Million to boost homeownership in Denver area

Wells Fargo is committing $4.8 million to help increase homeownership in the Denver-Aurora area as part of partnership with NeighborWorks America and its network member Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation.\

The partnership is part of the NeighborhoodLift program, which provides down payment assistance to average- and lower-income homebuyers, veterans, military service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.

Wells Fargo previously brought the NeighborhoodLift program to Denver in 2014 and helped 252 families buy a home.

Through the program, certain buyers are eligible to receive a $15,000 down payment assistance grant.

“Affordable housing is the foundation to building a strong and healthy Denver,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “For our families, veterans, teachers, first responders and others working to own a home, this program can be a catalyst for achieving this dream.”

To be eligible to receive the down payment grant, the borrowers’ annual incomes must not exceed 80% of the local area median income, which in Denver-Aurora is approximately $67,100 for an individual homebuyer with a family of up to four people (and about $72,500 for a family with five members).

Conversely, veterans and service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighter, and emergency medical technicians may earn up to 100% of the area median income, which in Denver-Aurora is about $83,900 for up a family of four and $90,650 for a family of five.

Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in the Denver-Aurora area to receive the grant. Participating buyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender, not only Wells Fargo, and CRHDC will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance grants.

To earn the full grant amount, participants buying a primary residence with the NeighborhoodLIFT program must commit to live in the home for five years. Borrowers are also required to participate in homebuyer education classes.

“The NeighborhoodLIFT program is another example of our commitment to the greater Denver-Aurora area and our efforts to building better communities through sustainable homeownership,” said John Sotoodeh, Wells Fargo regional president. “In addition to being tailored for average- and lower-income homebuyers, we enhanced the program for veterans, military service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians in honor of the services they provide to the community.”

According to Gary Wolfe, regional vice president, Western region, NeighborWorks America, the “innovative public-private collaboration” will create more than 240 new homeowners.