San Francisco and Washington, DC - February 5, 2013
Wells Fargo, one of America’s leading financial services companies, and NeighborWorks America, a national non-profit organization which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes and improve their lives, today marked the one-year anniversary of their NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM programs by announcing the efforts have helped 1,624 moderate income buyers purchase homes with the help of homebuyer education training and $27 million of down payment assistance grants. In addition, 460 applicants have a contract to purchase a home through the programs with the help of nearly $8 million for down payment assistance. More than $64 million remains available for down payment assistance grants through LIFT programs in participating housing markets.
The $170 million initiative created by Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America has sought to keep the dream of homeownership within reach for prospective homebuyers facing down payment challenges in cities deeply affected by the housing crisis. The programs – first launched in February 2012 in Los Angeles and Atlanta – have made down payment assistance grants ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per homebuyer depending on the housing market.
Pre-qualified applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area; complete required homebuyer education training administered by HUD-approved housing counselors such as NeighborWorks America affiliates; and earn their down payment assistance grants when they buy and reside in an eligible home for five years. Mortgages available through the program are not exclusively offered through Wells Fargo, America’s largest mortgage lender, and the down payment grants, while funded by Wells Fargo, are administered by NeighborWorks America’s network of non-profit affiliates.
“NeighborWorks America and Wells Fargo have reached an important milestone in helping more than 1,600 families achieve the dream of homeownership through the LIFT programs,” said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. “These programs contribute to community stabilization because they promote successful, sustainable homeownership that’s grounded in making responsible buying choices.”
“At Wells Fargo, we believe in programs like LIFT because they provide community-based solutions that deliver real help to families,” said Jon Campbell, Wells Fargo’s executive vice president and head of Government and Community Relations. “These programs encourage the kind of collaboration that needs to keep happening between the private sector, the non-profit sector and elected and public officials.”
Since the inception of the programs, more than 14,000 potential home buyers have attended NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM events in the following cities: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, Sacramento, and Oakland. The next CityLIFTSM program homebuyer event is scheduled April 5-6 in Baltimore. Visit www.nhsbaltimore.org for more information about the CityLIFTSM program in Baltimore.
The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFTSMprogram is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.
The CityLIFTSM program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The program was developed in connection with the 2012 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and NeighborWorks America.
About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 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 has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.