‘NeighborhoodLIFT’ program to boost Florida housing market with $30 million investment

Miami to be the first of four Florida cities to launch program, which includes up to $15,000 in down payment assistance grants per qualified homebuyer
  • Includes five-year goal of $300 million in mortgage loans for Miami homebuyers
  • Offers Miami homebuyers the opportunity to attend a June 1-2 event at the Miami Airport Convention Center where they can apply for down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs totaling $9 million in 2012 for sustainable homeownership initiatives
  • At the event, NeighborWorks America and its Miami affiliate Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida will determine income eligibility for a reservation of down payment assistance grants of up to $15,000 per homebuyer in the City of Miami
  • Initiative includes a home mortgage lending goal of a total of $1.75 billion over five years in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville
  • Following Miami, NeighborhoodLIFTSM events to be held in Tampa, Orlando and, Jacksonville that build on company’s ‘Home Preservation Workshops,’ Wells Fargo’s signature, city-by-city effort focused on helping homeowners avoid foreclosure
  • NeighborhoodLIFTSM events in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix have helped 1,228 potential homebuyers qualify for down payment assistance reservations totaling up to $24.6 million

MIAMI - May 11, 2012

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), one of America’s leading community banks and the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced that the NeighborhoodLIFTSMprogram, a major effort to help stabilize neighborhoods deeply affected by the foreclosure crisis, is coming to Florida. The program will launch in Miami on June 1 – 2 with a free large-scale homebuyer workshop at the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Miami is the sixth city to launch the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program, following Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program at www.neighborhoodlift.org or by calling 866-858-2151. Pre-registration is encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.

The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program was created to help communities overcome the dual challenge of high inventories of unsold homes while providing assistance for prospective buyers. Wells Fargo is committing $30 million in the state of Florida to fund the program that will help hundreds of residents of four cities, including Miami, become homeowners.

In Miami, the program includes a five-year goal of $300 million in mortgage purchase loans by Wells Fargo, and a $9 million investment in down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs that help consumers achieve successful, sustainable home ownership. Wells Fargo will collaborate with the City of Miami and the non-profit organization NeighborWorks America and its local Miami affiliate Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida to execute the program.

“The downturn in the economy has created challenges for many of our Miami citizens to become homeowners,” said City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida on this important sustainable housing effort. It’s time to get our housing market moving again.”

The Florida NeighborhoodLIFTSM initiative also includes commitments of:

  • $7 million in Tampa with a homebuyer event on June 22 – 23,
  • $7 million in Orlando with a homebuyer event on July 13 – 14, and
  • $7 million in Jacksonville with a homebuyer event on July 27 – 28.

All four participating Florida cities were chosen based on their high concentration of homeowners, foreclosures, delinquencies and overall housing inventory.

“Florida was one of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis,” said Shelley Freeman, Wells Fargo’s Florida Regional President. “Today, despite low home prices and historically low interest rates, many Floridians are still unable to purchase a home because they simply cannot afford the down payment. Through NeighborhoodLIFTSM , Wells Fargo is helping to address this issue by providing the down payment assistance needed to help get people into homes.”

The June 1 – 2 NeighborhoodLIFTSM event in Miami is for anyone interested in buying and living in a home in the City of Miami. Down payment assistance of up to $15,000 is available to those who qualify, buy and reside in a home in Miami. To qualify for down payment assistance that may be applied to mortgage purchase loans with any lender, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the area median income; completion of an eight-hour homebuyer education session with the approved NeighborWorks America affiliate; a commitment to stay in the home for five years; and qualification for a first mortgage on the property.

At the event, potential homebuyers can find out if they qualify for the down payment assistance program for a mortgage purchase loan with any lender and reserve funds for 60 days – even if they have not yet found a property. They can also get pre-approved for a mortgage and if they face credit challenges they can sign up for free counseling.

In addition, prospective homebuyers may stop by the Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour™ viewing center to preview the features and prices of about 100 homes available for sale in each city. And they can board a tour bus for a free ride to see and go inside the homes. Buses will depart from noon to 5 p.m. each day to the neighborhoods. Self-directed tours are also encouraged.

"This is a tremendous commitment by Wells Fargo to support homeowners and communities," said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America, the national non-profit collaborating with Wells Fargo on NeighborhoodLIFTSM. "This is the kind of public-private collaboration that can help communities tackle difficult challenges and families realize their goal of sustainable home ownership."

Wells Fargo officials will announce the remainder of the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program’s participating cities in coming weeks.

About Neighborhood LIFTSM
The NeighborhoodLIFT SM program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT SMprogram is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities deeply affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 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 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 272,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

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