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Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces New $4.5 Million Wells Fargo Initiative

Innovative program is designed to boost homeownership in Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD (January 7, 2013)—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano and partners Wells Fargo & Company, NeighborWorks America, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore announced a $4.5 million public-private partnership through the CityLIFTSM program. The CityLIFTSM program in Baltimore is designed to provide $15,000 in down payment assistance grants to new Baltimore homebuyers and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. Baltimore is one of 20 cities that will benefit from a total of $170 million Wells Fargo has committed through Neighborhood LIFTSM and CityLIFTSM to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn.

“This collaboration with Wells Fargo and local nonprofits will help Baltimore residents achieve the American dream of homeownership by offering financial support, as well as the resources to help them make successful investment decisions,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “The CityLIFTSM Program supports ongoing efforts like Vacants to Value by creating new opportunities for families to live in great neighborhoods. We appreciate Wells Fargo for supporting our effort to grow Baltimore City by 10,000 families in the next 10 years.”

In the first phase of the CityLIFTSM program, prospective homebuyers must meet income guidelines, complete a homebuyer education course, and have a signed contract to purchase a home in Baltimore to qualify for the $15,000 down payment assistance grants. The remaining $3.5 million in grants will be made available to eligible homebuyers in April 2013 during the second phase of the program. No purchase of sale contract will be required to apply. However, homeowners must be mortgage-ready, be able to complete an 8-hour homebuyer education class, and close on a home within 90 days.

“This is a wonderful partnership opportunity that will help Baltimore rebound from the downturn in the housing market and provide Baltimore residents with new opportunities to help make buying a home economically feasible,” said Baltimore Housing Commissioner Graziano.

The Baltimore CityLIFTSM program was developed in connection with a 2012 settlement with the City of Baltimore and is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and NeighborWorks America.

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