The FINANCIAL — Wells Fargo & Company, NeighborWorks America and its network member Beyond Housing on August 31 joined Mayor Francis G. Slay and Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones to announce the $4.75 million St. Louis Wells Fargo HomeLIFT program to help boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city.
“Making homeownership more affordable will enable more hard-working families and individuals to achieve homeownership, which will help strengthen St. Louis neighborhoods,” said Mayor Slay. “This innovative public-private collaboration also will help families become financially empowered and put them on a path toward upward mobility.”
Of the HomeLIFT program funds for St. Louis, $4.1 million will go toward down payment assistance grants and program support to help potential homebuyers overcome the barrier of making a sufficient down payment, according to Wells Fargo.
“While the St. Louis economy continues to show signs of improvement, many families have yet to re-enter the housing market because they struggle with making a down payment,” said Kirk Kellner, Wells Fargo regional president. “Combined with financial education, these down payment assistance grants can make a tremendous difference for families and individuals who want to own a home in St. Louis.“
“Homeownership is vital to asset building and financial empowerment,” said Treasurer Jones. “Our Office of Financial Empowerment will continue to work with Wells Fargo to ensure that families receive the financial education necessary to maximize their financial capabilities and make homeownership a reality.”
Down payment assistance grants of $15,000 will be available for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the local area median income – which is about $84,350 for a family of four in St. Louis – with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan. To be eligible, homebuyers must me
Homeownership Study: Consumers Think Now is a Good Time to Buy
A recent “How America Views Homeownership” survey by Wells Fargo and Ipsos Public Affairs shows that most consumers want to own a home, and believe now is a good time to buy, but their beliefs about what it takes to obtain financing demonstrate some consumer confusion and misinformation. The survey found that 65 percent of respondents feel homeownership is a dream come true or an accomplishment to be proud of and 72 percent think now is a good time to buy, but more than a third believe a 20 percent down payment is required. In fact, there may be home financing options available for less than a 20 percent down payment and as low as a three percent down payment depending on qualification and loan type.