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Non-Profits, Wells Fargo Partner On Initiative To Increase Homeownership In Houston

Through the NeighborhoodLIFT program, eligible individuals and families can receive $15,000 to use as a down payment for the purchase of a house within the city limits.

A construction crew works on a home being built in a new subdivision located in the Houston area on December 9, 2017.

Three local non-profits are partnering with Wells Fargo to increase homeownership in Houston through a down payment assistance program that can be combined with assistance from the City of Houston.

Avenue Community Development Corporation, the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation and the Tejano Center for Community Concerns, which are members of NeighborWorks America, are working together with Wells Fargo on the NeighborhoodLIFT program.

Through the program, eligible individuals and families can receive $15,000 to use as a down payment for the purchase of a house within Houston city limits. To be eligible, annual incomes must not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income in Houston, which is about $59,900 for a family of four.

Eligible military service members and veterans, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians may obtain an additional $2,500.

Wells Fargo already implemented the NeighborhoodLIFT program in Houston in 2012, providing the grants to 422 home-buyers. This year, the goal is to create more than 290 homeowners, according to Lisa Hasegawa, of NeighborWorks America.

Marvalette Hunter, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s chief of staff, said the City can provide up to $30,000 in down payment assistance through its own programs. That amount can be combined with the $15,000 available through the NeighborhoodLIFT initiative.

Hunter said the initiative is timely because of Houston’s shortage of affordable housing. She said the program could be helpful to also assist some individuals and families whose homes were flooded or damaged by Hurricane Harvey because “not everyone has fully recovered.”

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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