Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced the company’s CityLIFTSM program will launch in Oakland on December 7-8. The CityLIFTSM program provides down payment assistance of $20,000 to eligible homebuyers and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the housing crisis. The CityLIFTSM program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A., city officials in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, NeighborWorks America, and local NeighborWorks affiliate The Unity Council.
The East Bay CityLIFTSM program includes $5 million for down payment assistance grants to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable homeownership. Similar events in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Tampa, Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. have helped create 785 new homeowners through Wells Fargo LIFT program down payment assistance, with another 546 potential new homeowners in process of closing on a home.
The East Bay CityLIFTSM program will include a free homebuyer workshop on Friday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., at the Oakland Convention Center Marriott located at 1001 Broadway in Oakland.
At the event, potential homebuyers can determine their eligibility for down payment assistance program and reserve funds – of $20,000 – for 60 days for home purchases within the nine East Bay cities, 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 local neighborhoods. Self-directed tours are also encouraged.
Prospective homebuyers can register at www.wellsfargo.com/citylift until Wednesday, Dec. 5 and learn more about the East Bay CityLIFTSM program by calling 1-866-802-0456. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins are welcome.
Alameda and Contra Costa counties are part of 20 housing markets that will benefit from a total of $170 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs (including NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM) to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn.
“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 Jim Foley, Wells Fargo’s regional president for Greater Bay Area. “The CityLIFTSM program will help address this issue for homebuyers by providing down payment assistance and help revitalize some of our communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties most deeply affected by the housing crisis.”
“Thanks in part to the combined and dedicated efforts of city, state and federal government, many banks are trying new ways to help homeowners,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “Among the most exciting of these, locally, is the Wells Fargo East Bay CityLIFT program. The down payment assistance grants of $20,000 for both first time and re-entering homebuyers is a critical tool to helping Oakland and other East Bay residents achieve their homeownership dreams, especially in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. Wells Fargo has been a strong partner in this, and we look forward to how this program and other strategies can help promote housing stability and economic development.”
Down payment assistance of $20,000 is available to those who qualify. To qualify for down payment assistance, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area ($112,200 for a family of four; income maximums vary depending on family size); an eight-hour homebuyer education session with a HUD-approved counselor such as The Unity Council; and a commitment to stay in the home for five years and qualification for a first mortgage on the property. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender.
“Though our county was hit hard by the downturn in the housing market, we are slowly rebounding,” said Gilda Gonzales, CEO at The Unity Council. “Alameda and Contra Costa counties have a great inventory of homes and attractive amenities for prospective homeowners in the East Bay region. These grants will help people get over the tremendous financial hurdle of finding funds for a down payment and position them to make one of the largest investments of their lives.”
The CityLIFTSM program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The program was developed in connection with the 2012 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and NeighborWorks America.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 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 more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the 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.