How Wells Fargo is LIFTing Communities

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From homebuyer education to down payment assistance, Wells Fargo's NeighborhoodLIFT program (LIFT program) in association with NeighborWorks America has invested $442 million since it began the program in 2012, creating nearly 20,000 homeowners across the U.S.

The bank said that through this investment it launched 67 LIFT programs to support sustainable housing, especially for low- and moderate-income buyers. “Owning a home is a primary driver of economic security and the cornerstone of the American Dream, yet access to affordable housing is a significant challenge in communities across the country,” said Tim Sloan, CEO and President, Wells Fargo.

Looking at the impact of the program, an analysis by NeighborWorks America indicated that 61 percent of LIFT homeowners represented low- and moderate-income households and that among the LIFT buyers surveyed, 42 percent paid less for housing than they did previously.

“NeighborhoodLIFT is a terrific collaborative success that makes homeownership achievable and sustainable,” said Kim Smith-Moore, National LIFT programs Manager, Wells Fargo. “The program has made a real difference in the lives of nearly 20,000 people and families—with the majority of them representing underserved, low- and moderate-income households—by helping them prepare to be successful homeowners.”

The analysis also indicated that 80 percent of the people who bought a home through this program state that the homebuyer education service they received through LIFT would help them manage their finances. Wells Fargo said that more than 60,000 potential homebuyers had received housing counseling from a NeighborWorks network member engaged in LIFT programs. It also indicated that from the time it had started, the program has helped with the purchase of $2 billion in real estate.

“The program is helping families meet the challenge of coming up with a sufficient down payment, and the required housing counseling education classes are proven to help buyers both prepare and achieve their goals of responsible homeownership,” said Marietta Rodriguez, President and CEO of NeighborWorks America. “For families who do not currently qualify, financial education and counseling are offered to help prepare for future homeownership.”

The program, which offers homebuyer education, as well as down payment assistance grants in local communities, first began in Los Angeles and Atlanta. In 2018, with a commitment of $75 million, the program expanded to Atlanta, New Mexico, Boston, Kansas City, Chicago, Des Moines, Mississippi, Charlotte, and Orlando. Wells Fargo said that the program also added special parameters to enable hundreds of teachers, military service members, veterans, and first responders to achieve homeownership.

Click here to learn more about the NeigbhorhoodLIFT program.