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News Releases

BMO Advances Affordable Housing Preservation and Health Equity in California with $1 Million Commitment
  • New grants supporting wealth and equity growth, building preservation and resilience, and health equity in California communities
  • Grants are part of BMO EMpower 2.0, the bank's more than $40 billion commitment to local communities, with more than $16 billion targeted for California

LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2023 /CNW/ - BMO today announced a $1 million commitment to further the progress of affordable housing preservation and health equity work in California. Two organizations, Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) and Direct Relief, will each receive $500,000 to support building preservation and resilience, and health equity in California communities.

"As BMO enters new markets in California, our purpose is to create a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society," said Kimberley Goode, Chief Communications and Social Impact Officer, BMO. "We are proud to support the valuable work that Enterprise Community Partners and Direct Relief are leading to help the people of California make progress."

Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one by increasing the supply of affordable housing, advancing racial equity, and building resilience and upward mobility in communities. Since 1982, Enterprise has invested $64 billion and created 951,000 homes across all 50 states – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging. BMO's grant will advance and expand Enterprise's Preservation Next program in Northern and Southern California to help ensure families can remain in their homes and communities.

"Affordable homes in small- and medium-sized properties are critical community assets. Keeping them affordable is vital to stability and upward mobility for so many families," said Jacqueline Waggoner, president of Enterprise's Solutions Division. "BMO's significant support allows us to provide tools, training, and individual support to dozens of organizations working to preserve affordable homes across California."  

Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization that works to equip health professionals and resource-poor communities to meet the challenges of diagnosing and caring for people in need during disasters. As vulnerable communities prepare for more frequent and destructive emergencies, Direct Relief responds to ensure the availability of quick, effective, and efficient medical resources.

BMO's grant will support Direct Relief's Power for Health initiative, a nationwide project that will allow health centers and free clinics to be more resilient to climate change. Two community centers that treat the medically underserved, the Marin Community Clinic in Novato and the UMMA Community Clinic in Los Angeles, will receive financial assistance. As the first corporate sponsor with the largest grant, BMO's support will help Direct Relief provide cost savings for the facilities, a carbon offset to ensure environmental sustainability and improve equitable community access to healthcare.

"Direct Relief is so deeply appreciative of BMO's foresight in recognizing the imperative for innovative solutions in a rapidly evolving environment. Their support for Direct Relief's Power for Health initiative is not only critical but serves as a catalyzing force multiplier that demonstrates what's possible when businesses and nonprofits work together." said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. "BMO's leadership is precisely what's needed in this moment. Climate risks are escalating rapidly, with a surge in unprecedented weather emergencies underscoring the urgent need to transition from a reactive response-driven approach to a proactive and anticipatory one -- especially for America's nonprofit healthcare safety net, which serves as a lifeline for the nation's most vulnerable residents. BMO's support provides a critical lifeline to ensure our clinic can continue to provide compassionate and affordable health care to uninsured and low-income residents."

"We are so appreciative of the partnership with BMO and Direct Relief's Power for Health for Marin Community Clinics' solar roofing project in Novato. This is a tremendous boost to our health center's Green Initiative," said Leigha Andrews, Interim CEO, Marin Community Clinics. "While climate change affects everyone, we know that our low-income community members suffer the most from pollution and weather emergencies."

BMO is committed to eliminating health inequities in the communities it serves. In February, BMO donated $250,000 to the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation to advance patient care and innovation at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. In 2021, BMO donated $10 million to the Rush University System for Health to create the Rush BMO Institute for Health Equity to ensure zero barriers to inclusion for communities across Chicago. The institute is focused on removing obstacles to healthcare such as poverty and discrimination and increasing life expectancy in underserved neighborhoods.

The grants are part of BMO EMpower 2.0, the bank's more than $40 billion commitment to local communities in the U.S. More than $16 billion of the commitment is targeted for the State of California.

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.15 trillion as of January 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 12 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and more inclusive society.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

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