NeighborhoodLift, a program started by Wells Fargo and administered by the nonprofit housing agency NeighborWorks is coming to Alaska. The statewide program provides down payment assistance grants to people who qualify. The grants of $10,000 or $12,500 are considered an interest-free second mortgage and don’t need to be repaid provided recipients live in their homes for five years.  

Candidates must meet several requirements, including income qualifications that vary in different areas of the state.

Candidates also need to be fairly far along in the home purchasing process to qualify. They must be approved for a mortgage from a NeighborhoodLift program-approved lender and be able to provide a signed purchase contract on a property. 

According to a release from Wells Fargo, annual incomes must not exceed 100% of the local area median income in the borough where the home is being purchased, which in Anchorage is $104,900 for a family of four.

NeighborWorks Director of Lending and Homeownership, Barbara Worley, said the program can work well for people who qualify for a mortgage but still have difficulty with the out of pocket costs. She said the Lift program can also be combined with other assistance programs to make homeownership even more affordable.

“It’s getting that little nudge, closing costs or the little bit of down payment to help them get into that home," Worley said. "And then once they are in the home, then they can afford to keep and maintain it."

Wells Fargo has allocated $3.3 million for the assistance grants. They estimate that’s enough to serve roughly 250 Alaskans. The grants will be issued on a first come first serve basis. Applications will be accepted online starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12.

To apply or get more information about the program, visit the NeighborworkAlaska website.

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