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Written by Kim Norvell for Des Moines Register, Published 12:01 a.m. CT Sept. 6, 2018 | Updated 8:32 a.m. CT Sept. 6, 2018 
Text bolded by Rude Realty to highlight pertinent information


Wells Fargo is offering $15,000 in down payment assistance to Polk County residents wanting to purchase a home. 

The bank announced Thursday it will commit $4.7 million to its NeighborhoodLIFT program and award up to 250 potential buyers with money to put toward a down payment and closing costs. 

"It's really about lifting neighborhoods up and creating more homebuyers," said Marta Codina, Wells Fargo region bank president. "The intent is not to fill neighborhoods with investors, it's to create good solid neighborhoods of people who live there and care about where they live." 

The grants must be used for a home purchase in Polk County. Recipients must live in the home for five years to receive the full grant amount.

The $15,000 grants are available for those earning 80 percent of the area's median income — up to $63,700 a year. 

Teachers, military members or veterans, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians can earn $79,600 and still qualify. They're also eligible for an additional $2,500 through the program.

Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, said Wells Fargo's commitment is a step in the right direction to addressing the county's affordable housing shortage.

Approximately 71,550 households earn up to 80 percent of the area median income, according to the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing affordable housing to central Iowa.

"Our charitable organizations alone can't do it. Our government alone can't do it. Private money alone can't do it," Burmeister said. "We need for businesses like Wells Fargo who have a stake in the Des Moines community, particularly for their workforce, to come to the table with resources."

Meanwhile, millennials continue to flock to Des Moines and Polk County in higher numbers than its Midwest neighbors. In the last five years, the number of Des Moines residents ages 25-34 has increased by 7.5 percent, according to the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

"We're experiencing growth, especially in that age group that would primarily need assistance to help them own their first home," said Gene Meyer, president of the partnership.

To be eligible for a grant, prospective buyers must attend a Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT event later this month, complete an eight-hour homebuyer class, and make an offer on a home by Dec. 3. Home loans do not have to originate from Wells Fargo, and borrowers are not required to match funds.

The Neighborhood Finance Corporation in Polk County will administer the grants. Buyers may qualify for additional down payment assistance or renovation loans from the organization if purchasing in the Neighborhood Finance Corporation's lending areas.

Des Moines is the 63rd community nationwide to participate in Wells Fargo's NeighborhoodLIFT program. Since 2012, it has helped more than 18,375 people purchase a home, according to the company.

Interested homebuyers may register beginning Monday September 10 at to attend one of the NeighborhoodLIFT events this month.

They will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at Hy-Vee Hall, 730 Third St., in Des Moines.

Wells Fargo expects spots to fill up quickly. 


For more information or to see if you qualify, contact Jason at (515) 953-8160 or to schedule a meeting to discuss this grant in further detail.


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Special guidelines for First Responders, Military, and Teachers: