Wells Fargo bank on Tuesday announced $1.6 billion funding in lending and philanthropic investment for revitalizing Washington, D.C. over a period of five years.
The amount is part of a new program “Where We Live” which was launched by the bank in partnership with the National Reinvestment Coalition.
Wells Fargo will spend the amount on giving back to community, on affordable housing, enhancing job skills and supporting small businesses. The bank will also focus on resources and urgent needs identified by community leaders.
The focus under the program will primarily be on Ward 7 and Ward 8 since these two wards are economically disadvantaged areas of the city.
“Communities succeed when we all work together. The Where We Live program is rooted in two things: investments that help people live, work and thrive, and a deep understanding that neighborhoods need long-term partners,” said Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo CEO. “It builds on Wells Fargo’s legacy of empowering residents and small businesses in our nation’s capital for the past 100 years, and our desire to create a compelling community investment model in Washington, D.C.”
Part of the effort is the philanthropic commitment of $16 million over five years, which includes $4 million for small business community in Community Development Financial Institutions. For housing initiatives, $6 million will be spent, including on making down payments and rental properties that are affordable.
Majority of funds – over $1.5 billion – will be spent on clearing loans, on community lending, mortgage lending, investments, and lending for small businesses.
About $90 million have already been utilized for lending and equity investments under Where We Live project. An abandoned housing complex has also been made into 220 affordable rental units, as per the Wells Fargo bank.
“The Where We Live program is designed to make long-term investments in neighborhoods to ensure their future success. Wells Fargo has been working to empower small businesses and residents in Washington, D.C. for the past 100 years, and we’re proud to expand that commitment to help further revitalize the community,” said Jon Campbell, Wells Fargo Head of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations.
In April this year, JPMorgan Chase had also committed $4 billion for D.C. area as it expanded into the region. The amount will be spent over a five year period for home and small business lending.