Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), NeighborWorks America® and its network member Beyond Housing today joined Mayor Francis G. Slay and Treasurer Tishaura O. Jonesto announce the $4.75 million St. Louis Wells Fargo HomeLIFT℠ program to help boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city.
"Making homeownership more affordable will enable more hard-working families and individuals to achieve homeownership and help make St. Louis neighborhoods even stronger," said Mayor Slay. "This innovative public-private collaboration will make a significant difference for families and neighborhoods through sustainable homeownership."
Of the HomeLIFT program funds for St. Louis, $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.
"While the St. Louis economy continues to show signs of improvement, many families have yet to re-enter the housing market because they struggle with making a down payment," said Kirk Kellner, Wells Fargo regional president. "Combined with financial education, these down payment assistance grants can make a tremendous difference for families and individuals who want to own a home in St. Louis."
"Homeownership is vital to asset building and financial empowerment," said Treasurer Jones."Our Office of Financial Empowerment will continue to work with Wells Fargo to ensure that families receive the financial education necessary to maximize their financial capabilities and make homeownership a reality."
Down payment assistance grants of $15,000 will be available for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the local area median income –which is about $84,350 for a family of four in St. Louis –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 Beyond Housing, a HUD-approved counselor.
Homeownership Study: Consumers Think Now is a Good Time to Buy
A recent "How America Views Homeownership" survey by Wells Fargo and Ipsos Public Affairs shows that most consumers want to own a home, and believe now is a good time to buy, but their beliefs about what it takes to obtain financing demonstrate some consumer confusion and misinformation. The survey found that 65 percent of respondents feel homeownership is a dream come true or an accomplishment to be proud of, 72 percent think now is a good time to buy, and there may be home financing options available for less than a 20 percent down payment and as low as a three percent down payment depending on qualification and loan type.
Registration now open for free HomeLIFT event on Sept. 25-26
The Wells Fargo HomeLIFT program will begin with free homebuyer event on Sept. 25-26 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the America's Center Convention Complex, located at 701 Convention Center Plaza in St. Louis.
Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.wellsfargo.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 for reservation.The event also includes a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour® viewing center where attendees can preview local homes available for sale.
To reserve a 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.
"This innovative collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network member, Beyond Housing, Wells Fargo and the City of St. Louis will put more families and individuals on the path to homeownership," said John Santer, regional vice president, Midwest Region, NeighborWorks America 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 Wells Fargo 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 HomeLIFT events. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender.
Beyond Housing 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 in St. Louis to receive a grant.
"We are ready to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo HomeLIFT program down payment assistance grants," said Chris Krehmeyer, president &CEO, Beyond Housing. "Wells Fargo's investment will help individuals and families become homeowners, and make the St. Louis community stronger."
St. Louis is now one of 38 housing markets across the country that will benefit from more than $278 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFTprograms.Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create more than 9,700 homeowners in the 37 communities where the programs have been introduced. A video about LIFT programs is posted on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel.
About Beyond Housing and
Beyond Housing is a chartered member of NeighborWorks
About Wells Fargo (Twitter @WellsFargo)
Wells Fargo &Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified,
community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets.
Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo
provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial
finance through 8,700 locations, 12,800 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and
mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who
conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 266,000 team
members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the
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