Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward was on hand Wednesday as Wells Fargo awarded a $50,000 Priority Markets Initiative Grant to Pensacola-based Community Enterprise Investments, Inc. (CEII) to support neighborhood revitalization.
The grant was presented in front of the home at 811 Woodland Drive, where CEII worked with the City and Escambia County to rebuild a condemned home that had become a neighborhood eyesore. Hayward was joined by Wells Fargo Regional President Scott Coble, as well as CEII Executive Director Jim Oleksak and Board Chairman Sam Horton.
“Over the past two years, I’ve made neighborhoods a priority,” said Mayor Hayward. “But government can’t do this alone. To be truly successful, we must partner with neighborhood associations, non-profits, and private sector companies like Wells Fargo, which are committed to this community. We must form a new coalition of those who believe in our city and its future.”
Coble thanked Mayor Hayward for proactively reaching out to the private sector in support of his neighborhood initiatives.
“Wells Fargo is committed to working with the City of Pensacola, Mayor Hayward, and our nonprofit partners to help stabilize and rebuild local communities,” said Coble. “This grant to CEII is just one part of what Wells Fargo is doing to help revitalize neighborhoods in cities that have been deeply affected by the challenging economy.”
In addition to the grant, Wells Fargo employees will volunteer at least 160 hours of service to CEII for its affordable housing activities.
CEII will use the grant funds to help stabilize neighborhoods in Pensacola. CEII is a Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) administrator for Escambia County and acquires foreclosed properties, rehabilitates them, and either sells or rents the rehabilitated homes to income eligible households at or below 80% of the County median income. CEII will also expand its housing counseling services to include financial education, homeownership workshops, and foreclosure counseling, as well as implement an Energy Efficiency Rehabilitation Program.
“CEII has served the neighborhoods of Pensacola since 1974,” said Oleksak. “We are grateful for the financial contribution and volunteer staff support of Wells Fargo employees to address the need for affordable housing in the City of Pensacola. It is through the commitment of public-private partnerships that neighborhood stabilization issues can be addressed and the quality of life issues of families can be improved.”
Also in attendance at the announcement were Pensacola City Council members Charles Bare and Gerald Wingate, as well as Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May.