The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced that during the first six months of 2012, it awarded $274,200 in grants to Portland-area nonprofits. The grants focus significantly on neighborhood revitalization, with $158,000 going to local community development nonprofits focused on building and rehabilitating affordable housing facilities, foreclosure prevention services and homeowner counseling, and providing other services intended to help families with homeownership.

“Challenges in the housing sector such as lack of affordable homes can hinder economic recovery and vitality, so I’m pleased to see Bank of America’s leadership in focusing their philanthropic resources on building stronger neighborhoods,” said Steve Messinetti, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East. “The $75,000 grant we just received will provide enough funding to build an entire new house for a waiting family-in-need. And beyond the dollars, Bank of America’s employees will be helping build the home, too, with volunteering being a part of the partnership.”

The majority of funds are part of a recently announced $22 million in housing-related grants that will impact more than 650 nonprofit organizations serving low- and moderate-income communities in 34 states. Locally, Bank of America provided grants to 20 nonprofits in the Portland area, including: Innovative Changes: to provide operating support to reach 1,200 low-income individuals with financial education, credit building, coaching, asset building and small dollar loans in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties.

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East: to sponsor one new house-build in Oregon’s largest Habitat development in the Centennial Neighborhood. Portland Housing Center: to invest in the HomeOwner Basics program and provide 1,300 individuals with homeownership counsel. Habitat for Humanity Willamette West: in support of a home in the new Hillsboro development of nine houses for local low-income, hardworking families.

The other grant recipients include Albertina Kerr Center Foundation, Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions, Friends of Tryon Creek Park, Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington, Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, Northwest Business Committee for the Arts, Oregon Children’s Theatre Company, Oregon Food Bank Inc., Oregon Opportunity Network, Portland Business Alliance Charitable, Portland Opera Association, Reach Community Development, Rebuilding Together Portland, Schoolhouse Supplies, Wy’East Economic Development Institute and Young Entrepreneurs Business Week.

“Bank of America is committed to strengthening Oregon’s communities by supporting local nonprofits that are effectively addressing critical community needs, and that are having the greatest impact in their reach and outcomes,” said Monique Barton, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Bank of America in Oregon and Southwest Washington. “This latest philanthropic investment we’ve made will impact more than 3,000 individuals and families in the Portland metro area alone, and that’s something our local employees are proud to be a part of.” Supporting housing nonprofits is one component of the company’s three-pronged philanthropic focus on housing, jobs and hunger — three areas that are vital to stimulating the national economic recovery. Bank of America recently issued a request for proposals for nonprofits providing education, job training and workforce programs, and will issue a similar request related to critical needs and hunger later this fall. The company continues to focus on low- and moderate-income communities that have been hardest hit in the economic downturn. Learn more at Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility Bank of America corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way across more than 100 markets around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create shared value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community. For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.