LIFT program to offer down payment for homebuyers

Program offers homebuyer education plus $15,000 down payment assistance grants; special parameters for veterans, military, teachers, first-responders

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An alliance between Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), NeighborWorks® America and its network member, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, recently announced the NeighborhoodLIFT® program will expand to the Chicago area with an $8 million commitment by Wells Fargo to boost homeownership in Cook County.

The event in Chicago is Wells Fargo’s 62nd LIFT program launch conducted in collaboration with NeighborWorks America and its network members. The 2018 NeighborhoodLIFT program for Cook County follows the 2012 Chicago LIFT program, which created 547 homeowners by offering homebuyer education plus down payment assistance grants as a result of a $10 million commitment by Wells Fargo.

“The NeighborhoodLIFT program is another example of our commitment to Chicago and Cook County,” said Monica Cole, Wells Fargo’s head of middle market banking for the North region. “The effort will contri-bute to the strength of the community by helping hardworking families and individuals get on the path to achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”

Free NeighborhoodLIFT event in Chicago August 24–25

The free NeighborhoodLIFT event will be held August 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and August 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McCormick Convention Center, Grand Ballroom, South Building, level one located at 2301 S. King Dr., Chicago, IL. To learn more about the eligibility requirements and documents needed to apply for a down payment assistance grant, visit www.nhschicago.org/lift. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance grants.

“This innovative collaboration will create about 425 homeowners,” said John Santner, regional vice president, Midwest region, NeighborWorks America. “The required home-buyer education classes provided by certified professionals better prepare NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”

To be eligible, annual incomes must not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income, which is about $67,700 for up to a family of four in Cook County. In addition, there are special parameters for veterans and service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who may earn up to 100 percent of the local area median income, which is about $84,600, to reserve $17,500 down payment assistance grants within eligibility requirements. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Cook County.

To reserve the full grant amount, participants buying a primary residence with the Neighborhood-LIFT program must commit to live in the home for five years.

“We are ready to assist Cook County families and provide homebuyer education and down payment assistance to help them achieve successful and sustainable homeownership,” said Kristin Faust, president, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. “This unique program both prepares people for homeownership and can also help overcome the barrier of coming up with a sufficient down payment.”

Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create more than 18,000 homeowners in 60 communities. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on Wells Fargo Stories.

About Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and NeighborWorks America

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, a national organization that creates opportunities for people to live in afford-able homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 245 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.nhschicago.org or www.neighborworks.org to learn more.

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