Wells Fargo Gives $1M to Improve Housing in Rural Communities

July 28, 2015

Wells Fargo will donate $1 million to NeighborWorks America to help replace or rehabilitate owner-occupied homes in nine rural areas, including a southwest Oregon community.

The grant, from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, will fund most of the new $1.2 million Safe and Sound rural initiative. Each of the nine recipients, from Roseburg, Ore. to Burlington, Vt., will receive $128,500 to bring rural homes up to state and federal housing codes, increase their energy efficiency and improve air and water quality.

From the press release:

“Wells Fargo is delighted to team with Neighborworks America with this commitment to revitalize homes in rural communities,” said Connie Wright, assistant director, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. “While we are encouraged to see improvement in many housing markets, sustainable and affordable housing continues to be a critical need in communities of all sizes. We understand we can’t solve these challenges on our own and when the public and private sector work together it can add up to make a huge difference for the community.”

The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation grant to the Safe and Sound initiative comes as a new survey from NeighborWorks America suggests that adults in rural regions of the United States are not as satisfied as their counterparts in urban and suburban areas. According to the  study, rural residents generally feel worse about their local economy and job outlook than the national average with just one-third  rating their economy and job situation as better than the national average. This compares to 48 percent of suburban residents and 57 percent of urban dwellers feeling positive about their local economy and job outlook.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 20 percent of people and 5.3 million veterans live in rural regions in the United States.

David Dangler, director of the Rural Initiative at NeighborWorks America, said, “NeighborWorks America is working hard to invest in upgrading homes in rural areas and spotlight the unique challenges of adults in rural parts of the country. We are also making rural homes more energy efficient, so fewer people have to make tough choices between food or fuel.”

For more information, visit NeighborWorks America's Rural Initiative website.