Neighborhood Lift helps with down payments | News
ATLANTA -- Lauren and Lindsey Williams are sisters who became neighbors through a new program that's designed to help clear a big hurdle for homebuyers.
"I don't think we could ask for anything better," Lauren Williams said. "We are extremely blessed that the situation worked out this way."
Tired of renting, both sisters bought condos near downtown Atlanta through the Neighborhood Lift Program, which provides up to $15,000 in down payment assistance.
"That's a five-year deferred loan, which means they make the payments, and it burns off 20 percent a year until it's gone," said Dawn Luke, Managing Director of Housing Finance for Invest Atlanta, the city's development authority.
The program is run by Invest Atlanta and funded by Wells Fargo.
To qualify, you have to buy a home within the Atlanta city limits and fall under the income cap. The cap is $83,000 for a family of four and $58,000 if you live alone.
"We're looking for students coming out of college. We want to retain our talent here," Luke said. "We want to make sure we can provide financing for teachers and police officers."
Along with helping home buyers, the program's also designed to stabilize neighborhoods.
Lindsey Williams bought her condo through a short sale. Her sister bought a foreclosure. They live nine floors apart in the same building.
"It's nice to have her close, but still a little far," said Lindsey Williams with a laugh. "We get to live our own lives and have our own space and share that together. It's really a great experience."
Since the program started, it's helped about 120 homebuyers in Atlanta, and there's $4 million left to help even more.
The program includes housing counseling and budgeting as the first step.