KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America® and Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City, today joined Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James to announce the Kansas City, Mo. Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program, an initiative offering $6.65 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 Kansas City families and neighborhoods, by making homeownership more affordable for people who want to live here,” said Mayor James. “I've said many times that we must attract more families to our City and this program will certainly help us do that. I appreciate all the partners in this effort, including Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City and the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department for helping make responsible homeownership in our urban center possible for more families.”
Of the $6.65 million committed by Wells Fargo, $5.5 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 Kansas City, Mo. area median income – which is about $83,900 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 Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City or another HUD-approved counseling agency.
“Like many cities, Kansas City, Mo. was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Kirk Kellner, Wells Fargo’s regional president for Kansas City. “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 Kansas City, Mo. neighborhoods.
Registration now open for free event July 18-19
The Kansas City, Mo. NeighborhoodLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on July 18-19 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crown Center located at 2323 McGee St.
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 Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City, and Wells Fargo will put more Kansas City families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said John Santner, regional vice president, Midwest region, 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.”
Kansas City, Mo. 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 July 18-19 event.
Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City 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 Kansas City, Mo. to receive a grant.
“Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City is prepared to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Charles Cooper, board chair of Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City, Mo. “If your goal for 2014 is to buy a home in Kansas City, Mo., the opportunity is now. Families need to register and get prepared to work with the NHS of Kansas City staff to be first in line to access the down payment grants.”
Kansas City, Mo. is the fifth city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT® program, and is now one of 27 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $205 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create 7,161 homeowners in 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 Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City and NeighborWorks America
Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City 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 nhsofkcmo.org or www.nw.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo (Twitter @WellsFargo)
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, 12,500 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 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 blogs.wellsfargo.com and at wellsfargo.com/stories.