Wells Fargo (No. 12 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) announced a new commitment of $60 billion over the next 10 years to increase responsible African American homeownership with 250,000 homebuyers.
Working with the National Urban League and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Wells Fargo announced the initiative February 28 at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Its commitment includes increasing the diversity of the Wells Fargo Home Lending sales team, and providing $15 million to support the effort with financial education and counseling initiatives. The African American Commitment (AAC 2027) is an explicit public declaration to address homeownership rates among blacks in the U.S. and builds on the 10-year commitment the company made last year to help create more Hispanic homebuyers.
“We’re grateful for the support of key housing and civil rights organizations, who work alongside us as we increase credit access and economic prosperity in our communities,” said Wells Fargo’s Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion and Strategic Philanthropy Jimmie Walton Paschall.
“Joining this effort are the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, which has also set a homeownership goal, the NAACP, and the National Urban League which will provide homebuyer education and counseling education through the 50 affiliates across the country to assure that potential homeowners have the best available information about buying and sustaining a home.”
A First-Time Homebuyer
After years of moving and renting, he recently became a first-time homebuyer at age 55. “It feels good,” said Camp, a resident advisor at a youth services agency in Des Moines, Iowa. “There’s this idea of ‘this place is yours, so now make sure you take care of it and enjoy it.’ I also did it for my children. As I get older, I realize the importance of leaving an asset for them.”
For Camp, the homeownership process started when he walked into his nearby Wells Fargo branch and told banker Colleena Snider, “I think I’m ready to buy a home.”
Snider referred him to Richard Cook, a home mortgage consultant who described Camp as a dream customer. “Randy was completely engaged in the process and getting us everything we needed in terms of documentation,” said Cook. “He had prepared himself for homeownership.”
Camp said Cook and mortgage processor Liesa Engel helped him navigate the homebuying process and use your LoanTracker, an online tool for uploading documents and tracking the progress of the loan. He also credited his realtor Lisa Howard for helping him find the right house.
Camp’s arrival in his new home capped off an eventful year that included receiving his associate’s degree and starting a new job at the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter in Des Moines. He said the job allows him to continue his lifelong passion of helping and uplifting young people — also a goal of his writing, which often features heroic youngsters.
Camp said he is now working on his next project while enjoying the ambience of his new home.
“I really enjoy the serenity of this house and the backyard,” he said. “It’s perfect for me. As far as where I am right now in my life, I have no regrets. Everything has just fallen into place.”