A new program, created after the city settled its lawsuit with Wells Fargo last year, will provide qualified residents interested in buying a home in Baltimore $15,000 in down payment assistance.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the CityLIFTSM program, which is also supposed to support homebuyer education programs in the areas most impacted by the 2008 financial crisis, on Monday. Baltimore is one of 20 cities that will have access to money from the program that is funded by $170 million from Wells Fargo, according to a news release.
"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," Rawlings-Blake said in the release.
The city sued Wells Fargo in 2008, alleging that the company had steered minority customers to subprime mortgages. The lawsuit was settled in July after Wells Fargo agreed to provide $425 million in lending for people trying to purchase homes in the city during the next five years, $4.5 million for a lending assistance program and $3 million for local priority funding and foreclosure related initiatives.
During the first phase of the CityLIFTSM program residents must complete a homebuyer’s education course, meet certain income guidelines and have signed a contract to purchase a home in Baltimore to be eligible for the grant, according to a news release. In April, 2013 an additional $3.5 million will be made available to residents without a contract on a home, but they will have to be "mortgage-ready," finish an eight hour homebuyer's course and close on a home in 90 days.