Program helps boost homeownership in city
On June 13, representatives of Wells Fargo Co. and Builders Care convened a group from their organizations, city officials and other interested parties to announce the completion of a two-year project to boost home ownership, the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program.
In 2016, Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and Housing Partnership, Inc. announced that Wells Fargo was committing $5 million to extend the program, which started in 2012.
The program created 328 new homeowners in Jacksonville in 2012. The 2016 expansion helped create 450 additional homeowners by offering education and down payment assistance.
As part of the initiative, Wells Fargo awarded Builders Care a $50,000 grant for repairs on four Jacksonville homes.
“Homeownership is part of the American Dream for many individuals and families in the Jacksonville area,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said.
“The availability of matching down-payment assistance grants and other counseling services through the NeighborhoodLIFT program is a huge win for our city and truly meets a growing need to building sustainable communities,” he said.
Another purpose of the meeting was to kick off a volunteer activity, with about 30 Wells Fargo volunteers working to rehabilitate two homes on the Westside.
“We have been able to accomplish so much more with the grant from Wells Fargo,” said Justin Brown, Builders Care director. “Much of our work involves installing wheelchair ramps, repairing leaking roofs, repairing new bathroom and kitchen fixtures. We are very grateful to Wells Fargo, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
NEFBA Executive Officer Bill Garrison said partnerships such as these give Builders Care the support to expand their budget when the need exceeds the resources.
“Much of our funding comes from NEFBA members, who are very generous in their donations of materials, volunteers and funding, and private donations,” Garrison said. “The grant enabled us to do all that needed to be done for four deserving families in Jacksonville, families with elderly, sick, disabled and other vulnerable homeowners.
For more information about Builders Care and how you can help the most vulnerable citizens in our community, visit online at www.builderscare.org, or contact Justin Brown by telephone (904 727-3443) or by email at [email protected].