By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor
The Wells Fargo HomeLIFT program is a $4.75 million initiative to increase homeownership under the partnership of Wells Fargo & Co., NeighborWorks America and its affiliate Homestart.
Albuquerque is the 33rd market in the country to benefit from the program. A free homebuyer event was held on May 1-2 at the city’s Convention Center.
Of the total amount committed by Wells Fargo, $4.1 million is scheduled for down payment assistance grants for home sales in the city. Prospective homebuyers have 60 days from the start of the program to find a home.
Eligibility requirements for the program include annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Albuquerque area median income–$71,300 for a four-member family–while the maximum income varies depending on family size and loan type. Furthermore, the buyer must complete an eight-hour homebuyer education seminar with Homestart or another HUD-approved agency. Another requirement asks the future homeowners to live in their homes for at least five years; otherwise the funds will be prorated.
“Like many communities, Albuquerque was deeply affected by the economic downturn,” said Lisa Riley, New Mexico/Western Border regional president with Wells Fargo Bank in Albuquerque. “While mortgages are available at relatively low interest rates, many families are unable to buy a home because they struggle with making the down payment. The HomeLIFT program can help local mortgage-ready homebuyers realize their dream of owning a home.”