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Wells Fargo Foundation Awards $7.5 Million to LISC NY to Expand Homeownership for Families of Color

BRONX, NY / ACCESSWIRE / October 28, 2022 / A new effort to help more people of color in New York City become homeowners is launching today with the support of a $7.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The grant was awarded to a new collaborative led by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) NY, in partnership with the Center for NYC Neighborhoods and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHSNYC).

The donation comes from Wells Fargo's Wealth Opportunity Restored Through Homeownership (WORTH) initiative, a $60 million national effort to address systemic barriers to homeownership for people of color. New York City is one of eight markets across the U.S. to receive a WORTH grant, which aims to help create 5,000 new homeowners of color across the city by the end of 2025.

Today's announcement took place during NHSNYC's Homeownership Expo at the TWU Counseling Center, where participants learned about the homeownership process, how to find and secure mortgages, and how to navigate down payments and closing costs.

"As a company, we're committed to creating opportunities for more people of color to buy their own homes," said Otis Rolley, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation and head of Philanthropy and Community Impact. "We know that without deliberate interventions from the public and private sectors, there is risk that the racial homeownership gap will continue to grow. Today's donation in New York City is about accelerating actions that will build homeownership, and in turn, generational wealth."

"The systemic barriers that have blocked people of color from accessing paths to homeownership for much of our history have been a key driver of a broader economic and social inequity," said Valerie White, senior executive director at LISC NY. "We thank the Wells Fargo Foundation for this grant, which will advance LISC NY's mission of closing the racial wealth gap by supporting our efforts to expand homeownership in historically marginalized communities of color."

The nonprofits plan to implement a variety of strategies to expand housing inventory and support homebuyers of color, including:

  • Launching an interagency network of public, private, and nonprofit partners to leverage relationships and existing services to reach more consumers and generate efficiencies

  • Advocating for the city and state to invest additional capital to build more affordable homeownership projects and Community Land Trusts, as well as policy changes that create new homeownership options for New Yorkers

  • Addressing the lack of capital availability for BIPOC residents by developing and leveraging a Loan Loss Reserve and Open Access Fund to help make mortgages to borrowers with non‑traditional credit sou

  • Expanding outreach and increasing awareness of down payment and closing cost assistance programs

"For 40 years, NHSNYC has advocated for historically marginalized communities across New York City by increasing investment in underserved neighborhoods," said Derrick Griggs, CEO of NHSNYC. "The support from the Wells Fargo Foundation enables NHSNYC to create the Open Access Loan Fund, which will significantly expand access to mortgage financing for minority communities."

"Homeownership is one of the key benchmarks of economic stability for families; unfortunately, it's too frequently out of reach for first‑generation Black and brown New Yorkers - and post‑COVID speculation in lower‑income neighborhoods in the boroughs and rising interest rates have only made these roadblocks more acute," said Christie Peale, CEO & executive director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. "These interventions will not only help first‑time homebuyers make real progress towards owning their homes, but will help keep these key assets for building intergenerational wealth in families for the long‑term - and ultimately make New York City a better and more equitable city in which to live and grow."

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is a leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 41 on Fortune's 2022 rankings of America's largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low‑carbon economy.

News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Additional information may be found at www.wellsfargo.com | Twitter: @WellsFargo

About LISC NY

LISC NY is the New York office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC NY supports local partners across New York City and State whose services and programs aim to create a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable New York City. Since 1980, LISC NY has invested more than $3.1 billion and leveraged an additional $7.6 billion in support of low‑income communities. LISC NY's investment strategy is guided by a belief that the time has come to forge a future for New York that eradicates the racial wealth gap for good, protects affordable housing, and builds pathways of meaningful economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.

About NHSNYC

Through financial empowerment and affordable lending, Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC, Inc., enables individuals and families to invest in, preserve, and improve their neighborhoods, their homes, and their future. With more than 8,000 clients housed and $1.6 billion accessed for LMI mortgages, NHSNYC is a leading New York City community development financial institution (CDFI). For more information, you can visit us at www.nhsnyc.org.

About the Center for NYC Neighborhoods

The Center for NYC Neighborhoods promotes and protects affordable homeownership in New York City so working‑ and middle‑class families can build strong, thriving communities. We carry out our mission to promote and protect affordable homeownership through the lenses of racial equity and climate change. Established by public and private partners, the Center meets the diverse needs of homeowners throughout New York state by offering free, high‑quality housing services. Since our founding in 2008, our network has assisted more than 200,000 homeowners, and provided more than $60 million in funding to community‑based partners. Visit cnycn.org to learn more.

Contact Information

Media
Jacqueline Hlavenka‑Sansone, 551‑337‑1662
jacqueline.hlavenka-sansone@wellsfargo.com

Wells Fargo, Friday, October 28, 2022, Press release picture
Wells Fargo, Friday, October 28, 2022, Press release picture

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SOURCE: Wells Fargo



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