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Wells Fargo launches grant program to help bridge the homeownership gap

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Wells Fargo Home Lending recently announced that it will be offering $10,000 Homebuyer Access grants that will go toward down payments for eligible homebuyers in 8 metropolitan areas.

The new offering is under the company’s Special Purpose Credit Program (SPCP), and is another added layer to Wells Fargo’s commitment to help drive economic growth, sustainable homeownership, and neighborhood stability in diverse communities of color.

“Homeownership is central to building wealth but has been out of reach for many minority families as a result of systemic inequalities in housing and finance,” said Kevin Reen, head of Wells Fargo Home Lending, in a press release.

“One of the biggest barriers to achieving homeownership is coming up with the down payment,” he added.

The Homebuyer Access grants will be made available to homebuyers who are purchasing homes in or who currently live in the following 8 metropolitan areas:

  • Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-MD-DE
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington, TX
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  • Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

“We’re proud to make this dream a reality for families through our new $10,000 Homebuyer Access grant,” said Reen. 

Homebuyer Access grants will be made available to homebuyers who earn a combined 120% or less of the area median income in the country where their property is located. 

The grant funds can only be used toward the down payment on a Wells Fargo fixed-rate conventional loan secured by a property that will be the purchaser’s primary residence.

Homebuyers who are eligible for the Homebuyer Access grant can combine the grant with various other programs for which they may qualify, including Wells Fargo’s Dream. Plan. Home. closing cost credit and/or mortgage. 

As a result, homebuyers can qualify for both a Homebuyer Access grant and the closing cost credit could receive up to $15,000 from Wells Fargo to help them purchase their home. 

Wells Fargo initially announced its SPCP initiative in April 2022 with the focus on helping eligible Black homeowners whose mortgages are serviced by Wells Fargo lower their interest rates and reduce their monthly mortgage payments. 

Overall, the goal is to increase home lending to traditionally underserved communities by removing impediments to home ownership for communities of color and creating a more inclusive housing system. Its focus areas include: 

  • Investing an additional $100 million to advance racial equity in homeownership, including strategic partnerships with nonprofit organizations and community-focused engagements; the company expects to make ongoing investments in this area in the years to follow.
  • Deploying additional Home Mortgage Consultants in local minority communities with a focus on investing in local staffing, as well as hiring home mortgage consultants who reflect the communities they serve.
  • Since 2019, Wells Fargo has donated more than $390 million to help address housing affordability in the country, including supporting available and affordable rentals, homeownership and housing stability.
  • Established Wealth Opportunities Restored through Homeownership, or WORTH, a $60 million national effort by the Wells Fargo Foundation to address systematic barriers to homeownership for people of color. Nationally, WORTH aims to help create 40,000 new homeowners of color in eight markets by the end of 2025.
  • Announced an expansion of our Dream. Plan. Home. closing cost credit, which provides borrowers with an income at or below 80% of the area median income where the property is located up to $5,000 to use toward closing costs. The credit is available in 18 metropolitan areas.
  • Announced Growing Diverse Housing Developers, a $40 million grant initiative focused on expanding the growth and success of real estate developers of color, including Black and Latino-owned firms.

To learn more about the down payment grant program, click here

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