Tucson, AZ. — August 11, 2014
Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America® and The Primavera Foundation, have joined Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and South Tucson Mayor Paul Diaz to announce the Tucson Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program, an initiative offering $5.5 million from Wells Fargo to boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city’s low- and moderate-income areas.
Of the $5.5 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 Tucson area median income – which is about $68,400 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 The Primavera Foundation or another HUD-approved counseling agency.
“This program can help qualifying homebuyers, from any approved lender,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, “and I’m extremely grateful to Wells Fargo for their generous donation of stabilization funds. That’s good corporate citizenship.”
“The City of South Tucson is proud to join this public-private partnership that will make homeownership more affordable for people who wish to live here,” said South Tucson Mayor Paul Diaz. “Making homeownership affordable and revitalizing our neighborhoods will make a significant difference for South Tucson families and neighborhoods. I commend Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, The Primavera Foundation, and the Neighborhood and Housing Service Department for helping make responsible homeownership possible for more families."
“Like many cities, Tucson and South Tucson were significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said John Gibson, Wells Fargo’s Greater Southern Arizona area president. “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 Tucson neighborhoods.
Registration now open for free event September 5-6
The Tucson NeighborhoodLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on September 5-6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center located at 260 South Church Avenue, Exhibit Halls B and C.
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 The Primavera Foundation, and Wells Fargo will put more Tucson and South Tucson families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Gary Wolfe, regional vice president, Rocky Mountain Region of NeighborWorks America. “The required housing counseling and education classes, provided by certified professionals, have been shown to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”
Tucson NeighborhoodLIFT® program down payment assistance grants may also be combined with other down payment assistance programs to provide additional financial benefit to qualified buyers. Information regarding these other programs will be available at the September 5-6 event.
Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and The Primavera Foundation 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 Tucson or South Tucson to receive a grant.
“The Primavera Foundation is excited to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Peggy Hutchison, CEO of The Primavera Foundation “These funds support individual families to become homeowners, and by supporting families they also support our larger community. It’s an ideal time for families to invest in homeownership. To be first in line to access the down payment grants, families can register and start working with The Primavera Foundation HomeOwnership staff."
Tucson is the sixth city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT® program, and is now one of 28 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $210 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. The NeighborhoodLIFT® program was introduced in Phoenix in 2012 and has created 374 homeowners. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create 7,375 homeowners in the 27 communities 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 The Primavera Foundation and NeighborWorks America
The Primavera Foundation 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.primavera.org or www.nw.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo (Twitter @WellsFargo)
In Arizona, Wells Fargo has 15,000 team members and 259 banking stores. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 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, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 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 and stories are also available at stories.wellsfargobank.com.