Wells Fargo to commit $1.6B in D.C. for neighborhood investment

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Wells Fargo plans to commit $1.6 billion over five years to support lending and philanthropy in the nation's capital.

The company announced a program Tuesday called "Where We Live" that directs investments into specific Washington D.C. neighborhoods. The program was developed in partnership with local organizations and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the bank said.

Wells Fargo’s new commitment includes $16 million in philanthropy over five years, which triples the bank’s giving in Washington, D.C. The philanthropy will have a specific focus on two sections of the city: Ward 7 and Ward 8.

The local organizations that will receive funding from Wells Fargo include DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that recycles food in the city and provides job training in the culinary field, as well as the Washington Area Community Investment Fund.

“Communities succeed when we all work together,” said Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan in the press release. “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.”

Wells Fargo, which opened its first location in Washington, D.C., in 1914, is also committing $1.5 billion in loans and equity investments in the area.

One of the first Where We Live projects is a development in Ward 8 that aims to convert an abandoned housing complex into 220 affordable rental units. The project will receive $90 million in lending and equity investments from Wells Fargo, according to the release.

“This is an important step by Wells Fargo to expand its investment in the District, and to listen and work more closely with community groups," said John Taylor, president and founder of NCRC, in the release. "Expanding access to mortgage and small business loans is essential to closing the wealth gap. Lenders need to listen and focus on the needs of the communities where they do business. It's heartening to see Wells Fargo strengthen its commitment to do just that.”

Last year, JPMorgan Chase committed $10 million over three years to drive economic growth in Washington D.C., also with a focus on Ward 7 and Ward 8.

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