Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT Program a $5M grant to create new homeowners

As the pandemic continues to put a strain on Houstonians, Wells Fargo is bringing the NeighborhoodLIFT® program back to Houston for a third time to help more than 300 low- and moderate-income individuals get on a path to homeownership with $15,000 down payment assistance grants.

“Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest barriers to homeownership for many first-time home buyers, and the pandemic has made saving for it even more challenging” said Bill Daley, vice chairman of Wells Fargo Public Affairs. “The LIFT initiative will help put more than 300 Houston families on a pathway toward housing stability and building generational wealth.”

In collaboration with NeighborWorks® America and its network member Avenue, Daley announced the NeighborhoodLIFT® program today in front of the Houston home of Amanda Bridgewater, a single mother who previously received down payment assistance through NeighborhoodLIFT.

“Houston is a special place to call home, and this investment will help our local community of hardworking Houstonians with big dreams for the future,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We appreciate the efforts of Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and its local affiliates to bring the NeighborhoodLIFT program to Houston again and help put homeownership within reach for hundreds of households.”

This expansion of the NeighborhoodLIFT program celebrates more than 25,100 homeowners created through 82 LIFT launches nationwide since 2012. The $5 million commitment from Wells Fargo follows LIFT programs in 2012 and 2019 in Houston, which created more than 700 local homeowners. In addition to $15,000 home down payment assistance grants, the program includes $250,000 for 500 Houstonians to receive homeownership counseling so they can learn how to navigate the home purchasing process and determine how to best budget for ongoing homeownership costs.

Applications for down payment assistance begin Nov. 8. Eligible homebuyers must earn 80% or less of family median income in Houston, as determined by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. In Houston, the income limit is $63,840 for all borrowers. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating NeighborhoodLIFT lender and Avenue will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance.

Homebuyers can view a list of participating lenders, learn about the steps to apply for down payment assistance, and sign-up for homebuyer education with a HUD-approved provider at www.wellsfargo.com/lift or www.avenuecdc.org/lift. The material is also available in Spanish at www.avenuecdc.org/lift/espanol. Applications for down payment assistance may be submitted beginning Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, at 9 a.m. Central Time.