Wells Fargo’s Aid Program Reopens This Year

On Wednesday, the Well Fargo Foundation notified the public that its $9.5 million aid program is now open to assist first-time homebuyers in the Bay Area. According to the bank, the grant aims to help new customers purchase their dream houses at more affordable prices amid the state’s expensive housing charges. The firm also added that the funding assistance also comes with the option to apply for down payments.

The title of the aid program is NeighborhoodLIFT, aiming to assist the Bay Area’s moderate- and low-income families with $25,000 funding for each eligible household. According to the San Francisco-based bank that handles the said financial initiative, it expects to support at least 359 affected residents next year. The grant would permit qualified citizens to give down payments when purchasing homes within the state, provided that they hail from the Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Solano, and Santa Clara districts.

Sam Liccardo, San Jose County’s Mayo, explained that the assistance program seeks to help financially-challenged locals to have houses of their own in the Bay Area. According to Liccardo, the struggle for buying residences in the country is a long-standing issue for residents. As COVID-19 currently affects the global population, the divide between homeowners and houseless in the Bay Area becomes more pronounced than before. Due to the said observations, Liccardo stated that the financial aid scheme is a wise move.

One of Harvard University’s most recent studies revealed that the increasing housing costs in the Bay Area have severely impacted its low-income earners. According to the research outcomes, 1 out of 4 Bay Area locals spend more than half their wages on paying residences. The study indicates that out of all the United States’ places, the Bay Area has the most expensive real estate prices.

The Financial Program’s History and Its Qualifications for Interested Applicants

The charitable program began in 2012 by Wells Fargo, which grants yearly financial aid to different United States municipalities. Bay Area locals got assisted by the non-profit initiative in two separate years – in 2012 and 2017. The charitable foundation reduced the 2017 grants from $30,000 individual awards. According to Wells Fargo, it believes that the down payment option could help benefit many new housing buyers to use local, state, and other funding options to purchase affordable houses in the Bay Area. 

In this year’s aid program, the new financial grants include a total amount of $525,000 to financially assist community firms that provide personal funding counseling for real estate buyers.

The program opens its applications until February 21 of next year. To qualify for the grant initiative, eligible applicants must earn a total income that is less than 80 percent of the country’s average household wages. The said prerequisite requires at least $76,320 in Solano, $112,720 in San Francisco and San Mateo, $95,360 in Alameda, $111,840 in Santa Clara, and $95,360 in Contra Costa.

Additionally, applicants must accomplish first-time homebuyer classes to receive the grants. Purchasers should also live in the bought house for at least five years to keep the entire award’s financial benefits. In case the qualified residents fail to meet the five-year stay-in requirement, they must pay the aid’s pro-rated portion. Interested Bay Area residents can visit Well Fargo’s official website for more information and updates regarding its newly opened financial program.

In 2017, program grantee Montie Cross received financial aid from the said initiative. The IBM retiree purchased a three-bedroom condo in Fairfield for only $210,000. After buying the residence, Cross and her two adult sons later moved into the newly bought abode. Cross expressed her happiness during her interview with the news media. She stated that her life-long dream of owning a house came true with the help of the bank’s financial program.