Millions of dollars to help neighborhoods recover from the housing
crisis are coming to Memphis and Shelby County under an agreement
announced today that dismisses a lawsuit filed by the city and county
against Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo is investing $7.5 million in Memphis
and Shelby County as part of the new recovery efforts.
Under the agreement, Wells Fargo will provide grants totaling $4.5
million for mortgage down payment and home renovation assistance.
Individuals who want to buy homes and live in Memphis and Shelby County
can qualify for grants worth up to $15,000 each under the Wells Fargo
home ownership program that is set to kick off later this year with a
large-scale home ownership event in Memphis.
To qualify for the Wells Fargo grants, prospective homebuyers must have
a family income not above 120 percent of the area median income and must
complete an eight-hour homebuyer education session with an approved
non-profit. Prospective homeowners also must agree to live in the home
for five years. If they move sooner, they will have to return a
pro-rated portion of the down payment or renovation grant.
The Memphis homeownership program is modeled after the NeighborhoodLIFTSM
program, a collaborative effort by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A, Wells
Fargo Foundation, and NeighborWorks America, an independent nonprofit
organization. Through the program, Wells Fargo has already committed
millions of dollars to help prospective homebuyers buy homes in nine
U.S. cities – Atlanta, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles,
Miami, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa.
Wells Fargo also has set a five-year mortgage lending goal of $425
million for the city and county. This will include $125 million in home
purchase lending to low- and moderate-income borrowers.
In addition, as part of its agreement with Memphis and Shelby Country,
Wells Fargo is contributing an additional $3 million to advance local
initiatives and programs related to improving economic vitality,
preserving public safety, and increasing financial literacy. The
spending of those dollars will be directed by the city and county.
“The condition of the local housing market continues to challenge
Memphis and Shelby County significantly, as unoccupied homes and
excessive housing inventory weigh heavily on communities,” said Memphis
Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.