Free money for prospective homebuyers in Tucson

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Free money for prospective homebuyers in Tucson

By Keaton. CREATED Aug 11, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 11, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some potential homebuyers in Tucson are going to be getting a boost in buying power soon.

Have you ever dreamed of owning a home but worry you cannot afford a down payment? In Tucson, you may not need one!

Tucson and South Tucson joined forces with Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and The Primavera Foundation to announce the NeighborhoodLIFT program. With this program, Wells Fargo is helping bring $5.5 million to boost home ownership in Tucson.

They are offering $15,000 to eligible homeowners for a down payment, interest-free and you don't have to pay it back as long as you live in the home five years!

Families do not have to be living near the poverty line to benefit. You do have to meet certain income criteria, but a family of four making $68,400 per year qualifies for the program!

Here are the income qualifications. Families must have an annual income of less than 120 percent of Tucson's median family income. 

9OYS met up with the Evers family, who qualifies for the grant. 

"It's still surreal," Evelyn Evers said. "We still can't believe it and it's just a blessing."

The Evers have wanted to buy a home since before their first child Mireya was born. Now, she's five years old and there's a baby on the way. 

"We've actually tried saving before, but we just could never make that much, not enough for the 3.5 percent," Christopher Evers said. 

"Emergencies come up," Evelyn Evers chimed in. "Something always comes up."

But this time, what's coming up is a great opportunity and the worry of a down payment is no longer a factor. 

"It's a chunk of money to come up with that's really hard for working families," said Primavera Foundation CEO Peggy Hutchison. 

Christopher Evers holds a steady job as a correctional officer and meets the requirements to maintain a steady mortgage. 

The Evers will attend a NeighborhoodLIFT event September 5-6 to reserve this down payment grant. 

The next step: Finding the perfect home -- for their dog Tinkerbell, the baby on the way and Mireya. 

"Mostly she wants a yard for another doggie," Evelyn said of Mireya. 

"And a horse!" Mireya exclaimed. 

The family laughs. But what they really want most...

"Somewhere we want to be for a very long time," Christopher said. "Raise our family and just stay there. Grow old."

Families must also complete a home buyer education program with The Primarvera Foundation or other HUD-approved counseling agency.

The qualify for the full $15,000 from LIFT, the home buyer must commit to living in Tucson for five years and qualify for a first mortgage on the property. If they do not live there a full five years, they can pay the pro-rated grant back with no interest. 

A kick off event will be held September 5-6 at the Tucson Convention Center. Click here to find more information about the program or to register for the free event.