National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), a national nonprofit dedicated to creating safe and healthy homes for children and their families, and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has committed up to $850,000 over three years to help launch the “Healthy Housing Challenge.” This new initiative seeks to bring home improvement help to seniors, veterans and low-income families currently living in homes with potential safety and health threats. Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe and healthy housing for America’s families, will lead the home improvement work on the 1,500 homes. The Healthy Housing Challenge takes its inspiration from a recent federal government report – Healthy Homes Strategy for Action – that estimated more than 30 million homes have potential health threats that contribute to asthma and other respiratory diseases, carbon-monoxide poisoning, lung cancer, falls and burns. The Healthy Housing Challenge seeks to awaken homeowners, health care providers, and policymakers to the many low-cost ways to make homes healthier. “This funding and volunteers from Wells Fargo will help us reach 1,500 families with life-saving upgrades to their homes,” said Rebecca Morley, National Center for Healthy Housing’s executive director. “Millions of families across the country have both obvious and hidden hazards in their homes and homeowners often are unaware these problems can be solved through relatively simple fixes. This initiative will help us make repairs and raise awareness about the important connection between our homes and our health.” “We are honored to work with NCHH and Rebuilding Together in this ground-breaking challenge that will deliver needed housing repairs for seniors, veterans, and families across the U.S.,” said Mike Rizer, Wells Fargo community relations director and a board member of NCHH. “We hope others will join us in supporting the Healthy Housing Challenge and its efforts to help make safer homes.”
The $850,000 commitment includes a $1 for $1 match up to $250,000 for cash contributions made by other foundations, corporations and individuals to NCHH for the Healthy Housing Challenge. The $250,000 match is effective immediately and extends through September 2013. Funds raised will provide tools, training and technical assistance to launch the Challenge, which will enable 40 Rebuilding Together affiliates to enhance the health and safety of 1,500 low-income households over the next three years. The remaining $600,000 will support repairs on homes in Healthy Housing Challenge cities. Wells Fargo team members will also get involved by volunteering to help Rebuilding Together affiliates complete Healthy Housing Challenge home repairs such as adding hand rails, improving ventilation, correcting moisture problems, and fixing fire and electrical hazards.The Challenge kicks off initially this Spring with Rebuilding Together affiliates in nine communities: Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church, VA; Baltimore, MD; Denver, CO; Peninsula and Sacramento, CA; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA; Omaha NE; and Triangle, NC. The Challenge then plans to add additional affiliates across the country. “The Healthy Housing Challenge will help transform our operations by increasing the level of service we can provide to homeowners across the country,” said John White, Rebuilding Together’s chief business officer. “We know the need is there. With the training and resources provided by the Healthy Housing Challenge, we can ensure that families are safe and healthy in their homes.” Recent health and safety repairs to a home in Falls Church, Va. eliminated a homeowner's multiple trips to the emergency room for her grandson's asthma, according to the National Center for Healthy Housing. The repairs also helped the homeowner save $100 a month on utility bills. About the National Center for Healthy Housing The National Center for Healthy Housing is the preeminent national nonprofit dedicated to creating safe and healthy housing for America’s families. It has trained over 35,000 individuals in lead-safe and healthy housing practices since 2005, and its research provides the scientific basis for major federal policies and programs. NCHH develops scientifically valid and practical strategies to make homes safe from hazards and to protect low-income families at highest risk. You can follow NCHH on Twitter @nchh or become a fan on Facebook at Facebook.com/HealthyHousing. To see a video about NCHH visit http://vimeo.com/59202134. About Rebuilding Together Rebuilding Together is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes Community Starts at Home. Our focus provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficient upgrades to low-income homes and community centers at no cost to service recipients. Our impact extends beyond the individuals served to revitalize and stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and communities across the country. Our nearly 200 local affiliates complete 10,000 rebuild projects a year thanks to the efforts of about 200,000 volunteers from corporate partners, skilled trade professionals and everyday good citizens. Join us — visit www.RebuildingTogether.org. About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Since its inception in 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has stewarded more than $200 million dollars and 4.6 million team member volunteer hours in support of creating affordable housing and community revitalization programs. Wells Fargo Housing Foundation’s Team Member Volunteer Program has mobilized more than 184,000 volunteers to build or refurbish nearly 5,000 homes in low-to-moderate income communities.