Bank to give homebuyers $15K for down payments

Wells Fargo & Co. is looking to give the Marion County housing market and prospective homeowners a $4.5 million stimulus shot.

Bank officials are scheduled Friday afternoon to unveil a grant program named Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT that would provide down payment assistance of up to $15,000 for qualified homebuyers.

Unlike federal programs geared toward low-income families, the Wells Fargo program will help a broader array of families because it has a higher income cap, said Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership spokeswoman Rachel Faulkner.

“There are other down payment assistance programs, but they’re hard to come by and hard to get,” Faulkner said. “So this one is unprecedented in terms of how many people it’s going to help very quickly in Marion County. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Faulkner said about 250 households are expected to participate. The program will host an informational event Sept. 26-27 at the Indiana Convention Center.

The income ceiling is 120 percent of the median area income, Faulkner said. For a family of one, two and four people, she said, that’s $54,000, $61,800 and $77,000, respectively.

INHP and NeighborWorks America are the bank's two not-for-profit partners on the local program. INHP's role will include determining eligibility.

In addition to the down payment assistance, Wells Fargo will donate $500,000 for neighborhood stabilization projects in Indianapolis.

The national bank has dedicated $215 million to its NeighborhoodLift program, which has been implemented in 29 housing markets.

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