ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – April 2, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), NeighborWorks America® and its affiliate Homestart will join Mayor Richard J. Berry to announce the Albuquerque Wells Fargo HomeLIFT(sm) program, a $4.75 million initiative to boost homeownership and strengthen local neighborhoods.
Of the $4.75 million committed by Wells Fargo, $4.1 million will go toward down payment assistance grants and program support to help potential homebuyers overcome the barrier of making a sufficient down payment.
“Making homeownership more affordable will enable more hard-working families and individuals to achieve homeownership and help make Albuquerque neighborhoods even stronger,” said Mayor Berry. “This innovative public-private collaboration will make a significant difference for families and neighborhoods through sustainable homeownership.”
Down payment assistance grants of $15,000 will be available for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Albuquerque area median income – which is about $71,300 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 Homestart or another HUD-approved counseling agency.
“Like many communities, Albuquerque was deeply affected by the economic downturn,” said Lisa Riley, New Mexico/Western Border regional president with Wells Fargo Bank in Albuquerque. “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 HomeLIFT program can help local mortgage-ready homebuyers realize their dream of owning a home.”
To reserve a $15,000 grant, 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.
Registration now open for free event on May 1-2
The Albuquerque HomeLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on May 1-2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Albuquerque Convention Center, located at 401 2nd St. NW in Albuquerque.
Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.wellfargo.com/homelift 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, Homestart, and Wells Fargo will put more Albuquerque families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Gary Wolfe, regional vice president, Rocky Mountain Region, with NeighborWorks America. “The required housing counseling and education classes provided by certified professionals have been shown to help people achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”
The Albuquerque HomeLIFT 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 1-2 event.
Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender. Homestart will determine buyer 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 Albuquerque to receive a grant.
“We are ready to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo HomeLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Mike Loftin, executive director, Homestart. “This investment will help individuals and families become homeowners, and make our community stronger. It’s a good time for families to invest in homeownership and Homestart is ready to help people prepare.”
Albuquerque is the first city to receive the HomeLIFT program, and is now one of 33 housing markets across the country that will benefit from more than$278 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create more than 9,100 homeowners in the 32 communities where the programs have been introduced.
About LIFT programs
HomeLIFTSM, CityLIFT® and NeighborhoodLIFT® are distinct programs that complement each other with a common purpose to create sustainable homeownership and support neighborhood revitalization. A video about LIFT programs is posted on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel‡.
About Homestart and NeighborWorks America
Homestart 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.homestart.org or www.neighborworks.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo
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 8,700 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 are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.
Chris.L.Hammond (at) wellsfargo (dot) com
Brett.Welcher (at) wellsfargo (dot) com