Wells Fargo & Company (No. 12 on the DiversityInc Top 50), NeighborWorks America® and its network member BCL of Texas, announced the upcoming Austin, Texas-area NeighborhoodLIFT® program with a $5 million commitment by Wells Fargo to help boost local homeownership in Travis, Bastrop, and Hays counties.
"The American Dream should be affordable to more Austin families," said Mayor Steve Adler, "and giving matching funds on down payments to families who would ordinarily have to leave Austin, to be able to buy a home is a godsend. We all know affordability is a huge problem in Austin. NeighborhoodLIFT is part of the solution."
Interested homebuyers can attend the free homebuyer event on August 26-27 when eligibility will be determined for an opportunity to reserve a matching down payment assistance grant ranging from $2,500 up to $7,500 based on the homebuyer's contribution. To learn more about the matching down payment assistance program eligibility requirements and to register, visit www.NeighborhoodLIFT.com.
"While the Austin 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 Jeff Schumacher, Wells Fargo regional president for Central Texas. "NeighborhoodLIFT can make a huge difference by providing mortgage-ready homeowners with up to $7,500 for down payment assistance to help people buy a home in Travis, Bastrop or Hays counties."
Matching down payment assistance grants ranging from $2,500 up to $7,500 will be based on the eligible homebuyer's contribution. Annual incomes must not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income. In the counties of Travis, Bastrop, or Hays County that is about $62,250 for a family of four, 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 BCL of Texas, or another HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
Registration is open for the NeighborhoodLIFT event on August 26-27
The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program will begin with a free event on August 26-27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Austin Hotel located at 9721 Arboretum Blvd. Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.NeighborhoodLIFT.com or by calling (866) 858-2151. Pre-registration is strongly recommended for an opportunity to reserve a matching 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 purchase, and information about special financing.
"This powerful collaboration between the private, public and nonprofit sectors will bring lasting benefit to Austin families and neighborhoods, said Gary Wolfe, regional vice president, with NeighborWorks America. "We are proud to team-up on this community initiative that will provide unprecedented access to down payment assistance for even more hard-working Austin-area families."
The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants may be combined with other down payment assistance programs to provide additional financial benefit. Homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender. BCL of Texas in Austin 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 within Greater Austin.
"At BCL of Texas we have seen firsthand how homebuyer education and proper financing can foster successful homeowners and stronger neighborhoods," said Rosa Rios Valdez, chief executive officer of BCL of Texas. "That's why we are very excited about participating in the Austin-area NeighborhoodLIFT program."
Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create nearly 11,850 homeowners in 45 communities, including 980 combined in Texas through NeighborhoodLIFT program in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. A video about LIFT programs is posted on Wells Fargo Stories.
About BCL of Texas and NeighborWorks America
BCL of Texas is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, a national organization that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 240 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.neighborworks.org or www.bcloftexas.org to learn more.