October 3, 2018

Helping Iowans become homeowners

Leaders from Wells Fargo and an Iowa lending organization share why Wells Fargo’s recent $4.7 million commitment to Des Moines is so important.

For low- and moderate-income prospective homebuyers, down payment assistance is extremely important, said Stephanie Preusch, executive director of Neighborhood Finance Corporation, a Des Moines, Iowa-based lender that works to revitalize neighborhoods.

“It allows people the funds to be able to purchase a home. … It just creates affordability and helps them be more economically viable with an affordable loan and some equity on their property,” Preusch said.

The organization is collaborating with Wells Fargo to launch the NeighborhoodLIFT® program in Des Moines, helping up to 250 eligible homebuyers purchase and reside locally in an eligible home, thanks to a $4.7 million commitment from Wells Fargo. Preusch and Martin Sundquist, head of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, spoke about the commitment at The Atlantic Heartland Summit, which focused on the question, “How is the Heartland faring in 2018?”

At the summit, which was sponsored by Wells Fargo, Preusch and Sundquist discussed the importance of homebuyer education, neighborhood revitalization, and Wells Fargo’s new commitment in Des Moines. The LIFT program provides $15,000 in down payment assistance grants for eligible low- and moderate-income homebuyers; $17,500 in down payment assistance grants for military service members, veterans, teachers, law enforcement officials, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians; and homebuyer education.

Since the program launched six years ago, Wells Fargo has committed $404 million nationwide to bring it to more than 60 communities. As a result, the program has created more than 18,375 homebuyers and provided more than 52,500 people with homebuyer education.

“With bringing NeighborhoodLIFT into many markets, we’ve seen a ripple effect occur,” Sundquist said. “We know we can’t do everything to change the market or improve affordable housing issues that may exist within a market, but if it can be a drop in the bucket and help a ripple effect, that’s great.”