Few months ago, Bank of America announced plans to streamline its paperwork process in order to facilitate more short sales among distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. That action was met with limited approval among critics who insist that America’s banks are out to steal from America’s homeowners. Now, another plan has been announced by one of the nation’s major banks to help low income home buyers while at the same time reducing the number of vacant homes left empty by foreclosure within the Las Vegas city limits.
As reported by HispanicBusiness.com Wells Fargo made the announcement during a press conference at the Las Vegas City Hall. Company officials were flanked by Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and a host of other city officials. While Wells Fargo’s privately funded program will offer up to $15,000 of down payment assistance to income eligible buyers, an additional city program will contribute even more.
“It will have a huge impact on our community and the housing market,” Mayor Goodman said during the press conference. She went on further to say that “the city has an additional program that may help provide even more financial assistance — up to $50,000 to people who purchase homes in a certain foreclosure area or a foreclosed home.”
The Las Vegas program is the fourth such program already started by Wells Fargo as part of a larger effort to provide $1 billion worth of mortgage loans within the next five years. They plan to also provide an additional $9 million to help low income buyers with down payment and closing cost assistance. It goes without saying that such programs fly in the face of the common belief that mortgage bankers are trying to rape and pillage vulnerable cities like Las Vegas.
“I am really thrilled that we have a community partner that is willing to get our housing market back on track,” said Las Vegas Councilman Steve Ross. “I hope this will be a call to action for the other lending institutions to take similar actions to help us re-energize our community in making home ownership more attainable.”
Private Funding the Key
The HispanicBusiness.com story focuses on the total amount of money being offered and how it is going to help the sixth ward of the city of Las Vegas, and rightly so. That’s what’s important to the Hispanic community in that city. However, an equally important factor is that the funding for the Wells Fargo program is coming from private sources rather than the government. This is important because it further demonstrates the commitment of financial investors to get the housing market back on track again.
When banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are put to the test by market conditions they are the best qualified to find market solutions. Five years from now, when that $1 billion in mortgage loans is in full circulation, we’ll have countless numbers of new homeowners reaping all the benefits of homeownership at the same time investors are receiving a return on their investments. Both of these things work together to spur future investment and more home-lending down the road.
Hopefully more banks will get involved sooner rather than later. The housing market can use all of the help it can get.