Wells Fargo is partnering with the cities of Newark, Orange and Irvington, as well as non-profits NeighborWorks America and New Jersey Community Capital in the 75th LIFT program, designed to boost homeownership.
This fall, with a $5 million philanthropic commitment by Wells Fargo, the NeighborhoodLIFT program will create more than 180 Essex County homeowners by offering $20,000 down payment assistance grants that require completion of HUD-certified homebuyer education.
“Newark is predominately a city of renters, and an important element of our equitable growth strategy is to enable renters to become homeowners. We have created programs to make that possible including grants, low interest loans, low cost property sales, financial counseling and our upcoming land bank,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “The LIFT initiative with its $20.000 down payment assistance grants and home ownership counseling is a valuable addition to those tools. We thank Wells-Fargo for creating this program.”
The NeighborhoodLIFT program for Essex County follows Wells Fargo’s announcement in June of an evolution in the company’s philanthropic strategy which includes a $1 billion commitment over the next six years to address the U.S. housing affordability crisis.
“NeighborhoodLIFT is a great example of a housing affordability solution Wells Fargo is bringing to communities across the U.S.,” said Greg White, Wells Fargo Community Bank’s Northern New Jersey region bank president. “That’s because nearly one-third of U.S. households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Through the NeighborhoodLIFT program, Wells Fargo is providing down payment assistance to hardworking families and individuals in Essex County so they can realize the dream of homeownership. This provides them with the opportunity to build wealth and live in safe, stable, and affordable homes.”
Overall, Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America have teamed to implement 74 LIFT program launches across the U.S., with Essex County being the 75th. Since 2012, LIFT programs have assisted nearly 22,000 homeowners, in nearly 900 municipalities, who have purchased more than $3.36 billion in real estate supported by a total investment of $475 million by Wells Fargo. Mortgage loans made through LIFT programs are not exclusive to Wells Fargo.
Interested homebuyers who want to apply for a down payment assistance grant must register beginning Monday, Sept. 16, at 9 a.m. at www.wellsfargo.com/lift to attend the free event scheduled for Oct. 5.
To reserve a $20,000 down payment assistance grant, eligible homebuyers must be pre-approved for financing with an eligible lender to purchase a home in Essex County and earn 100 percent or less of the area median income, which is $100,600 in Essex County for a family of four. Military service members and veterans, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians may reserve down payment assistance grants of $22,500.