Bank of America unveils push to help Charlotte housing efforts

Bank of America kicked of a week of community service Monday by announcing plans to invest $325,000 in the work of eight Charlotte nonprofits that help the needy find and maintain affordable housing.

The grants were unveiled during the kickoff of the bank’s “global build” initiative to promote affordable housing projects in 36 markets in the U.S. and abroad.

As part of that initiative, 15 homes are to be built by 125 bank staff volunteers in Charlotte, through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Worldwide, more than 1,000 Bank of America employees will take part in volunteer events in 32 U.S. cities, as well as London, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Jakarta, Indonesia.

The 15 homes being built are part of an ongoing Habitat Charlotte effort to revive the north Charlotte Arvin Meadows community. Habitat was able to acquire 23 lots in Arvin Meadows during the recent recession when a starter home developer ceased work in the area. All 15 of the homes to be built by the bank are on Hey Rock Court.

Bank officials said the initiative is part of a $6 million investment from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation into local Habitat affiliates around the world, including cities in the United Kingdom and Asia-Pacific. The bank has supported Habitat’s work for more than 25 years and said Monday that it is extending that commitment for an additional three years.

“Homeownership is a critical part of financial security and a cornerstone of thriving neighborhoods, but it is still hard to achieve for many residents of Charlotte,” Charles Bowman, the bank’s North Carolina market president, said in a statement.

“This build, as well as our wider investments, are just a part of our ongoing commitment to make Charlotte a stronger and more vibrant community.”

In addition to Habitat Charlotte, local nonprofits receiving a share of the $325,000 include the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and Davidson Housing Coalition. Those groups help individuals and families achieve financial stability and homeownership through affordable housing and financial literacy education.

Other recipients include Belmont Community Development, Community Link, Crossroads Corp., Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center.