SOURCE: Neighborworks America

NeighborWorks America

May 29, 2012 12:58 ET

Down Payment Assistance Program Set to Launch This Weekend With City of Miami, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America

Down Payment Assistance and Homebuyer Education -- a Winning Combination for Miami

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - May 29, 2012) - Consumers in the Miami market looking to take advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in decades, but who might be struggling to raise sufficient down payment funds, are invited this weekend to the NeighborhoodLIFT two-day homeownership event organized the City of Miami, Wells Fargo, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF) and NeighborWorks America. On June 1 and June 2 at the Doubletree Miami Convention Center, qualified homebuyers could sign up for homebuyer education offered by NHSSF and reserve up to $15,000 in down payment assistance funds to help bridge a home financing gap. More than 4,700 potential homebuyers have attended prior NeighborhoodLIFT events in Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

NeighborhoodLIFT is a multi-market initiative designed to help stabilize communities that have been hard hit by the housing downturn from Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America, the country's preeminent leader in affordable housing and community development. In Miami, the program's down payment, homebuyer education and additional marketing efforts are led by Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida.

Florida is one of the states most affected by the foreclosure crisis, ranked second only behind California for foreclosure activity. According to data from, Miami-Dade is the market hardest hit by foreclosure in Florida.

Qualified prospective homebuyers in the NeighborhoodLIFT program could use forgivable down payment assistance funds available from NHSSF to purchase homes throughout the City of Miami. More information on how to qualify, such as income limits and household size, as well as how to reserve a spot at the event, is available at

"Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America have put together an initiative to help homebuyers who qualify achieve sustainable homeownership," said Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida President & CEO Arden Shank. "I'm looking forward to seeing hundreds of potential buyers this weekend who want to take hold of homeownership in the City of Miami."

All recipients of down payment assistance are required to finish a homebuyer education course offered by NHSSF. Homebuyer education helps homebuyers become familiar with all of the responsibilities of homeownership. Default rates for homeowners who go through homebuyer education and counseling like those offered by NHSSF are lower than homeowners who did not participate in pre-purchase counseling and training.

"The homebuyer education part of NeighborhoodLIFT is extremely important," said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. "All of us have the goal of helping homeowners succeed in the long-run, and we know that homebuyer education leads to more sustainable homeowners."

In 2011, NHSSF provided homebuyer education to 2,402 households.

"Florida was one of the states deeply affected by the housing crisis," said Frank Newman, Wells Fargo's South Florida Regional President. "Today, despite low home prices and historically low interest rates, many people in Miami are still unable to purchase a home because they simply cannot afford the down payment. Through NeighborhoodLIFT(SM), Wells Fargo is helping to address this issue by providing the down payment assistance needed to help get people into homes."

About Neighborhood Services of South Florida

Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF) is a local nonprofit organization that empowers individuals, creates affordable housing opportunities and revitalizes neighborhoods in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. A chartered member of the NeighborWorks® network, NHSSF is amongst a nationwide network of 245 trained and certified community development organizations at work in more than 4,400 communities across America. NHSSF is a certified Homeownership Center, a HUD approved counseling agency and has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. NHSSF provides a full spectrum of homeownership services in English, Spanish, and Creole to assist potential buyers in reaching their homeownership dream and assist current owners to preserve their homes. For more information, please visit

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