Willamette West Habitat for Humanity Recognized by Bank of America for Its Impact in Addressing Housing Insecurity
Mark Forker, (from left) Willamette West Habitat for Humanity Executive Director; Monique Barton, Bank of America SVP Corporate Social Responsibility; Esca; Roger Hinshaw, Bank of America Market President for Oregon and Southwest Washington and Nicole Frisch, Bank of America VP Corporate Social Responsibility
Willamette West Habitat for Humanity is honored to have been named by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation as a 2016 Neighborhood Builders® partner. The award combines $200,000 in flexible funding with leadership training for high-performing nonprofits and their executives. Willamette West Habitat will use the funds for their Critical Home Repairs program to preserve and ensure safe, decent, and affordable housing throughout Washington County. The award was presented at a home in Tigard, which will be the first project completed using this important funding, and announced on AM Northwest in March.
Since its inception in 1988, Willamette West Habitat for Humanity has served more than 100 local families. To complement its traditional home building programs, Habitat launched its Critical Home Repair program in Washington County, including Aloha, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard and Tualatin, and in parts of Clackamas County including Lake Oswego, West Linn and Wilsonville. Critical Home Repair helps individuals and families address critical needs in their homes by focusing on safety, accessibility and meeting municipal codes. By offering this program to several homes in a given community, it helps elevate an entire neighborhood in terms of revitalization efforts.
Critical Home Repair Volunteers and Willamette West Staff
A common misconception associated with the Habitat for Humanity organization is that the nonprofit simply gives houses away, when in fact residents make modest, no-interest loan payments to Habitat and pay property taxes like any other homeowner. In 2015 alone, Willamette West Habitat families paid over $193,000 in property taxes and for every eight homes built in Washington County, over $1 million is contributed to the local economy. Homeowners partner with Habitat by working alongside volunteers to build their house, and others’ homes, earning “sweat equity” along with the appreciation of seeing their dreams come to life.
Since 2004, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has invested $183 million to more than 900 nonprofit organizations and provided leadership resources to nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders through Neighborhood Builders and the Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program®. This long-term investment in nonprofit leadership development and capacity building is the largest philanthropic investment of its kind.
Neighborhood Builders is just one example of Bank of America's broader corporate social responsibility efforts to build vibrant communities and economies. By advancing partnerships with nonprofits addressing needs related to community development, basic human services and workforce development and education, Bank of America is working to increase financial stability and help individuals and families find the pathways out of poverty.
“Our initial home repair partnership with Willamette West Habitat demonstrated how critical access to safe and stable housing is to a family’s financial well-being and the overall importance affordable housing plays into the economic stability of our community."
- Roger Hinshaw, Bank of America market president for Oregon and Southwest Washington
"We’re very appreciative to have partners like Bank of America that share our vision and help provide the momentum to accomplish our goals for our Critical Home Repair program and engage more of our volunteers.”
- Mark Forker, executive director of Willamette West Habitat for Humanity