CityLIFT program to provide $3.7M in down payment assistance to CLE homebuyers

Neighborhood Housing Services, Wells Fargo team-up

CLEVELAND - Cleveland homebuyers now have another set of resources available to help them realize the American dream of owning their own home.

Wells Fargo's CityLIFT program has set up at the Cleveland Convention Center, offering down payment assistance, housing information, loan counseling and more, all under one roof.

Adam Boda of Cleveland was approved for a home loan in just a few hours, and qualified for $15,000 in down payment assistance through the CityLIFT program.

"Oh I'm tremendously excited,' Boda said. "I just basically got $15,000 for free. It's amazing really."

Boda is a first time homebuyer who is looking for homes in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood.

"You have to take advantage of the opportunity when it's there,' explained Boda. "I heard about it just a week ago, I pursued it, and you have to take advantage of the opportunity, especially in a program like this."

Well Fargo CityLIFT program manager Kimberly Smith-Moore told NewsChannel5 the program provides home education, a virtual home tour, bus service to available homes, as well as counseling and the grant program.

"In order to get the down payment assistance, you do have to be approved by a first mortgage," said Smith-Moore. "So what we have are our home mortgage consultants that help the customers to get them approved for that first mortgage, and if they get approved for the first mortgage then they meet with a down payment assistance counselor that helps them and guides them to getting the reservation for the $15,000."

Wells Fargo has teamed-up with NeighborWorks America and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland to provide counseling services to homebuyers.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland Executive Director Lou Tisler told NewsChannel5 the CityLIFT program has been a great help here in northeast Ohio.

"We're able to do budgeting, we're able to do counseling," said Tisler. "We're able to make sure people know exactly what they're doing when they're getting into their home. It's been a great collaboration with Wells Fargo, Neighborworks America, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland."

The Cleveland CityLIFT program free homebuyer event is scheduled on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Cleveland Convention Center, Halls B and C, located at 1 St. Clair Ave, NE. Prospective homebuyers can register at www.wellsfargo.com/citylift and learn more by calling 1-866-802-0456. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins are welcome.

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