SAN FRANCISCO & WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), America’s largest home lender, and NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit organization which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, together announced more than 8,000 low-to-moderate income families and individuals are now homeowners with the help of LIFT programs.
First launched in February 2012 in Los Angeles and Atlanta, LIFT programs offer $15,000 in down payment assistance grants to eligible, mortgage-ready homebuyers who meet program criteria. In total, the program has invested $220 million in down-payment assistance, community grants and support for 30 housing markets across the country that were deeply impacted by the housing downturn.
“At the heart of this innovative public and private partnership is a desire to help turn houses into homes and revitalize neighborhoods,” said Jon Campbell, executive vice president and head of Government and Community relations at Wells Fargo. “From Portland to Indianapolis to Miami and many communities in between, LIFT programs are making an impact in people’s lives through sustainable homeownership.”
LIFT program homebuyers must meet certain criteria, including not earning more than 120 percent of the local area median income and completing homebuyer-education training administered by a HUD-approved housing counselor, such as a NeighborWorks network member organization. Mortgages available through the program are offered by a variety of lenders and down payment grants are funded by Wells Fargo and administered by NeighborWorks network members.
Today, more than $2.3 million in down-payment assistance is still available for eligible homebuyers in NeighborhoodLIFT® communities such as Dallas, Denver and New Orleans. Buyers should visit www.neighborhoodLIFT.com for more information specific to their city.
NeighborWorks America research indicates about two-thirds of LIFT program homebuyers earn 80 percent or less of the area median income and the program is improving local neighborhoods by turning unsold houses into owner-occupied homes. Other research conducted by NeighborWorks found that homeowners who receive the organization’s pre-purchase housing counseling are about one-third less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgages within two years.
“At the foundation of successful homeownership is homebuyer education,” said Chuck Wehrwein, acting president and chief executive officer with NeighborWorks America. “When financial education is combined with down payment assistance, more homeowners are created and they, inturn, help stabilize and improve communities. That’s exactly what this collaboration between NeighborWorks America and Wells Fargo has achieved through LIFT program across the country.”
Since the inception, more than 25,000 potential homebuyers have attended LIFT program events in the following cities: Los Angeles; Atlanta; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Houston; Miami; Tampa; Orlando; Jacksonville; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Chicago; Sacramento; Oakland; Baltimore; New York City/New Jersey; the Inland Empire, CA; Cleveland; Memphis, Charlotte; Portland, Ore.; New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Tucson, and Indianapolis. The next NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyer event is scheduled for Cincinnati on Nov. 21-22.
About the NeighborhoodLIFT® program
The NeighborhoodLIFT® program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo, the nonprofit NeighborWorks America and local nonprofit 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 NeighborWorks America
NeighborWorks America is 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 240 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.neighborworks.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo (Twitter @WellsFargo)
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 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 blogs.wellsfargo.com and at stories.wellsfargobank.com.