Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks® America Down Payment Assistance Program
NeighborhoodLIFT: Changing the financial future of Atlanta homebuyers
“Becoming a homeowner takes a lot of work. But it's worth it. This is an investment in me - my future. I'm thankful for Wells Fargo and the NeighborhoodLIFT program. It helped me reach my goal sooner than I was expecting.”
A native of New York, Kevin relocated to Atlanta 15 years ago to be closer to his grandmother. For the last decade, he’s been employed as an overnight stocker at a regional grocery store, with his eyes on the prize of becoming a homeowner. That dream became a reality sooner than expected, thanks to the Greater Atlanta NeighborhoodLIFT program.
To save money for his home purchase, Kevin had been living in cramped quarters, often sharing living space with two or more people and using public transportation for his commute to work. Feeling that he was near ready for homeownership, Kevin made a call to Wells Fargo’s mortgage team. That’s when he learned about the homebuyer assistance available from NeighborhoodLIFT.
Kevin attended the launch event in Atlanta, got prequalified for the program, secured a mortgage pre-approval, completed his homebuyer education course, and began to search for the perfect place to call home.
With few homes available at affordable prices, Kevin was frequently competing with multiple buyers. Time and time again he was unable to secure a contract on a house that was of interest. But his persistence paid off. Kevin was eventually able to purchase a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bath townhome in a DeKalb County neighborhood he preferred.
“Becoming a homeowner takes a lot of work. But it’s worth it. This is an investment in me — my future. I’m thankful for Wells Fargo and the NeighborhoodLIFT program. It helped me reach my goal sooner than I was expecting. And I’m paying less for my mortgage than me and my roommates were paying for rent.”
To support sustainable homeownership and help advance neighborhood stability, the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program looks to the future by delivering down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers in collaboration with NeighborWorks® America and local nonprofit organizations. The program is transforming the lives of thousands of low- and moderate-income homebuyers like Kevin.
Launched in Los Angeles and Atlanta in 2012, the program has since had more than 60 instances across the United States. Now in its second offering in Atlanta, Wells Fargo committed $5 million in assistance, which will result in nearly 275 homebuyers receiving down payment assistance to make their dream of homeownership a reality. The program offers $15,000 in down payment assistance to qualifying homebuyers ($17,500 for qualifying first responders, military and teachers) in Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties.
With nearly all the Greater Atlanta funds expended, the program has made a remarkable impact on homebuyers and communities around the region. Home sales through the program will exceed $45 million, the average price for a home purchased with support from the program is $172,206, and the average program participant has an annual income of $45,046.
Of the program participants, 73 percent self-identified as black. Communities of colors were disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis – losing millions in home equity and generational wealth. Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT resources have helped change the economic trajectory of hundreds of families in the Greater Atlanta region and tens of thousands across the country.