Wells Fargo & Company has announced the launch of a $20 million Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge to address problems in housing construction, financing, and support services for low- and moderate-income families, the elderly, and the homeless.
Part of a $1 billion commitment to housing affordability in the U.S., the challenge is designed to identify ways to increase the availability and sustainability of affordable housing across the country. In partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, the challenge will seek to develop, accelerate, and scale promising ideas, models, and approaches to solving housing affordability issues; provide peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities; and disseminate ideas and models that engage a broader audience of stakeholders in search of housing affordability innovations.
Eileen Fitzgerald will join Wells as head of its housing affordability philanthropy unit in September and in that role will be responsible for the bank's housing affordability grantmaking, collaborations with other nonprofits, and initiatives to strengthen the national housing affordability movement. Fitzgerald currently serves as president and CEO of Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, a nonprofit collaborative that owns and operates more than a hundred and forty thousand affordable rental homes across the country; she previously served as CEO and chief operating officer of NeighborWorks America.
"America can't afford unaffordable housing," said Wells Fargo Foundation president Brandee McHale. "Wells Fargo is committed to addressing the full spectrum of housing issues. With Eileen at the helm, I am confident we will move quickly to further develop solutions to challenges ranging from homelessness to rental housing to homeownership — all with a goal of unlocking more housing options for those in need."