced its support of community- based renewal initiatives in Newark and Philadelphia with a $2 million investment in the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's (LISC) National Equity Fund (NEF) 1992 Limited Partnership.
 "We at First Fidelity are pleased to join with LISC and its affiliate, NEF, and corporations across the nation in support of community renewal in Philadelphia," said Roland K. Bullard II, president and chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank of Philadelphia. "This investment is another expression of our commitment to the communities where we live and work.
 "More than that, however, we view our support of NEF as an extension of our independent efforts in the regions in which we operate, and evidence of our conviction that investment in community-led renewal initiatives is both socially responsible and good business," Bullard said.
 NEF is the nation's largest syndicator of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and is an affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), the nation's largest non-profit community development support organization.
 Drawing on such incentives as the Tax Credit, community-based developers across the country are leading renewal efforts that are transforming communities once synonymous with neglect and despair. Since 1987, NEF has been using the Tax Credit to channel corporate investment in support of these revitalization initiatives.
 "This is a compelling illustration of the social consciousness of corporate America," said LISC Program Director Lamar Wilson. "First Fidelity has long understood the importance of reinvesting in the communities where it is based.
 "Equally important, First Fidelity has recognized the need to sit with civic and community leaders in some of this country's most distressed neighborhoods to craft creative solutions that offer the best hope for these communities because the new housing and revitalized commercial strips belong to the people who live and work there," Wilson said.
 First Fidelity Bancorporation is one of 6O corporations nationwide to invest a record-breaking $224 million in LISC/NEF's 1992 partnership. The money will be used to leverage additional public and private funds and finance more than 3,OOO units of affordable housing.
 To date, NEF has invested 1992 funds in five developments in Philadelphia and one in Newark. The five Philadelphia developments total $16.7 million and will create 167 affordable homes and apartments. The Newark development totals $1.6 million and will create 17 units.
 The five Philadelphia developments are Gratz Commons, sponsored by Advocate Community Development Corp.; Lower Germantown, sponsored by Greater Germantown Housing Development Corp.; Norris Street Townhouses, sponsored by Norris Square Civic Association; Allegheny West Rental Homes - Phase II, sponsored by The Allegheny West Foundation; and Two APM Plaza, sponsored by Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha, Inc.
 The Newark development is Jackson Commons, sponsored by Donald Jackson Neighborhood Corp.
 Since it was formed by LISC, NEF has provided $27.5 million in equity for community-based affordable housing initiatives in Philadelphia, producing 357 affordable homes and apartments, and $14.3 million in equity for similar initiatives in New Jersey, producing 276 units.
 NEF uses provisions of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to channel investment capital into affordable rental housing development. The Tax Credit provides corporate investors with a credit on corporate taxes in exchange for investment in construction or rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. Since its creation, NEF has raised more than $60O million in investment capital from 90 U.S. corporations and supported the creation of 14,000 units of affordable housing.
 Established by the Ford Foundation in 1979, New York City-based LISC operates in 3O cities and regions throughout the country and provides financing and technical assistance to non-profit community- based developers. In its 13-year history, LISC and its affiliates have raised more than $827 million from more than 800 donors and investors to help more than 875 neighborhood-based developers expand their efforts to reclaim and rebuild their communities.
 First Fidelity Bancorporation is among the nation's 25 largest banking companies with $31.5 billion in assets and more than 550 banking offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/24/93
 /CONTACT: Lamar Wilson of LISC, 215-923-3801, or Barbara Nate of Fidelity Bank, 215-985-7003/
 (FFB)


CO: First Fidelity Bancorporation; Local Initiatives Support
 Corporation ST: Pennsylvania, New Jersey IN: FIN SU:


MK-LJ -- PH032 -- 9262 03/24/93 16:39 EST
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Date:Mar 24, 1993
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