Specifically, the bank committed $1 billion in philanthropy through 2025 to “address the U.S. housing affordability crisis, including homelessness, available and affordable rentals, transitional housing and home ownership.”
The commitment included a focus on creating new affordable housing, and as piece of that effort, Wells Fargo is partnering with California Forward, an affordable housing nonprofit.
Through the partnership, Wells Fargo is giving $400,000 to California Forward to fund a study on where the bank can best apply its larger philanthropic efforts in the Golden State.
According to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state needs an additional 3.5 million housing units by 2025 to accommodate residents.
Last month, Newsom signed off on a state-wide rent control law that controls how much landlords can charge for rent. Starting in 2020, the law caps annual rent increases to 5% plus inflation.
“California Forward is working to ensure that communities in our state are growing, green and great for everyone, and that goal can’t be met if we don’t address our housing shortage,” said Micah Weinberg, CEO of CA Fwd. “We thank Wells Fargo for investing in this important work that can help all of us better understand and overcome the barriers to housing production in our state.”
Through the project, CA Fwd will “create a statewide snapshot analyzing housing needs in different markets as well as the regional capacity to pull together the necessary economic, policy and political components to catalyze greater housing affordability.”
According to the companies, the assessment will “help Wells Fargo refine current philanthropic investments while identifying new strategies that can help connect institutional efforts to expand housing affordability.”
The companies expect the review to be completed by the end of June 2020. From there, the parties will engage with cross-sector leaders to move housing action plans forward.
“Addressing housing affordability is a highly complex challenge,” said David Galasso, Wells Fargo lead region president for the Greater California region. “Collaborating with California Forward allows Wells Fargo, through its business and the Wells Fargo Foundation, to use its resources and expertise to develop and scale new ideas and activate solutions in communities of need in collaboration with public-private sector organizations.”