Wells Fargo Foundation Awards $7.5 Million to LISC Virginia To Expand Homeownership for Families of Color

Wells Fargo

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / October 24, 2022 / Wells Fargo

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, local and State elected officials joined LISC Virginia and the RVA WORTH Homeownership Collaborative to announce the launch of a new initiative to expand homeownership opportunities for Black, Hispanic, and other underserved individuals and families. Funded with a $7.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the initiative kicked off with a panel discussion featuring prominent leaders from the collaborative discussing potential solutions to racial homeownership gaps across the region.

The donation to Local Initiatives Support Corporation, or LISC, Virginia comes from Wells Fargo's Wealth Opportunity Restored Through Homeownership, or WORTH, initiative, a $60 million national effort to address systemic barriers to homeownership for people of color. Richmond is one of eight markets across the U.S. to receive a WORTH grant, which aims to help create 5,000 new homeowners of color in Virginia by the end of 2025.

"As a company, we're committed to creating opportunities for more people of color to buy their own homes," said Otis Rolley, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation and head of Philanthropy and Community Impact. "We know that without very deliberate interventions from the public and private sector, there is risk that the racial homeownership gap will continue to grow. Today's donation in Richmond is about identifying specific housing challenges in the region and accelerating actions that will build homeownership, which in turn, grows generational wealth."


According to the RVA Collaborative, the plan is to implement a variety of strategies to expand housing inventory and support homebuyers of color, including:

  • Comprehensive outreach and education campaigns

  • Increasing access to flexible, affordable products and resources for potential homebuyers

  • Innovations that reduce construction costs and enhance capacity to deliver more housing stock

  • Continuing policy efforts to address systemic barriers impacting homeownership

"The WORTH Plan represents a call to action for our region to commit to a common value of equitable economic mobility and create a more level playing field for people of color who aspire to achieving wealth building through homeownership." said Jane Ferrara, Executive Director of LISC Virginia.

About LISC Virginia

As a local office of the largest Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the United States, our reach is national, and our impact is local. Since 1990, LISC Virginia has raised $30 million locally, leveraging investments of $575 million for Virginia neighborhoods. By leveraging private and public resources, we have supported the development of more than 3,800 affordable homes, 300,000 square feet of retail and community facilities, 45,000 square feet of library space, two childcare centers, six football fields, 35 small businesses on neighborhood commercial corridors, and one community health center. LISC Virginia has also provided more than 10,000 hours of management assistance and training to our community development partners.

About the RVAWORTH Collaborative

The Collaborative consists of multiple members under the leadership of LISC Virginia. Since 2021, this group has met bi‑monthly and engaged directly with BIPOC homebuyers and the larger stakeholder community via a series of focus groups and meetings. This research formed the basis of the interventions established for this plan. Core members include Better Housing Coalition, Chamber RVA, Crater Planning Commission, HDAdvisors, HOME, Partnership for Housing Affordability, PlanRVA, project:HOMES, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation, Virginia Dept. of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia Housing.

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SOURCE: Wells Fargo

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