LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), one of America’s leading community banks; the City of Los Angeles; and NeighborWorks America, a national non-profit organization which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes and improve their lives, today celebrated the one-year anniversary of the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program by announcing 184 Angelenos have purchased a home through the initiative and $4.3 million of down payment assistance grants are still available for eligible home buyers who apply through Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County.
The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program debuted in Los Angeles a year ago, offering $30,000 down payment assistance grants for qualifying program applicants to use towards the purchase of a home. Qualified applicants also agreed to complete home buyer education training administered by a HUD-approved counselor; have annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area; 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.
“Thanks to Wells Fargo’s generous grant donations and community programs, Angelenos from San Fernando to San Pedro can own their own piece of the City and help to revitalize their neighborhoods,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The Los Angeles effort – which to date has made $5.4 million in down payment assistance grants to local homebuyers – was the first of several LIFT programs Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America would introduce over the course of 2012 as they joined community leaders across the country to help housing markets recover from the foreclosure crisis.
“Wells Fargo’s funding of the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program and its work in collaboration with NeighborWorks America speaks to the passion our bank has for investing in and being part of programs that help communities succeed,” said John Sotoodeh, Wells Fargo’s Los Angeles region president. “While no single program will ever reverse the effects of the country’s foreclosure crisis, we’re proud to continue doing our part to support the recovery by helping promising homebuyers achieve ownership success in a sustainable and responsible way.”
In addition to the 184 Angelenos who have purchased a home through the program and received part of $5.4 million in down payment assistance grants, another 51 applicants have a contract to purchase a home in Los Angeles with the help of another $1.53 million for down payment assistance.
“Every family that has received this incredible down payment assistance has had the chance to start life in their new home with more disposable income,” said Lori R. Gay, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County. “Access to these funds provides life changing opportunities for the many home buyers we’ve shepherded through the process.”
Additionally, the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program in Los Angeles has allocated $1.5 million – as part of the overall $15 million local program – to local community development initiatives, such as GRYD, a Gang Reduction and Youth Development; MEND, West Angeles CDC; and East LA Community Corporation for food, health and nutrition programs in Boyle Heights; Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative for economic development; and LA’s Best for after school programs.
“This unique public-private collaboration is already making a tremendous difference for local neighborhoods,” said Drew Collins, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Pacific Region Manager. “The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is providing real help for families who want to buy and live in a Los Angeles home.”
Los Angeles is one of 20 housing markets benefiting from a total of $170 million that Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs (NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM). To date, this includes delivering $89.9 million for down payment assistance grants and $11.8 million for non-profit housing counseling, homebuyer education, and local program support.
Wells Fargo introduced similar programs in additional California cities including Sacramento, Oakland (among nine East Bay cities), and plans to expand to the Inland Empire in 2013. LIFT programs currently have down payment assistance funds available for prospective homebuyers to purchase and live in homes in the following housing markets: Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa. Prospective home buyers can learn how to apply at www.wellsfargo.com/lift.
The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; the Wells Fargo Foundation; NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization; and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program 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 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.