Wells Fargo issued the following announcement on Oct. 27.
NeighborWorks® America, and its network members NeighborWorks Montana and NeighborWorks Great Falls today announced the NeighborhoodLIFT program will expand to Montana this fall. With a $3.4 million philanthropic commitment by the Wells Fargo Foundation, the NeighborhoodLIFT program will create about 225 homeowners by offering $10,000 down payment assistance grants that require completion of HUD-certified homebuyer education.
The NeighborhoodLIFT program for Montana follows Wells Fargo’s announcement in June of an evolution in the company’s philanthropic strategy, which includes a $1 billion commitment over the next six years to address the U.S. housing affordability crisis.
The 2019 Montana NeighborhoodLIFT program is the sixth statewide program launch along with Alaska, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Idaho. Supported by a $500 million combined investment, Wells Fargo has conducted 75 program launches in the U.S. since 2012 that have created more than 22,400 homeowners.
Grants available for reservation in Montana starting Oct. 28
The Wells Fargo Montana NeighborhoodLIFT program will begin offering $10,000 down payment assistance grants on Monday, Oct. 28, to eligible homebuyers. To learn more about the eligibility requirements, visit www.montanalift.org or visit a local Wells Fargo Home Lending office. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender, and NeighborWorks Montana and NeighborWorks Great Falls will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance grants.
“The NeighborhoodLIFT program is a terrific example of our commitment to Montana and our efforts to bring housing affordability solutions to communities across the U.S.,” said Joy Ott, Wells Fargo Montana region bank president. “The program will help hardworking Montana families and individuals get on the path to achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”
To be eligible, annual incomes must not exceed 100% of the local area median income in the county where the home is being purchased, which is $68,700 for an individual up to a family of four in Lewis and Clark County. In addition, there are special parameters for veterans and service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, who may reserve $12,500 down payment assistance grants within eligibility requirements.
“This innovative collaboration is critical to creating more affordable and sustainable housing opportunities in Montana,” said Chad Klawetter, senior relationship manager, Western Region, NeighborWorks America. “The required homebuyer education classes provided by certified professionals better prepare NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”
Homebuyers must be approved for financing with an eligible lender and be in contract to purchase a home in Montana. To reserve the full grant amount, participants buying a primary residence with the NeighborhoodLIFT program must commit to live in the home for five years.
“The NeighborhoodLIFT program will provide homebuyer education and down payment assistance to help families achieve the dream of homeownership,” said Maureen Rude, executive director of NeighborWorks Montana. “We are pleased to team with Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America to make this opportunity available for so many deserving families.”
NeighborhoodLIFT local initiative grants to support neighborhood revitalization, beautification and complimentary credit counseling
As part of the NeighborhoodLIFT program for Montana, the Wells Fargo Foundation will provide $400,000 in grants to support housing affordability solutions, including:
$200,000 in NeighborhoodLIFT local initiative grants to support large-scale neighborhood revitalization efforts in Montana. Through this commitment, Homeword, Inc. will receive a $100,000 grant to support Bluebunch Flats that is transforming a former hospital in Livingston, Mont. into 37 affordable rental homes. NeighborWorks Montana will also receive a $100,000 grant for the Montana Residential Ownership Community Stability Program that will help homeowners purchase in and successfully manage their manufactured home parks.
$100,000 in “LIFT the Block” Wells Fargo volunteer efforts in collaboration with nonprofits focused on neighborhood beautification. This includes a $20,000 grant for Habitat for Humanity-Yellowstone Valley to support the Founders Park Subdivision, which will support the construction of 21 homes for qualified, low-income applicants who, along with Habitat volunteers will help build the homes. Additionally, a $30,000 grant will be awarded to Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, which will support the East Helena Kennedy Park Land Trust Project to make surplus city park land available for affordable housing construction. Also, Montana Rescue Mission will receive a $50,000 grant to support its “A Step Up: Affordable Housing Aids Transition to Independent Living Program” that will convert the top floors of the Women and Family Shelter into affordable apartments.
$100,000 for NeighborhoodLIFT Home Ownership Counseling grants, which will provide up to 200 interested homebuyers an opportunity for complimentary face-to-face credit counseling by participating HUD-approved agencies. The Home Ownership Counseling grants are an additional resource and do not meet the homebuyer education requirement for NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment ass
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