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NeighborhoodLIFT: Final Reflections

In 2019 NeighborhoodLIFT, then Wells Fargo’s largest philanthropic effort, was launched in Montana, bringing $3.4 million to support homebuyers across the state. The goal of this program was to provide down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers, making it possible for residents to achieve their dreams with the help of NeighborWorks Montana and our statewide partner network.

In November 2023, the final LIFT loan was disbursed in Montana. Reflecting on the preceding five years, it’s astounding to witness the transformative impact of this program, which helped so many Montanans become homeowners. A total of 275 homes were purchased with the aid of NeighborhoodLIFT, with 246 purchased by first-time homebuyers.

Eligible homebuyers received $10,000 of down payment assistance on qualified properties. Veterans and services members, teachers, paraprofessionals, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians were eligible to receive an additional $2,500 of assistance from NeighborhoodLIFT.

One of the most appealing aspects of NeighborhoodLIFT was its forgiveness policy: the down payment assistance funds provided to homeowners were entirely forgivable after a five-year term, with no interest or repayment obligations.

Brett, a first-time homebuyer in Cascade and LIFT participant stated, “What this program did for me and my family is invaluable. As a nurse with a growing family, we thought homeownership wouldn’t be possible for many, many years. But when we found out about the LIFT program, we were able to revisit this goal and make it happen. For us, having a stable home for our kids to grow up in is the greatest gift for our family.”

“This funding was transformational for Montana homebuyers,” said NeighborWorks Montana Executive Director Kaia Peterson. “The combination of quality homebuyer education and forgivable downpayment assistance gave clients a foundation for stable homeownership. With the support of Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America, and in partnership with NeighborWorks Great Falls, we were able to deploy these funds efficiently and effectively, creating immediate and lasting impact in response to Montana’s critical housing needs.”


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Data showing impact of NeighborhoodLIFT throughout the state of Montana from 2019-2024.


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