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Wells Fargo provide $5.6 million



  • Public-private partnership unveiled.
  • Wells Fargo providing $5.6 million.
  • Down payment help offered.

Wells Fargo is providing $5.6 million to boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in Denver’s low- and moderate-income areas, officials announced today.

Officials from NeighborWorks America and Community Resources and Housing Development joined Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to announce the Denver Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program.

“This public-private partnership has the potential to make a significant difference for Denver families and neighborhoods, by making homeownership more affordable for people who want to live here,” Hancock said.

“Teachers should have the ability to live in the communities where they teach, officers the chance to live where they patrol,” Hancock continued.

“I commend Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and CRHDC for their commitment to the City and County of Denver,” Hancock added.

Of the $5.65 million committed by Wells Fargo, $4.5 million will go toward down payment assistance grants and program support to help potential homebuyers overcome the barrier of making a sufficient down payment.

Down payment assistance grants of $15,000 will be available for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Denver area median income – which is about $92,050 for a family of four – with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan.

To be eligible, homebuyers must meet criteria including completing an eight-hour homebuyer education session with CRHDC or another HUD-approved counseling agency.

“Like many cities, Denver was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Frank Newman, Wells Fargo’s lead region president for the Rocky Mountain Region.

“While mortgages are available at relatively low-interest rates, many families are unable to buy a home because they struggle with making the down payment. The NeighborhoodLIFT program can help local mortgage-ready homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”

To receive the full grant amount, 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.

In addition to providing down payment assistance for homebuyers, Wells Fargo will donate $500,000 to support stabilization efforts in Denver neighborhoods.

The Denver NeighborhoodLIFT program will begin with a free homebuyer event from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 4-5 at the Colorado Convention Center at 700 14th St.

Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.neighborhoodlift.com

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. The event also includes a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour viewing center where attendees can preview local homes available for sale.

“This innovative collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network member CDC, and Wells Fargo will put more Denver families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Gary Wolfe, regional vice president for NeighborWorks America.

“The required housing counseling and education classes, provided by certified professionals, have been shown to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership,’ Wolfe said.

Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program down payment assistance grants may also be combined with other down payment assistance programs to provide additional financial benefit to qualified buyers.

For example, the City and County of Denver’s Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus program or the Denver Mortgage Credit Certificate program can be layered with the LIFT program grants. Information regarding these other programs will be available at the April 4-5 event.

Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and CRHDC will determine 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 Denver to receive a grant.

“CRHDC is honored to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Al Gold, executive director of CRHDC. “If your goal for 2014 is to buy a home in Denver, the opportunity is now. Families need to register and get prepared to work with the CRHDC staff to be first in line to access the down payment grants.”

Denver is the third city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT program, and is now one of 25 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $195 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create 6,072 homeowners in housing markets where the programs have been introduced.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal