By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
Wells Fargo Company, NeighborWorks America, MANNA, Inc. and Community Housing Partners announced the NeighborhoodLIFT program. The program which focuses on boosting local homeownership in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland, will launch with a $7.1 million commitment by Wells Fargo.
The 2019 NeighborhoodLIFT program is a successor to 2012’s CityLIFT program that created 350 homeowners in the area, according to a news release issued this week.
Wells Fargo has conducted 67 LIFT program events in the U.S. since 2012, creating nearly 20,000 homeowners, company officials said in a news release.
Registration opens Feb. 4 for the free event in Washington from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23
Interested homebuyers may register beginning Feb. 4 at www.wellsfargo.com/lift to attend the free event on Friday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009).
Walk-ins also are welcome while grants are available for reservation.
To learn more about the eligibility requirements, visit www.wellsfargo.com/lift or call 866-858-2151.
Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender.
MANNA, Inc. and Community Housing Partners will administer the grants, determine eligibility and provide homebuyer and financial education.
Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Washington, D.C., or Prince George’s County.
“NeighborhoodLIFT is part of Wells Fargo’s Where We Live program — a new, five-year, $1.6 billion commitment to lending and philanthropy in Washington, D.C.,” said John Allen, Wells Fargo’s region president in Washington.
“The program will help hardworking families and individuals get on the path to achieve successful and sustainable homeownership. It’s one more way Wells Fargo is improving lives and strengthening communities,” Allen said.
To be eligible for $20,000 down payment assistance grants, homebuyers must not exceed 100 percent of the local area median income, which is about $117,200 up to a family of four in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County.
In addition, special parameters exist for military service members, veterans, teachers, law enforcement officials, firefighters and emergency medical technicians including down payment assistance grants of $22,500 for those earning up to 100 percent of the area median income.
In addition, Wells Fargo announced it has committed $325,000 for up to 650 consumers to receive complimentary face-to-face homeownership counseling.
Interested homebuyers can receive a voucher at the NeighborhoodLIFT launch event that will provide in-person homeownership counseling at no charge with a participating HU -approved housing counselor in the area.
The complimentary Home Ownership Counseling grant program is an additional resource to the homebuyer education required for a NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance grant.
“This innovative public-private collaboration will create about 270 more homeowners in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County,” said Donald Phoenix, regional vice president, Southern region, NeighborWorks America.
“The required homebuyer education classes provided by certified professionals better prepare NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”
Approved homebuyers must be approved for home financing with an eligible lender and be in contract to purchase a home in Washington, D.C., or Prince George’s County.
To reserve the full grant amount, participants buying a primary residence with the NeighborhoodLIFT program must commit to live in the home for five years.
“The NeighborhoodLIFT program will provide homebuyer education and down payment assistance to help families become homeowners,” said the Rev. Jim Dickerson, founder and chief executive officer of MANNA, Inc.
“We are excited to team up with Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and Community Housing Partners to make this opportunity available for so many deserving families.”
The NeighborhoodLIFT program is Wells Fargo’s single largest corporate philanthropic effort of its kind in the company’s history and is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Since 2012, Wells Fargo has committed more than $433 million of down payment assistance, housing counseling, homebuyer support and education in 67 communities across the U.S. through LIFT programs.
A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on Wells Fargo Stories on the company’s website.