Thursday, August 13, 2015

News Conference Featuring NHS, Wells Fargo, and NeighborWorks America a Great Success!

 HomeLIFT program to help homebuyers in Greater New Haven Area

Eligible homebuyers can make an appointment now to reserve $15,000 down payment assistance grant August 28-29 at The Omni Hotel

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  August 12, 2015 – Wells Fargo & Company, NeighborWorks America® and its network member Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven today joined mayors of New Haven and West Haven, Conn. to announce a local program designed to boost homeownership in New Haven, West Haven and East Haven. 

Wells Fargo HomeLIFT℠ will provide $15,000 down payment assistance grants to help potential 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 overcoming the barrier of making a down payment,” said Joe Kirk, Wells Fargo region 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 New Haven, East Haven or West Haven.”

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 $100,100 for a family of four – with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan.  

To be eligible, homebuyers must meet specific criteria, such as completing an eight-hour homebuyer education session with Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, a HUD-approved counselor.

In order to reserve a grant, homebuyers must register for the free HomeLIFTevent on August 28-29, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at The Omni Hotel, located at 155 Temple Street in New Haven.   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 HomeLIFT 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 unique collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network members Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven and the Housing Development Fund, Wells Fargo and the cities of New Haven, East Haven, and West Haven will put more families and individuals on the path to owning a home,” said Eileen Anderson, senior relationship manager, Northeast Region 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.  

“The city of West Haven is proud to partner with Wells Fargo to provide $15,000 down payment assistance grants for eligible first-time homeowners in our community,” West Haven Mayor Edward M. O’Brien said. “Thanks to Wells Fargo’s HomeLIFT program, this important down payment funding will help revitalize West Haven neighborhoods through sustainable homeownership.”

"This innovative public-private collaboration can be life-changing for our residents and our neighborhoods," added New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. "Programs like this HomeLIFT imitative will help more local homebuyers achieve their goal of owning a home while, in turn, making our local neighborhoods even stronger."

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven will determine homebuyer eligibility and NeighborWorks network member, the Housing Development Fund will administer the down payment assistance grants. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in New Haven, East Haven or West Haven to receive a grant. 

We are ready to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo HomeLIFT program down payment assistance grants," said Jim Paley, Executive Director with Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. "Wells Fargo's investment will help individuals and families achieve the dream of owning a home and improve our New Haven, East Haven, and West Haven neighborhoods."

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