Bishop T.D. Jakes has announced he is partnering with Wells Fargo to build mixed-income housing in underserved communities. His goal is to revitalize neighborhoods and provide opportunities for upward mobility to those who have historically been overlooked.
The partnership will span 10 years, and Wells Fargo has committed to giving up to $1 billion in capital and financing for building projects, as well as grants from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
The partnership does not involve The Potter’s House Church, of which Jakes is pastor. Instead, the project will be undertaken by the T.D. Jakes Group, which is a conglomerate of four entities Jakes oversees: the nonprofit organizations T.D. Jakes Ministries and the T.D. Jakes Foundation, and the for-profit organizations T.D. Jakes Enterprises and T.D. Jakes Real Estate Ventures, LLC.
“We are excited to collaborate with the T.D. Jakes Group as they play a key role in the transformation of communities that will have a lasting impact for generations to come,” said Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf in a press release. “This strategic partnership goes beyond a one-off capital investment and underscores our continued commitment to diverse and inclusive communities. We look forward to seeing the meaningful difference we’ll make together in communities across the country.”
Jakes said of the partnership, “This alliance with our organization allows us to further our four decades-long work to provide economic justice, eradicate food deserts, construct desirable workplaces and affordable housing, closing the digital divide and ultimately help families leave a rich and lasting legacy for the next generation.”
“We recognize the need for CEOs like Charlie Scharf bending the arc and aim of Wells Fargo toward correcting systemic inequalities. We are committed to ensuring additional opportunities actually reach as many areas of need that we can influence,” Jakes continued. “Disruptive partnerships like this create a paradigm shift in how we can collectively bring long overdue transformation, particularly to Black and Brown communities and other marginalized groups around our nation.”
The first project will be to build a mixed-income housing and retail development in an area just outside Atlanta. In 2022, Jakes’ real estate company purchased nearly 100 acres of what used to be army base Fort McPherson, which is near Tyler Perry Studios.
In an appearance on CBS Mornings, Jakes explained his vision behind the project.
“I think it’s imperative. The fierce urgency of ‘now’ indicates to us the fact that the future looks very bleak,” said Jakes, “particularly for minorities—Black people, brown people, and also poor white people who are finding it difficult…to find a job, to find opportunities to get housing, to get upward mobility.”
Jakes is hoping to create “communities that are built in repressed neighborhoods and revitalize the community, giving the homeowners who live there, or people who lived in the community, a chance to stay there for affordable rates.”
“So this is an exciting moment for us. We’re really, really thrilled to be able to do it,” Jakes said.