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Wells Fargo partners with NeighborWorks America to boost homeownership in Birmingham

Wells Fargo will invest $2.55 million

Wells Fargo is partnering with NeighborWorks America and Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham to boost homeownership in the Birmingham and Jefferson Country areas of Alabama.

According to a release, Wells Fargo will invest $2.55 million as part of the NeighborhoodLIFT program for Birmingham and Jefferson County.

Through the program, borrowers may be eligible to receive a matching down payment assistance grant ranging from $2,500 up to $7,500 based on the homebuyer’s contribution.

“We are pleased that Wells Fargo has selected Birmingham to participate in this national homeownership initiative,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “Working together, we are committed to strengthening neighborhoods and helping put homeownership within reach for our city’s residents.”

According to the release, to be eligible to participate in the program, homebuyer incomes must not exceed 80% of the local area median income, which is $51,200 in Birmingham and Jefferson County for a single-family household for an individual up to a family of four.

Income maximums vary depending on family size and type of loan, the organizations said.

Eligibility for military servicemembers and veterans is 100% of the area median income, or about $64,000 for an individual up to a family of four.

The organizations said that participating homebuyers are able to obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender. NHS of Birmingham will determine eligibility and NeighborWorks Columbus will administer the down payment assistance grants.

Additionally, approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home. To reserve the full grant amount, participants buying homes with the NeighborhoodLIFT program must commit to live in the home for three years.

Down payment recipients must also complete an eight-hour homebuyer education session with NHS of Birmingham or another HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

NeighborhoodLIFT program grants may be combined with other down payment assistance programs, the organizations said.

“This innovative public-private collaboration will create about 225 homeowners,” said Donald Phoenix, regional vice president, southern region, NeighborWorks America. “The required homebuyer education classes provided by certified professionals help people achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”

Leigh Collier, Mid-South region president for Wells Fargo, said the bank is eager to invest in the area.

“We care about the Birmingham and Jefferson County community and this collaboration is another example of our efforts to create affordable and sustainable homeownership in our local neighborhoods,” Collier said. “The NeighborhoodLIFT program will help hard-working families and individuals get on the path to achieve homeownership with down payment assistance and homebuyer education.”

Kelleigh Gamble, chief executive officer of NHS of Birmingham, said that the organization is ready to help families qualify for the program.

“Wells Fargo’s investment will help make the Birmingham and Jefferson County community stronger,” Gamble said.

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