MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America® and Select Milwaukee, today joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to announce the Milwaukee Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program, an initiative offering $5.15 million from Wells Fargo to boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city’s low- and moderate-income areas.
“This public-private partnership will make a significant difference for Milwaukee families and neighborhoods, by making homeownership more affordable for people who want to live here,” said Mayor Barrett. “This program will help bring more families to Milwaukee neighborhoods and I commend Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, Select Milwaukee and all of our partners who are working hard to promote homeownership in the city. I applaud their commitment to the city of Milwaukee.”
Of the $5.15 million committed by Wells Fargo, $4 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 Milwaukee area median income – which is about $84,350 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 Select Milwaukee or another HUD-approved counseling agency.
“Like many cities, Milwaukee was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Sang Kim, Wells Fargo’s lead region president for the Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee neighborhoods.
Registration now open for free event May 30-31
The Milwaukee NeighborhoodLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on May 30-31 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center located at 400 W. Wisconsin Avenue.
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 Select Milwaukee, and Wells Fargo will put more Milwaukee families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Tom Chabolla, senior vice president, Field Operations, 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.”
Milwaukee 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 May 30-31 event.
Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and Select Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee to receive a grant.
“Select Milwaukee is prepared to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Raymond Schmidt, executive director of Select Milwaukee. “If your goal for 2014 is to buy a home in Milwaukee, the opportunity is now. Families need to register and get prepared to work with the Select Milwaukee staff to be first in line to access the down payment grants.”
Milwaukee is the fourth city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT ® program, and is now one of 26 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $200 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create more than 6,650 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 Select Milwaukee and NeighborWorks America
Select Milwaukee 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.