WASHINGTON, DC - Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced the company’s CityLIFT program will launch in Washington, D.C. on October 5-6. The CityLIFT program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Washington D.C. and Prince George’s County Maryland officials, and NeighborWorks America designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The Washington, D.C. CityLIFT program includes a $7 million investment for down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable homeownership. The CityLIFT program is for qualified potential homebuyers interested in living in a home in Washington, D.C. or Prince George’s County, Maryland.
The Washington, D.C CityLIFT program will include a free homebuyer workshop on Friday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Hall C.
At the event, potential homebuyers can find out if they qualify for the down payment assistance program and reserve funds – of $20,000 – for 60 days for home purchases within Washington D.C. or Prince George’s County, even if they have yet to find a property. In addition, prospective homebuyers may stop by the Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour viewing center to preview featured homes available for sale in local neighborhoods. They can also take a free bus tour to view the homes each day. Self-directed tours are also encouraged.
Prospective homebuyers can register at www.wellsfargo.com/citylift until Wednesday, Oct. 3 and learn more about the Washington, D.C. CityLIFT program by calling 1-866-802-0456. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins are welcome. Wells Fargo will collaborate with Washington, D.C. city officials and Prince George’s County officials, NeighborWorks America, and local NeighborWorks affiliate Manna, Inc. to implement the CityLIFT program.
Washington D.C. and Prince George’s County are part of 20 housing markets that will benefit from a total of $170 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs (including NeighborhoodLIFT and CityLIFT) to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn.
“Today, despite low home prices and historically low interest rates, many families are still unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment,” said Mike Golden, Wells Fargo’s regional president for Greater Washington, D.C. “The CityLIFT program will help address this issue for homebuyers by providing down payment assistance.”
“This program is a continuation of ongoing efforts by our city to strengthen neighborhoods and provide quality and affordable housing for our residents,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “This collaboration with Wells Fargo and local nonprofits will offer residents not only new opportunities to own a home, but also the knowledge and resources to be successful in this important investment.”
Down payment assistance of $20,000 is available to those who qualify. To qualify for down payment assistance, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area (income maximums vary depending on family size); an eight-hour homebuyer education session with a HUD-approved counselor such as NeighborWorks America affiliates; and a commitment to stay in the home for five years and qualification for a first mortgage on the property. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender.
“Though our County was hit hard by the downturn in the housing market, we are slowly rebounding,” said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “Prince George's County has a great inventory of homes and attractive amenities for prospective homeowners in the Washington region. These grants will help people get over the tremendous financial hurdle of finding funds for a down payment and position them to make one of the largest investments of their lives.”
“Prince George’s County was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Andy Bertamini, Wells Fargo’s Regional President for Maryland. “The CityLIFT program will help families achieve successful homeownership which is not just about having enough money on hand and qualifying for a mortgage. It’s also about knowing how to navigate the home buying process, what to expect once you become a homeowner, and having a trusted advisor to turn to when questions come up.”
The CityLIFT program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The program was developed in connection with the 2012 settlement with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and NeighborWorks America.