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Wells Fargo CityLIFTSM program to provide $9.5 million to help eligible homebuyers with down payment assistance grants to buy and live in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Newark, Jersey City

Effort includes opportunity to get homebuyer education; qualify for $30,000 in the Bronx/Brooklyn and $15,000 in Newark/Jersey City for down payment assistance to purchase affordable home

BRONX, N.Y. — May 7, 2013 — Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, today announced that the company’s New York-New Jersey CityLIFTSM program will be available in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Newark, and Jersey City on June 7 & 8. The CityLIFTSM program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A., the Bronx, Brooklyn, Newark and Jersey City officials, and NeighborWorks America, a national non-profit organization which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes and improve their lives. The program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The CityLIFTSM program includes a $9.5 million investment for down payment assistance grants and homebuyer support programs to help consumers achieve successful, sustainable homeownership and is for qualified potential homebuyers interested in living in a home in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Newark, or Jersey City.

The New York-New Jersey CityLIFTSM program will include a free homebuyer workshop on Friday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Pier 94 in Manhattan.

At the event, potential homebuyers can find out if they qualify for the down payment assistance program and reserve funds – $30,000 in the Bronx/Brooklyn or $15,000 in Newark/Jersey City – for 60 days for home purchases even if they have yet to find a property. In addition, prospective homebuyers may stop by the Wells Fargo Affordable Home TourSM viewing center to preview featured homes available for sale in local neighborhoods.

Prospective homebuyers can register at www.wellsfargo.com/citylift and learn more about the New York-New Jersey CityLIFTSM program by calling 1-866-802-0456. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins are welcome. Wells Fargo will collaborate with the Bronx, Brooklyn, Newark and Jersey City officials, NeighborWorks America, and local NeighborWorks affiliates Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City and La Casa de Don Pedro of Newark to implement the CityLIFTSM program.

The programs in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Newark and Jersey City, are part of 20 housing markets that will benefit from a total of $170 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFTSM programs (including NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM) to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn.

“Today, while there are many homes available at attractive purchase prices and mortgages are available at historically low interest rates, many families are still unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment,” said Joe Kirk, Wells Fargo’s regional president for New York and Connecticut. “The CityLIFTSM program will help address this issue for homebuyers by providing down payment assistance that can help make a mortgage payment more affordable.”

“NeighborWorks America and Wells Fargo’s innovative partnership helps thousands of homebuyers achieve sustainable homeownership,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. “The LIFT program is designed to help potential homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership, and shows them that pre-purchase homebuyer education and counseling is a critical component to successful and sustainable homeownership.”

“As is the case in many cities across America, there are people who would like to purchase a home but for some reason or another they do not have down payment funds,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz. “I am excited that CityLIFTSM is coming to the Bronx to assist people so they can own a home.”

“New homeowners are coming to Brooklyn in droves because our neighborhoods are bustling with activity and excitement,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “CityLIFTSM will help those who want to live here with the resources to get started – and with education on the home purchasing process. This is a win-win for everyone.”

Down payment assistance of $30,000 is available to those who qualify to purchase a home in the Bronx or Brooklyn. To qualify for down payment assistance, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area (income maximums vary depending on family size); an eight-hour homebuyer education session with a HUD-approved counselor such as NeighborWorks America affiliates; and a commitment to stay in the home for five years and qualification for a first mortgage on the property. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender.

“The Bronx and Brooklyn were significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Michelle Lee, Wells Fargo’s Northeast Regional President. “The CityLIFTSM program will help families achieve successful homeownership which is not just about having enough money on hand and qualifying for a mortgage. It’s also about knowing how to navigate the home buying process, what to expect once you become a homeowner, and having a trusted advisor to turn to when questions come up.

The CityLIFTSM program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The program was developed in connection with the 2012 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and NeighborWorks America.

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