SAN FRANCISCO--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--More than 2,000 families and individuals purchased their home in 2016 through Wells Fargo LIFT programs, which offer homebuyer education plus down payment assistance in local communities.
Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks® America created the NeighborhoodLIFT® program to help local economic recovery and advance neighborhood revitalization through sustainable homeownership. Since 2012, Wells Fargo has invested more than $327 million in LIFT programs for 48 communities to help create 12,725 sustainable homeowners. As part of the effort, Wells Fargo donated $29 million in local initiative grants to nonprofits in support of neighborhood revitalization. NeighborWorks America and its local network members administer the program, determine eligibility and provide the required homebuyer education.
This year, Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks further enhanced the program by specifically focusing it to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income homebuyers, military servicemembers and veterans by offering matching down payment assistance grants up to $7,500 for those who are eligible. During the year, with a $50 million investment by Wells Fargo, NeighborhoodLIFT program was expanded to Maricopa County, AZ; San Diego County, Calif.; Philadelphia; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Seattle-King County, Wash.; Columbia, S.C.; Austin, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; and El Paso, Texas.
“The NeighborhoodLIFT program helps make homeownership achievable,” said Kim Smith-Moore, LIFT programs national manager with Wells Fargo Home Lending. “Having completed homebuyer education, these 12,725 families and individuals are better prepared to be successful and sustainable homeowners over time.”
Grant Money Still Available in Many Communities
Grant funds are still available for LIFT programs down payment assistance in Detroit; San Diego County; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Seattle-King County, Wash.; Columbia, S.C.; Austin, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; and El Paso, Texas.
The Wells Fargo 2016 NeighborhoodLIFT program matching down payment assistance grants may be combined with other down payment assistance programs to provide additional financial benefit and homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender. Interested homebuyers can learn more about the program at www.NeighborhoodLIFT.com.
To be eligible for NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance, homebuyers must meet criteria such as income not exceeding 80 percent of the area median income – or up to 100 percent for military servicemembers and veterans, complete an eight-hour homebuyer education course with a HUD-approved counselor, have a contract to purchase a home, and make an appointment with a participating NeighborWorks network member to reserve a down payment assistance grant. A video about the program can be viewed on Wells Fargo Stories.
LIFT programs impact report by NeighborWorks America
An analysis of the impact of LIFT programs among the first 10,000 homebuyers compiled by NeighborWorks America indicates:
- Sixty-one percent of LIFT homebuyers earn 80 percent or less of the area median income, compared with 21 percent of conventional buyers.
- Among LIFT buyers surveyed, 43 percent pay less for housing than they did previously. Of those who are paying more, the average increase is just $77.
- Eighty percent of LIFT participants stated that the homebuyer education services they received will help them manage their finances and sustain homeownership.
“This collaboration with Wells Fargo, our network members, and local communities helps put people on the path to homeownership,” said Marietta Rodriguez, vice president, National Homeownership Programs with NeighborWorks America. “A study of the first 10,000 homeowners created through LIFT programs illustrates the majority of grant recipients earn 80 percent or less of their area median income. The program is helping mortgage-ready families overcome the barrier of coming up with a sufficient down payment and the required housing counseling education classes are proven to help buyers both prepare and achieve their goals of responsible homeownership.”
About NeighborWorks America
NeighborWorks America is a national nonprofit that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 240 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.neighborworks.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.