DALLAS - February 13, 2014
Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America® and Business & Community Lenders of Texas today joined Mayor Mike Rawlings to announce the Dallas NeighborhoodLIFT® program, an initiative offering $6.15 million from Wells Fargo to boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city’s low- and moderate-income areas.
“Homeownership is key to strengthening Dallas neighborhoods,” said Mayor Rawlings. “This public-private partnership has the potential to make a significant difference for the Dallas community. I want to recognize Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and BCL of Texas for their commitment to the city of Dallas.”
Of the $6.15 million committed by Wells Fargo, $5 million will go toward down payment assistance grants and program support to help potential homebuyers overcome the barrier of making a sufficient down payment.
Down payment assistance grants of $15,000 will be available for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Dallas area median income – which is $81,500 for a family of four – with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan. To be eligible, homebuyers must meet criteria including completing an eight-hour homebuyer education session with BCL of Texas or another HUD-approved counseling agency.
“Like many cities, Dallas was deeply impacted by the housing crisis,” said John Gavin, Wells Fargo Regional President in the Dallas community. “While mortgages are available at relatively low-interest rates, some families are unable to buy or renovate a home because they struggle with making the down payment. The NeighborhoodLIFT program can help local mortgage-ready homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”
Participants buying homes with LIFT program down payment assistance grants must commit to live in the home for five years and qualify for a first mortgage on the property. The down payment assistance grants may also be used to take out a new mortgage purchase 203k renovation loan.
In addition to providing grants for homebuyers, the Wells Fargo program will also donate $500,000 to support stabilization efforts in Dallas neighborhoods. The balance of the local financial commitment will provide homebuyer program support including the large-scale kickoff event.
Registration now open for free event Feb. 28 and March 1
The Dallas NeighborhoodLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on Feb. 28 and March. 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Dallas Hilton Anatole located at 2201 N Stemmons Freeway.
Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.neighborhoodlift.com or by calling (866) 858-2151. Pre-registration is strongly recommended for an opportunity to reserve a $15,000 down payment assistance grant, although walk-ins will be welcome while funds are available. The event will also include a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour® viewing center where attendees can preview local homes available for sale.
“This innovative partnership between NeighborWorks America, our network member BCL of Texas, and Wells Fargo will put more Dallas families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Gary Wolfe, Regional Vice President for NeighborWorks America. “The required housing counseling and education classes, provided by certified professionals, have been shown to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”
Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and BCL of Texas will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance grants. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Dallas to receive a grant.
“BCL of Texas is excited to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance,” said Rosa Rios Valdez, chief executive officer of BCL of Texas. “If your goal for 2014 is to become a Dallas homeowner, the opportunity is now. Families need to register and get prepared to work with the BCL of Texas staff to be first in line to access the down payment funds.”
Dallas is the second city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT ® program, and is now one of 24 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $190 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create more than 5,550 homeowners in housing markets where the programs have been introduced.
About the NeighborhoodLIFT® program
The NeighborhoodLIFT® program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo, the nonprofit NeighborWorks America and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.
About BCL of Texas and NeighborWorks America
Business & Community Lenders of Texas is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, a national organization 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 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit hope-ec.org or www.nw.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 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, and 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 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.