Prospective homebuyers looking to settle in DeKalb County and the metro Atlanta area can apply for $15,000 down-payment grants through a new $6 million fund provided by the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Wells Fargo is partnering with NeighborWorks America, NeighborWorks Columbus and the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership to give assistance grants to around 300 homebuyers in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
“This investment from Wells Fargo will help provide well-deserved stability and economic security for hardworking families and individuals who dream of homeownership,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said April 17. “There is a critical need in our community to create equitable opportunities for everyone who desires to live in Atlanta.”
Potential buyers must attend a free NeighborhoodLIFT event on May 4 and 5 at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart to have their eligibility for a grant determined by the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership.
More than 500 people have already registered for the 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. event, and while organizers say registration is now full, walk-ins are welcome.
Those not already registered can meet with a nonprofit specialist at the event, and should be prepared with documents required to reserve a grant. There will also be financial education sessions for homebuyers.
Donald Phoenix, NeighborWorks America southern region vice-president, said the education classes, provided by certified professionals, better prepare homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.
“This innovative public-private collaboration will create about 300 more homeowners in the Atlanta area,” Phoenix said.
To be eligible, homebuyers’ annual income must not exceed 80 percent of the local area’s median income, which in DeKalb County is about $53,000.
The size of homes and number of occupants is also taken into account, and there are additional special parameters for veterans and service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, who may reserve grants of $17,500.
Those eligible to reserve a grant to buy a home will have up to 60 days to finalize a purchase contract.
Grant recipients must commit to live in the home for five years, and can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender.
NeighborWorks Columbus will administer the grants.
Wells Fargo provides grants for down-payment assistance through NeighborWorks America to NeighborWorks and other nonprofits nationwide, overall financing 58 LIFT programs to help create over 17,150 homeowners since 2012.
The 2018 Atlanta NeighborhoodLIFT program follows one in 2012 that created 378 homeowners through down-payment grants from an $8 million Wells Fargo fund.
Wells Fargo South Metro Atlanta/West Georgia region bank president Chad Gregory said the program is just one part of the organization’s commitment to the Atlanta area and its efforts to build better communities through sustainable homeownership.
“The program will help hardworking families and individuals get on the path to homeownership,” Gregory said.
John O’Callaghan, president and CEO of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership said the $6 million investment was needed locally, to “address our growing need for affordable housing.”