Nonprofit housing counseling organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in 15 states will receive unrestricted grants and resources from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), thanks to funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
The grants will provide financial support for technology and other expenses to members of NCRC’s Housing Counseling Network in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Tennessee, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, California, Wisconsin, Iowa and the District of Columbia.
Housing counselors are expected to play a critical role in coming months, when millions of Americans impacted financially by the pandemic will need help to avoid mortgage foreclosures and rental evictions.
NCRC will also host virtual meetings with housing counselors and provide information about housing counseling in multiple languages.
“This initiative is a great first step to ensure on-the-ground community organizations have the finances and tools they need to best help their communities recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis,” said Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC. “We are excited to be working with the Wells Fargo Foundation on this important work.”
“Wells Fargo is committed to the importance of home for everyone in our nation,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Having a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home is essential to help lay the foundation for wellness, dignity and economic opportunity. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, as far too many people are facing housing instability, these grants will support hundreds of nonprofit professionals and their organizations whose missions are to keep people in their homes and create opportunities to have a home.”
Funding provided to NCRC is part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $175 million commitment to assist people and communities in response to COVID-19 that includes enabling national nonprofit housing intermediaries, local housing counselors, and nonprofit housing providers to support housing stability for more than 100,000 renters and homeowners across the U.S. facing financial challenges.
“We are here for the people of Michigan when they call because our partners are here for us, especially during this critical time of helping people through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sandra Pearson, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. “On behalf of all of us with the Habitat for Humanity network throughout Michigan and our partner families who are so thankful for our counseling services, we thank you NCRC and the Wells Fargo Foundation for making sure we continue to provide services during this very challenging time.”
“This funding has allowed Southwest Neighborhood Housing Services (SWNHS) to upgrade our technology and market our services allowing us to serve more clients regardless of who their lenders are,” said Robert Garcia, Executive Director of Southwest Neighborhood Housing Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “It demonstrates NCRC and Wells Fargo readiness and aspiration to serve the community as we navigate through this difficult time.”
“Our partnership with NCRC has been the impetus for our growth as a HUD-approved housing counseling agency through financial support, professional development and technical assistance,” said Deborah Harding, Executive Director, You Can Make It Homeownership Center in Smyrna, Tennessee. “We are grateful to be a part of an intermediary that speaks for the ‘people’ and gives us a voice at the highest levels of government. NCRC and You Can Make It Home Ownership Center, Inc. share a common mission to see equitable access to services and resources that foster financial capability and wealth building particularly for marginalized populations.”
For more information about the Housing Counseling Network, or about how your organization can support COVID-19 response, contact Ibijoke Akinbowale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wells Fargo Foundation
Habitat for Humanity
You Can Make It Homeownership Center