Wells Fargo & Company, NeighborWorks America and its network member Trellis, today announced the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program will expand to Maricopa County with a $5 million commitment by Wells Fargo  to help boost local homeownership. 

Interested homebuyers can register for the free homebuyer event scheduled on Jan. 15-16 when eligibility will be determined for an opportunity to reserve a matching down payment assistance grant ranging from $2,500 up to $7,500 based on the homebuyer’s contribution. To learn more about the matching down payment assistance program eligibility requirements and to register for the homebuyer event, visit www.NeighborhoodLIFT.com.

“Making homeownership more affordable can help hard-working families and strengthens our neighborhoods,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.  “This innovative public-private partnership will make a difference for eligible homebuyers through financial education and down payment assistance.”

Approximately $4 million of the NeighborhoodLIFT program funds for Maricopa County will provide down payment assistance grants and program support to help hundreds of homebuyers overcome the barrier of making a sufficient down payment.

“While the local economy continues to show signs of improvement, many families have yet to re-enter the housing market because they struggle with coming up with a sufficient down payment,” said Michael Riley, Metro West area president for Wells Fargo. “We believe these matching down payment assistance grants will add up to make a huge difference for hundreds of people and families who want to own a home.”

Matching down payment assistance grants ranging from $2,500 up to $7,500 will be based on the eligible homebuyer’s contribution. Annual incomes must not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income. In Maricopa County that is about $51,200 for a family of four, with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan.  To be eligible, homebuyers must meet criteria such as completing an eight-hour homebuyer education session with Trellis, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. 

Registration is open for free NeighborhoodLIFT event on Jan. 15-16

The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program will begin with a free event on January 15-16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel located at 340 N. 3rd St. Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.NeighborhoodLIFT.com or by calling (866) 858-2151. Pre-registration is strongly recommended for an opportunity to reserve a matching down payment assistance grant up to $7,500, although walk-ins will be welcome while funds are available for reservation.  The event also includes a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour® viewing center where attendees can preview local homes available for purchase. 

To reserve a grant, participants buying homes with LIFT program down payment assistance grants must commit to live in the home for three years and qualify for a first mortgage on the property.

“This innovative collaboration among NeighborWorks America, our network member Trellis, Wells Fargo and Maricopa County will put more 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 goals of buying a home.”

The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT 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 NeighborhoodLIFT events.  Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender.   Trellis will determine homebuyer eligibility and administer the down payment assistance grants. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home within Maricopa County.

“We are ready to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Patricia Garcia Duarte, president & CEO, Trellis.  “Wells Fargo’s investment will help more individuals and families become homeowners, making Maricopa County neighborhoods even stronger.”

Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT program for Maricopa County follows the Phoenix NeighborhoodLIFT program launched in 2012 that created 375 homeowners as a result of an $8 million investment by Wells Fargo. Maricopa County is the first Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program of 2016 and is now one of 40 communities across the country that will benefit from more than $283 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs.  NeighborhoodLIFT program is a corporate philanthropic initiative funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and since  February 2012, LIFT programs combined have helped create more than 10,500 homeowners in the 39 communities where the programs have been introduced. A video about LIFT programs is posted on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel.