Wells launched UrbanLIFT to provide additional resources to local, regional and national nonprofits working in affected areas.
Funded by Wells and administered by NeighborWorks America, it will focus on “large neighborhood improvement projects” in cities with “substantially diverse populations.”
Wells structured the program to focus on strengthening “minority communities affected by foreclosure,” said JK Huey, SVP of asset management and preservation with Wells Fargo Home Lending Servicing.
NeighborWorks America will determine eligibility and administer grant funds of approximately $458,000 for each community.
The beneficiaries, determined as part of an agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, include Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Houston and San Antonio, Kansas City and St. Louis.
According to a Wells Fargo spokesman, the details of the program are not yet announced, so it is still early to determine its impact on specific housing market issues in these neighborhoods such as REO management and disposition.
Nonprofits may apply for grants that support four types of projects: single-family housing rehabilitation, demolition, neighborhood improvement and housing-related site improvements, he said.
It is the most recent addition to the bank’s LIFT initiatives launched in February 2012 that include $170 million for the NeighborhoodLIFT and CityLIFT programs designed to assist the 20 markets more affected by the housing crisis also in partnership with NeighborWorks America.
“We won’t know until very late in the year which type of neighborhood improvement UrbanLIFT community grant program projects will have the most interest until the application process is completed,” the spokesman said.