By Jonathan Shapiro
ATLANTA, GA (WABE) - Wells Fargo is partnering with the city of Atlanta and other nonprofits to help with Atlanta's housing recovery. The bank will provide more than $8 million to homebuyers for down payment assistance, renovation expenses, and counseling services.
Wells Fargo's Neighborhood Lift program targets homebuyers with incomes under 120% of Atlanta's average - for a family of four it's about $80,000.
Those qualified can receive up to $15,000 in down payment and renovation assistance - grants that will be completely forgiven if they stay in the house at least five years.
Wells Fargo regional president Mike Donnelly says the program is aimed at jumpstarting Atlanta's sluggish housing market.
"We want to take a leadership role in helping to reduce the inventory that's out there in the homes in Atlanta," said Donnelly. "We hope it creates a wave of momentum for homeowners to move back into the city and help restore some of these neighborhoods that have been hard hit by the foreclosure crises."
Wells Fargo officials estimate the program will help initiate hundreds of home purchases throughout the city. The homes will be priced roughly between $75,000 and $125,000.
James Shelby, Atlanta's commissioner of planning and development, says the city and local development nonprofits will help find and promote available homes.
"Interest rates are still low. We definitely have a volume of homes that we can sell," said Shelby.
Shelby says homebuyers will be able to use existing federal aid with the Wells Fargo program. The bank is holding workshops February 10 and 11th to connect homebuyers with counselors and arrange neighborhood tours. © Copyright 2012, WABE