Baltimore Homeownership to Get $6 Million Boost

NeighborhoodLIFT® program offers homebuyer education plus $15,000 down payment assistance grants for eligible Baltimore homebuyers; special parameters for veterans, military, teachers and first responders
Jun 18, 2019 11:15 AM ET
Press Release

BALTIMORE, June 18, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), NeighborWorks® America and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Baltimore today announced the NeighborhoodLIFT® program will expand for Baltimore with a $6 million commitment by Wells Fargo to boost local homeownership. The 2019 Baltimore NeighborhoodLIFT program follows the 2012 CityLIFT program for Baltimore that included a $5.8 million investment from Wells Fargo and created 386 homeowners.

“All Baltimoreans, from diverse economic backgrounds and communities, deserve access to safe, high-
quality housing that they can afford,” said Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young. “Through the efforts of Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and Neighborhood Housing Services, the NeighborhoodLIFT program will help unlock more housing options and usher in a new era of revitalization for our great city.”

Free NeighborhoodLIFT event scheduled July 19–20

Interested homebuyers are encouraged to register beginning Monday, July 1, at www.wellsfargo.com/lift to attend the free event scheduled on Friday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, July 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center, located at 1 West Pratt Street, Baltimore. Walk-ins also are welcome while grants are available. NHS of Baltimore will administer the $15,000 grants, determine eligibility and provide homebuyer and financial education.

“The NeighborhoodLIFT program is another example of our commitment to Baltimore and our efforts to build better communities through sustainable homeownership,” said Monica Mitchell, Wells Fargo community relations leader in Maryland. “The program will help hardworking families and individuals get on the path to achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”

To reserve a $15,000 down payment assistance grant, eligible homebuyers must be pre-approved for financing with an eligible lender to purchase a home in Baltimore and earn 80% or less of the area median income, which is $75,500 for up to a family of four. Military service members and veterans, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians may reserve down payment assistance grants of $17,500 and earn up to 100% of the area median income.

“This innovative public-private collaboration will create 350 Baltimore homeowners,” said Donald Phoenix, regional vice president, Southern region, NeighborWorks America. “The required homebuyer education classes provided by certified professionals better prepare NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”

Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Baltimore and can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender. 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.

“Baltimore has not been immune to the housing crisis, and we’re ready to help people become homeowners with the support of NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyer education and down payment assistance,” said Dan Ellis, executive director of NHS Baltimore. “We are pleased to join Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America to make homeownership more affordable, achievable and sustainable.”

Wells Fargo has also committed $325,000 for up to 650 consumers to receive complimentary face-to-face homeownership counseling. Interested homebuyers can receive a voucher at the Baltimore NeighborhoodLIFT launch event that will provide in-person homeownership counseling at no charge with a participating HUD-approved housing counselor in Baltimore. The homeownership counseling grant program is a resource in addition to the homebuyer education required for a NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance grant.

NeighborhoodLIFT follows Wells Fargo’s announcement of an evolution in the company’s philanthropic strategy that includes a $1 billion commitment to address the housing affordability crisis, a $20 million challenge grant aimed at accelerating housing solutions nationwide and an increased focus on financial health and small business growth.

Overall, Wells Fargo has conducted 71 LIFT program events across the U.S. since 2012, creating more than 21,100 homeowners with a total commitment of $460 million. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on Wells Fargo Stories.

About Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Baltimore is a chartered member of the NeighborWorks network. It was founded as a consortium of local residents, community groups, foundations, business leaders and local government. It worked to reverse the decline of the Southeast Baltimore neighborhoods north of Patterson Park. As it grew, other neighborhoods became interested replicating the NHS partnership model for rehabilitation lending, homeownership promotion and revitalization. NHS will administer the Baltimore NeighborhoodLIFT program. Visit www.nhsbaltimore.org to learn more.

About NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks America is a national organization that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 240 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.neighborworks.org to learn more.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,700 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 33 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.