SunTrust Foundation awards $5 million grant to Westside Future Fund

The SunTrust Foundation presents a $5 million grant to the Westside Future Fund to support affordable housing and economic development. Left to right: John Ahmann, Executive Director of Westside Future Fund; Bill Rogers, Chairman & CEO of SunTrust and SunTrust Foundation Chairman of the Board; Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Dr. Beverly Tatum, Westside Future Fund Vice Chairman; and Richard Dugas, Westside Future Fund Chairman.

The SunTrust Foundation has  awarded a $5 million grant to the Westside Future Fund (WFF). The grant will support mixed-income housing and economic development.

WFF is committed to establishing mixed-income communities and using a resident retention strategy that prioritizes legacy residents’ so they can stay in their neighborhoods while making housing affordable for people of mixed and fixed incomes. The SunTrust Foundation’s grant will assist with this affordable housing initiative as well as provide small business support programs to help economic growth within the Westside community.

“This grant to the Westside Future Fund is an example of our commitment to Atlanta and our ongoing support of empowering the historic Westside community,” said Bill Rogers, SunTrust chairman and CEO and SunTrust Foundation chairman of the board. “The combination of mixed-income housing, meaningful employment and local business growth transforms neighborhoods in a sustainable way, and we look forward to the long-term effect within the Westside. We’ve seen the tremendous impact that this organization has had on the community, and that’s why we chose the Westside Future Fund.”

“Thank you to the SunTrust Foundation for your commitment to the city,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Investments such as these foster vibrant, healthy, and equitable neighborhoods that will improve the quality of life for all Atlantans through the expansion of affordable housing.”

The Westside neighborhoods that WFF has identified – English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center, Just Us and Booker T. Washington – represent the areas of greatest need. WFF estimates that among nearly 1,600 households within this footprint, half of the residents earn less than $20,000 a year. Such depressed earnings make it virtually impossible to afford quality housing. The SunTrust Foundation’s grant will further the mission of affordable housing and local commerce within these communities. Together, WFF and the SunTrust Foundation will make homeownership achievable for more Westside residents and spur sustainable, increased annual incomes and economic flow within the community.

“I am grateful for the investment from SunTrust Foundation and the leadership of Bill Rogers,” said Richard Dugas, chairman of the Westside Future Fund board of directors. “I know firsthand of his deep personal commitment to the Westside and the long-standing engagement of SunTrust with the residents of this community.”

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