Wells Fargo Bank is trying to correct some wrong that has hurt the company in recent years. The company is doing that by working with cities to provide affordable housing. Recently, Wells Fargo signed a deal with the City of Houston to provide $40 million and work with Five Woods Realty.
Five Woods Realty initially launched as a residential real estate brokerage company in 2005 to provide services to families and investors. The company expanded to provide commercial real estate in 2007. It is located in Houston and working with Wells Fargo on this initiative.
In regards to the new project, Five Woods CEO Laolu Davies-Yemitan said:
“Essentially, it’s for folks who work in fast food, people who might work at Starbucks, your grocery store clerks, all the way up to your first-year firefighters. So, we’re building housing for the base workforce who often are not accounted for in most housing developments that you see.”
“Through that program, Wells Fargo, through its partnership with community-based lending institutions, hopes to help these minority development firms grow and scale up their businesses.”
The development is located in Midtown on Caroline Street.
Wells Fargo has had a scandal associated with its name when it came to residential lending. Since 2017, Sacramento, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Miami have sued the bank on claims of predatory lending that violated the Fair Housing Act.
The cities accused Wells Fargo of offering high-risk loans to African Americans and the Hispanic community. The bank is also accused of running a fraudulent scheme to undermine housing tax credits.
So, to improve its image, the Wells Fargo Foundation plans to commit $1 billion in philanthropic funds to address affordable housing through 2025.
In 2018, Wells Fargo donated $444 million to 11,000 non-profit organizations. This was a 40 percent increase over the previous year for corporate giving.
Earlier this year, Wells Fargo awarded $1.5 million to two affordable housing projects in Austin, Texas.
Do you think these acts by Wells Fargo do enough to improve its image with the community?