Wells Fargo is partnering with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity to invest in affordable housing and community development projects that will have a significant and positive impact on the Washington Park neighborhood on Milwaukee’s west side. This investment was announced during a press conference at the Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park. As a result of Wells Fargo’s investment, 16 families will be provided with quality, affordable housing solutions. Also, thousands of residents will benefit from improvements to the 135 acre Washington Park. Specifically, Milwaukee Habitat will:
- Complete the rehabilitation of three (3) vacant city-owned foreclosed homes that began in 2015 and will be finished in 2016;
- Rehabilitate three (3) vacant city-owned foreclosed homes what will be started and finished in 2016;
- Perform critical repairs on up to 10 houses owned by existing low-income homeowners; and
- Improve the swimming pool building in Washington Park by installing new storage lockers, installing new interior and exterior door frames, installing new benches, painting the interior and exterior structures, in addition to other projects.
The six (6) families becoming homeowners for the first time will achieve stability and build equity through homeownership. They will also will join the over 200 dedicated, hardworking Habitat families that already own a home in the neighborhood. Homeownership helps to stabilize the neighborhood, as homeowners are more invested in their homes and their community.
Furthermore, by rehabbing these foreclosures, Milwaukee Habitat will create homes that cease to pose a financial burden and that generate tax revenue for the City of Milwaukee. Mayor Tom Barrett states that there are $2,951 in costs and lost revenue per year per foreclosed home. Also, turning vacant houses into owner-occupied homes decreases crime, eliminates visual blight, and increases home values and assessments.
Through its Priority Markets Program in the past year alone, Wells Fargo is making $6 million in neighborhood revitalization donations with 69 grants to nonprofits, including $225,000 to Habitat for Humanity in Milwaukee.
“Habitat shares Wells Fargo’s passion and commitment to being a leader in helping revitalize and position neighborhoods for long-term success and we’re pleased to be a part of this exciting project in Milwaukee,” said Sang Kim, Wells Fargo’s region president for Wisconsin. “Our Priority Markets Program is one of many ways we work together with nonprofits to support local communities. It takes the contributions of many – volunteers, corporate donors, local governments and nonprofits like Habitat – to make a difference. That’s why we’re proud to provide this grant, a small piece that we hope makes a big impact.”
The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation Priority Markets Program provides grants for neighborhood stabilization projects to stimulate growth, stability and investment in distressed areas. Since 2009, the program has provided grants totaling more than $36 million for nonprofits in 125 U.S. communities.
Grants for the Priority Markets Program were selected from requests submitted by Wells Fargo team members who nominated nonprofits needing assistance for large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects. Recipients must be IRS 501c3 organizations with successful histories of building or renovating housing for low-to moderate-income homebuyers.