HOUSTON - Hundreds of Houston families are about get a lift toward buying their first homes. The NeighborhoodLIFT Program is again offering hundreds of homebuyers $15,000 grants for down payments.
The biggest obstacle for lower income families buying their first home is usually saving the down payment.
For the third time, Wells Fargo is donating millions of dollars and partnering with non-profits to give the grants.
"That’s my biggest goal for my kids. I wanted them to have a yard. I wanted them to have their rooms. I didn’t want to move from apartment to apartment, " said single mother Amanda Bridgewater.
Bridgewater received a $15,000 grant and financial education to buy her first home through the NeighborhoodLIFT Program two years ago.
It's a nationwide program aimed at stabilizing families and communities.
"There are more renters in our city now than homeowners. That was not always the case. When my parents came to this city back in 1954, the one thing they wanted was their own home," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner at a press conference.
NeighborhoodLIFT partners Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and Avenue Community Development Corporation in Houston. The program helped 700 buy their first homes in Houston in 2012 and 2019. Now's it's back for a third installment.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Program offers $15K grants for down payment on Houston home
"So we’re announcing today a $5 million grant that will service and be able to help over 300 first time homebuyers with $15,000 for their down payment on their homes here in Houston," said Bill Daley with Wells Fargo.
To qualify, recipients must have an annual household income at or below $63,840, complete eight hours of financial education, qualify for pre-approval for a mortgage from a LIFT lender, and buy a home within the City of Houston.
"Even if you are not mortgage-ready right now, we will help you get ready," said Mary Lawler with Avenue CDC.
The program not only educates current homebuyers, but will provide free credit counseling to prepare an additional 500 future homebuyers.
Bridgewater says she and her kids were in a home in six months.
"I started in March. I looked into the Avenue CDC program and I bought it in August," she said, pointing to the house behind her.
Avenue CDC will take applications through its website November 8 to 15, November 29 to December 6, and the week of January 17.