The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced that it is awarding $22 million in grants to nonprofits that build and rehab affordable housing, offer foreclosure prevention services and homeowner counseling, and provide other services intended to revitalize neighborhoods and help working families find and keep suitable homes. These grants will support more than 650 national and local community nonprofits in 34 states. In addition, information provided by the nonprofit grantees estimates the funding will benefit more than 31 million people, providing nearly 8,000 new affordable housing units and rehabbing over 11,000 units. Supporting housing nonprofits is one component of the company’s community focus on housing, jobs and hunger – three areas that are critical to stimulating the national economic recovery. Bank of America recently issued a request for proposals for nonprofits providing education, job training and workforce success programs and will issue a similar request related to critical needs, including hunger later this year. The company continues to focus on low- and moderate-income communities that have been hardest hit in the economic downturn. “Bank of America recognizes that housing plays a critical role in stabilizing communities and advancing economic development, and we continue to look for ways to support innovative programs that will help individuals and families access and retain affordable housing,” said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “Our partnerships with local and national organizations that address housing needs are just one of the ways we’re working to help improve local economies across the country.” As part of the company’s integrated approach to addressing community challenges, about 42 percent of the nonprofits receiving support from Bank of America offer housing services alongside other programs designed to strengthen families’ financial stability, such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamp Program). Additionally, some of these nonprofits also work to ensure that affordable housing is energy efficient, which not only reduces environmental impacts but also lowers energy costs for renters and homeowners.
One of the national grant recipients is Mercy Housing, Inc., which will receive $375,000 to support the preservation of existing affordable housing, develop new units and provide integrated services that help families facing foreclosure stay in their homes, achieve financial stability and build assets. Mercy Housing has programs in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin.Most of the funding announced today supports local nonprofits like Plymouth Housing Group in Seattle, Washington, which works to eliminate homelessness and support low-income people in downtown Seattle. The $25,000 grant will support the expansion of a new initiative, The Recovery Support Program, which will assist homeless adults recovering from addiction with housing, counseling and in-house support. The Recovery Support Program will be available at The Williams Apartments, a new 81-unit building now under construction in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Half of the 81 residences will be reserved for homeless veterans. The Williams Apartments will be a LEED ®-certified, sustainably-built building. In addition to financial support, Bank of America’s employees give their time, passion and expertise to address housing needs through volunteerism. In 2011, bank employees donated more than 455,000 service hours in partnership with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and Operation Homefront. Philanthropic and volunteer support are just a few of the ways that Bank of America continues to address the foreclosure crisis and help revitalize neighborhoods. The company has completed more than one million loan modifications since 2008 and participated in more than 1,000 mortgage outreach events since 2009. Bank of America has also opened 50 customer assistance centers in 25 states hardest hit by foreclosures, providing distressed homeowners face-to-face counseling and assistance. Bank of America is the largest investor in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), with more than $1 billion in capital in more than 200 CDFIs in 45 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, financing affordable housing, community facilities, nonprofits, small businesses and micro-enterprises. In 2011, the company invested more than $443 million in CDFIs that primarily fund affordable housing initiatives across the U.S.
Bank of America Corporate Social ResponsibilityBank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way across more than 100 markets around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create shared value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/opportunity and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom. www.bankofamerica.com