Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and its network members — Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc., and NeighborWorks Columbus — announced on Tuesday that the bank’s NeighborhoodLIFT program will expand in the Atlanta area with a $6 million commitment by Wells Fargo to boost homeownership in the counties of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett.

The 2018 Atlanta NeighborhoodLIFT follows one in 2012 that created 378 homeowners by offering homebuyer education plus $15,000 down payment assistance grants in an $8 million commitment by Wells Fargo. Overall, Wells Fargo has conducted 58 LIFT program events in the U.S. since 2012.

“The NeighborhoodLIFT program is another example of our commitment to Atlanta and our efforts to build better communities through sustainable homeownership,” said Chad Gregory, Wells Fargo South metro Atlanta and West Georgia region bank president. “The program will help hardworking families and individuals get on the path to homeownership.”

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shared remarks at the announcement and commended Wells Fargo for its commitment to affordable housing, her main campaign agenda item and pledge when she took office in January.

“This is a such an incredible day for so many reasons,” Bottoms said. “I am so grateful that Wells Fargo remains to be such an incredible partner in our communities. When I stand here now, I will think of all the families that will have lasting memories in a permanent home.

“To have your own permanent home that is your own really is a game changer,” she added.

The mayor shared her own childhood family struggles with dealing with a home foreclosure and its devastating impact on the structure of her family.

More than 500 homebuyers are registered to attend the NeighborhoodLIFT event scheduled May 4–5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart, when eligibility will be determined to reserve a grant to purchase a home in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, or Gwinnett counties. While registration is full, walk-ins are welcome to meet with a nonprofit specialist while funds are available for reservation.

In addition, prospective homebuyers may participate in financial education sessions at the homebuyer event. Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender, and the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership will determine eligibility. NeighborWorks Columbus will administer the down payment assistance grants.

To be eligible, annual incomes must not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income, which is about $59,850 in the Atlanta community for a single household up to a family of four and up to $60,250 for a family of five.

In addition, there are special parameters for veterans and service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who may reserve $17,500 down payment assistance grants within eligibility requirements including earning up to 100 percent of the area median income, which is about $69,700 for up to a family of four and $75,300 for a family of five.

Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in the Atlanta metro counties of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett.

“This innovative public-private collaboration will create about 300 more homeowners in the Atlanta area,” said Donald Phoenix, regional vice president, southern region, NeighborWorks America. “The required homebuyer education classes provided by certified professionals better prepare NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”

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