New Program to Revitalize Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods

Wells Fargo has launched Where We Live in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and local organizations, investing more than $1.6 billion in Washington, D.C.
Oct 24, 2018 9:00 AM ET

Wells Fargo announced today it will invest more than $1.6 billion in lending and philanthropy in Washington, D.C., as part of a new, five-year commitment.

In an effort to unlock more economic opportunity across the district, the company created the Where We Live program in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and local organizations. The program will triple Wells Fargo’s local giving and concentrate resources on the biggest needs identified by Washington, D.C., leaders: affordable housing, small business growth, and job skills, with an emphasis on the district’s Wards 7 and 8.

“Communities succeed when we all work together,” Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said. “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. 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 that can revitalize neighborhoods across the U.S.”

The new commitment includes a five-year, $16 million philanthropic pledge and loans and equity investments totaling more than $1.5 billion over five years. An early Where We Live project is Parkway Overlook Apartments — the redevelopment of an apartment community that had been abandoned for 10 years. Wells Fargo provided $90 million in lending and equity investments to convert the complex into 220 affordable rental units.

The first organizations to receive the philanthropic funding are D.C. Central Kitchen, So Others May Eat, Washington Area Community Investment Fund, and MANNA, Inc. D.C. Central Kitchen is receiving $150,000 to support the organization’s youth job training center and retail café, where residents can learn job skills and real-life work experience. So Others May Eat is receiving $100,000 for its housing program, where homeless families who enter with little income and minimal financial management knowledge can create plans for financial, professional, and personal objectives. Washington Area Community Investment Fund is receiving $125,000 to help underserved, community-minded entrepreneurs build their businesses and receive training and financial education. MANNA, Inc. is receiving $125,000 to help low- and moderate-income individuals secure high-quality housing.

Wells Fargo has been a presence in Washington, D.C., since 1914 and provides local funding for education, the arts, and neighborhood revitalization, among other community needs. The company is the No. 2 corporate cash donor in the U.S., according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. In 2017, the Wells Fargo Foundation donated more than $286.5 million to more than 14,500 nonprofits. The company also is on track to increase its philanthropy by 40 percent in 2018, targeting $400 million in donations by the end of the year. Beginning in 2019, Wells Fargo plans to invest 2 percent of its after-tax profits in philanthropy.

“By working together, we can help our local communities thrive,” said Wells Fargo Head of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations Jon Campbell. “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.”