Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program brings $5.65 million to boost Denver homeownership

Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program, a collaboration with NeighborWorks America, Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation and Wells Fargo, to kick off April 4-5 at Colorado Convention Center; eligible homebuyers can reserve $15,000 down payment assistance grants; program includes $500,000 to help improve Denver neighborhoods

DENVER - March 12, 2014

Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America® and Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC), today joined Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to announce the Denver Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program, an initiative offering $5.65 million from Wells Fargo to boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city’s low- and moderate-income areas.

“This public-private partnership has the potential to make a significant difference for Denver families and neighborhoods, by making homeownership more affordable for people who want to live here,” said Mayor Hancock. “Teachers should have the ability to live in the communities where they teach, officers the chance to live where they patrol. I commend Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and CRHDC for their commitment to the City and County of Denver.”

Of the $5.65 million committed by Wells Fargo, $4.5 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 Denver area median income – which is about $92,050 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 CRHDC or another HUD-approved counseling agency.

“Like many cities, Denver was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Frank Newman, Wells Fargo’s lead region president for the Rocky Mountain Region. “While mortgages are available at relatively low-interest rates, many families are unable to buy 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.”

To receive the full grant amount, 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 buy a home that needs improvements with a new mortgage purchase 203k renovation loan.

In addition to providing down payment assistance for homebuyers, Wells Fargo will donate $500,000 to support stabilization efforts in Denver neighborhoods.

Registration now open for free event April 4-5
The Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on April 4-5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center located at 700 14th Street.

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 also includes a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour® viewing center where attendees can preview local homes available for sale.

“This innovative collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network member CRHDC, and Wells Fargo will put more Denver 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.”

Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program down payment assistance grants may also be combined with other down payment assistance programs to provide additional financial benefit to qualified buyers. For example, the City and County of Denver’s Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus program or the Denver Mortgage Credit Certificate program can be layered with the LIFT program grants. Information regarding these other programs will be available at the April 4-5 event.

Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and CRHDC 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 Denver to receive a grant.

“CRHDC is honored to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Al Gold, executive director of CRHDC. “If your goal for 2014 is to buy a home in Denver, the opportunity is now. Families need to register and get prepared to work with the CRHDC staff to be first in line to access the down payment grants.”

Denver is the third city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT® program, and is now one of 25 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $195 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create 6,072 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 on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel.

About Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation and NeighborWorks America
Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation 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 www.crhdc.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 locations, 12,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 264,000 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. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com.

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Cristie Drumm
303-863-6289
cristie.l.drumm@wellsfargo.com

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Chris Hammond
415-222-4106
chris.l.hammond@wellsfargo.com