U.S. Bank: Donates $127,000 to Urban League to celebrate successful homeownership program

February 21, 2022, Madison: Local and national leaders from U.S. Bank and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation will visit the Urban League of Greater Madison tomorrow to present a donation of $127,000 to support the Urban League’s homeownership and financial empowerment programs.

The contribution is being made to celebrate the successful closeout of a homeownership project that the two organizations have collaborated on for more than 20 years. Recently, the Urban League successfully sold the last of 51 homes that were acquired and renovated by the partnership and then rented at far below market rates to low-and-moderate income families who then had the option to purchase.

“We are incredibly proud of what we accomplished through this collaboration with U.S. Bank,” said Urban League CEO, Ruben Anthony, Jr. “Not only were we able to provide quality, stable, affordable homes but we were also able to collaborate on financial education and other homeownership training and coaching to ensure families were successful. The result of this partnership is 51 families earning less than 60% of Dane County median income and having never owned a home succeeded in the program.”

The program was innovative in becoming one of the first programs in the country to use Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated through the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) for a single-family homeownership program, rather than for multi-family rental housing. WHEDA replicated the program in other parts of the state throughout the years.

In 2018, the program won a national award. The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award recognizes outstanding nonprofit organizations in the United States that have shown exemplary leadership by facilitating partnerships with public, private or social sector leaders and working together with them as equal partners to build a cohesive community that serves as a model for collaborating with others for the greater good. In addition to U.S. Bank and WHEDA, these partners included Wisconsin Affordable Housing Corp., the City of Madison, United Way of Dane County, and many others throughout the years.

“At U.S. Bank, we’re focused on supporting efforts that connect individuals and families with sustainable housing opportunities,” said Dan Frazier, U.S. Bank’s Madison market president. “A perfect example of this work is our partnership with the Urban League of Greater Madison. This partnership is unique, as it includes philanthropic contributions paired with our tax credits work from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC). Together, we congratulate the Urban League on its work to get more people into homes.”

At the conclusion of the program, these 51 families had collectively built nearly $3,000,000 in home equity. Of those families who participated, 85% were families of color, 65% were female headed households, and average household size was 5. On average, families had less than $1,000 in cash savings when they entered the program. Families who participated in the program saw household income grows an average 76% during the time they were in the program.

“U.S. Bank is excited to make this $127,000 donation to the Urban League,” said Beth Stohr, USBCDC director of Affordable Housing. “Given the Urban League’s track record, we are confident they will invest these funds into more great financial empowerment programming that will return multi-generations impact many times the value of this donation.”