Thursday, May 31, 2012

$30M investment to boost Fla. housing market

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MIAMI – May 31, 2012 – Wells Fargo brings its NeighborhoodLIFT program to Miami this week, calling it “a major effort to help stabilize neighborhoods deeply affected by the foreclosure crisis.” It has a five-year goal of $300 million in mortgage purchase loans by Wells Fargo, and a $9 million investment in downpayment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs. Homebuyers could qualify for up to $15,000 in downpayment assistance.

Wells Fargo will collaborate with the City of Miami, the non-profit organization NeighborWorks America and its local Miami affiliate Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida to execute the program.

The program launches tomorrow and Saturday through a free large-scale homebuyer workshop at the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the NeighborhoodLIFT program at or by calling 866-858-2151. Wells Fargo says pre-registration is encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.

The company says it plans to bring Florida NeighborhoodLIFT to three more Florida cities in the future with $7 million spent at each location:

• Tampa, June 22-23
• Orlando, July 13-14
• Jacksonville, July 27-28

All four Florida cities were chosen based on their high concentration of homeowners, foreclosures, delinquencies and overall housing inventory, Wells Fargo says.

Miami is the sixth city to launch the NeighborhoodLIFT program, following Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

The June 1-2 NeighborhoodLIFT event in Miami is for anyone interested in buying and living in a home in the City of Miami. Downpayment assistance of up to $15,000 is available to those who qualify, buy and reside in a home in Miami. To qualify for downpayment assistance that may be applied to mortgage purchase loans with any lender, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the area median income; completion of an eight-hour homebuyer education session with the approved NeighborWorks America affiliate; a commitment to stay in the home for five years; and qualification for a first mortgage on the property.

At the event, potential homebuyers can find out if they qualify for the downpayment assistance program for a mortgage purchase loan with any lender and reserve funds for 60 days – even if they have not yet found a property. They can also get pre-approved for a mortgage and, if they face credit challenges, they can sign up for free counseling.

In addition, prospective homebuyers may stop by the Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour viewing center to preview the features and prices of about 100 homes available for sale in each city. And they can board a tour bus for a free ride to see and go inside the homes. Buses will depart from noon to 5 p.m. each day to the neighborhoods. Self-directed tours are also encouraged.

“This is a tremendous commitment by Wells Fargo to support homeowners and communities,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America, the national non-profit collaborating with Wells Fargo on NeighborhoodLIFT. “This is the kind of public-private collaboration that can help communities tackle difficult challenges and families realize their goal of sustainable homeownership.”

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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