August 28, 2012 at 14:00 PM EDT
Wells Fargo Brings NeighborhoodLIFTSM Program to St. Paul and Minneapolis to Help Local Housing Market

Wells Fargo, Minnesota’s leading community bank and the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced that the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program, a major effort to help promote sustainable homeownership, is coming to St. Paul and Minneapolis. The program will include a free large-scale homebuyer workshop on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7 and 8, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Hall A, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

At the event, potential homebuyers can find out if they qualify for the down payment assistance program and reserve funds – of $15,000 – for 60 days, even if they have yet to find a property. In addition, prospective homebuyers may stop by the Wells Fargo Affordable Home TourSM viewing center to preview featured homes available for sale in Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods. They can also take a free bus tour to view the homes from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Self-directed tours are also encouraged.

Prospective homebuyers can register until Wednesday, Sept. 5 and learn more about the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program at www.neighborhoodlift.org or by calling 866-858-2151. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins are welcome. The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program was created to help communities encourage sustainable homeownership by providing assistance for prospective homebuyers. The program includes a $9 million investment in 2012 for down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable homeownership. Wells Fargo will collaborate with the two cities, the nonprofit organization NeighborWorks America, and its local affiliates, Community Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Paul and Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis to implement the program.

Included in the $9 million investment, $575,000 will be for grants for local priority projects in each city to promote affordable housing in St. Paul and Minneapolis. The program also includes a five-year goal for providing mortgage purchase loans to qualified homebuyers in Minneapolis ($1.2 billion) and St. Paul ($700 million).

“Today, despite low home prices and historically low interest rates, many families are still unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment,” said Dave Kvamme, Wells Fargo’s Minnesota Great Lakes lead region president and Minnesota CEO. “The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program will help address this issue for homebuyers in St. Paul and Minneapolis by providing down payment assistance.”

“Creating homeowners and building community are at the core of our mission,” said Jason Peterson , executive director for Community Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Paul. “This partnership with Wells Fargo will help homebuyers overcome some of the financial barriers to homeownership, equip them with the support and tools they need for sustainable homeownership, and contribute to the success of the neighborhoods where they live.”

“This program is an important part of our collective efforts to make sustainable homeownership a reality for families,” said Glennis Ter Wisscha, executive director for Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis. “By providing this valuable assistance, Wells Fargo is helping to contribute to the vitality of our neighborhoods in Minneapolis."

The Sept. 7 and 8 NeighborhoodLIFTSM event is for anyone interested in buying and living in a home in the city of St. Paul or Minneapolis. Down payment assistance of $15,000 is available to those who qualify, buy and reside in a home located in one of the cities. To qualify for down payment assistance that may be applied to a mortgage purchase loan with any lender approved by the nonprofit, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area (not to exceed $100,700 for a family of four; income maximums vary depending on family size); an eight-hour homebuyer education session with an approved NeighborWorks America affiliate; a commitment to stay in the home for five years and qualification for a first mortgage on the property.

NeighborhoodLIFTSM events in Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville have helped create 263 new homeowners through NeighborhoodLIFTSM down payment assistance, with another 244 potential new homeowners in process of closing on a home.

About NeighborhoodLIFTSM

The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFTSMprogram is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo in Minnesota provides financial services from 211 locations and employs approximately 20,000 team members throughout the state. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 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 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 full-time equivalent team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Contacts:

Wells Fargo
Peggy Gunn, 612-667-9650
peggy.a.gunn@wellsfargo.com
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