Print this page

Homeownership Counseling Grant Program

Homeownership Counseling Grant Program Guidelines

Wells Fargo Homeownership Counseling Grant Program Description

The Homeownership Counseling Grant Program (HCGP) is designed to provide financial resources to local nonprofit housing organizations to create affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate income (LMI) people.  This is a small grants program.  The average grant size is approximately $7,800.  This grant program focuses on homebuyer counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention activities.  All grant applications are reviewed by a local Wells Fargo Housing Foundation charitable giving manager and committee for decision.

HCGP Program Segments

  • Homebuyer Counseling
    Counselor-to-client assistance that addresses unique financial circumstances and housing issues, and focuses on overcoming specific obstacles to achieve housing goals such as: repairing credit, locating cash for a down payment, recognizing predatory lending practices, understanding fair lending and fair housing requirements, avoiding foreclosure, or resolving a financial crisis.
    • Includes credit and budget counseling efforts.
  • Homebuyer Education
    Education with an established curriculum and instructional goals, provided in a group or classroom setting or via other formats (on-line), that covers such homeownership topics as the home-buying process, how to maintain a home, budgeting, the importance of good credit, and other home buying related subjects.
    • Pre homebuyer education includes 4-8 hour workshops
    • Post homebuyer education includes reverse mortgage education efforts
  • Foreclosure Prevention
    Efforts designed to help families keep homes that are facing foreclosure and stabilize the overall housing market.
    • Provides information and assistance to avoid foreclosure.
  • Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance
    Funding used for down payment assistance/closing costs that assist homebuyers /homeowners to purchase or retain their homes.
  • Home Rehabilitation
    Efforts that focus on returning a residential structure (specific to homes of low-to moderate-income (LMI) homeowners/ homebuyers) to a state of utility, through repair or alteration.  May include simple repairs or replacement of items such as a furnace or a ramp (for handicap accessibility).
  • New Construction
    Efforts that focus on site preparation for, and construction of, entirely new structures and/or significant extensions to existing structures (specific to homes of LMI homeowners/homebuyers) whether or not the site was previously occupied.

Grant Use

  • The Housing Foundation provides grants for costs directly associated with programs or projects that qualify as an HCGP Program Segment.

Legal Requirements

  • The non-profit organization must be tax exempt under Internal Revenue Service Code 501 (c) (3).
  • The Housing Foundation does not provide support to IRS 501c3 private foundations or government entities that are not tax exempt under Internal Revenue Service Code 501 (c) (3).

Program Requirements/Restrictions

  • Non-profit organization must not be operating in a deficit.
  • Non-profit must have completed at least two consecutive years of operations as of the date of application.
  • Non-profit may only receive one grant per calendar year from the Homeownership Counseling Grant program.
  • The Housing Foundation does not provide multi-year grants. The organization must reapply for future consideration.
  • The Housing Foundation/Charitable Giving Managers and their local review Committee’s may not allocate a grant amount above the project budget amount as indicated on the original grant application.
  • Grant funding must be used within one year of grant award date.
  • Nonprofits who have received HGP (Homeownership Grant Program) /HCGP funding in previous year(s), must complete and submit an online progress/final report prior to applying for additional HCGP funding. HCGP applications will be declined for not meeting reporting requirements associated with a previous HGP/HCGP grant.
  • Project/program must serve low to moderate income homebuyers & homeowners.
  • The following Housing program types are not eligible for HCGP grant funding:
    • Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s)
    • Loan Pool Programs
    • Rental Housing, Group Home, Long Term Care Facilities, or Shelter Housing Programs
    • Project/program must serve owner-occupied low-to moderate-income homeowners & homebuyers.
Due to federal law, and the Housing Foundation's policy and/or budget limitations, the Foundation does not provide grants for:
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Organizations designed primarily for lobbying
  • Purchase of advertising (including booths and tickets)
  • Fundraising dinners
  • Video or film production
  • Club memberships
  • Political campaigns
  • Endowment campaigns
  • Recreation programs
  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns
Additionally, your organization may not be eligible for support if you receive funding from a Wells Fargo supported organization (e.g. housing intermediary).

Proposal Submission and Decision Dates

Eligible applicants must complete and submit an on-line application to be considered for funding. Those who submit applications during the following submission periods will be notified in writing about funding decisions by the adjacent decision date. Incomplete proposals may delay the decision date. Applicants submitting proposals online will receive an immediate email confirmation that their application has been received. Should the submission period end date fall on a weekend or holiday, the submission period will extend to the next business day after the original submission period end date.
Submission Period 2016
Decision Date 2016
January 2 - February 1by May 15
June 1 - 30by October 31

To submit your on-line application

Review the attached Homeownership Counseling Grant Program Application Guide for screen shots of and helpful hints in completing the Homeownership Counseling Grant Program Eligibility Quiz and Application.

New applications can only be accessed & completed during the stated submission periods identified above. For information relative to the application, refer to the “Homeownership Counseling Grant Program Application Guide".

To complete and submit a new application or return to an application already started Click Here

If you are a non-profit 501c3 organization having difficulty accessing, inputting information, or submitting a Wells Fargo Housing Foundation on-line application for the Homeownership Counseling Grant Program during an application submission period identified above, contact the CyberGrants support desk directly by sending an e-mail to

Additional Questions?

Contact the Housing Foundation at 612-667-5131 /

Important Note: The Housing Foundation reserves the right to change or modify program guidelines and forms without prior written consent or notice.
* You need Adobe® Reader® to read PDF files. Download Adobe Reader for free.
Equal Housing Lender