Wells Fargo Commits $850,000 to Help Launch Healthy Housing Challenge: Effort to Repair 1,500 Homes with Safety, Health Threats

Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.


Grants, volunteers to help National Center for Healthy Housing, Rebuilding
Together effort
SAN FRANCISCO & COLUMBIA, Md.--(Business Wire)--
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

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

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.

Wells Fargo
Chris Hammond, 415-222-4106
National Center for Healthy Housing
Rebecca Morley, 443-539-4159

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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