With home prices increasing in the area, it can be difficult to afford a home.  Now it’s about to get easier for more than 200 families in South Dakota.

On Thursday, Wells Fargo announced it’s bringing its NeighborhoodLIFT program to South Dakota. The program will give out $7,500 grants to more than 200 homeowners for down payments.

“The biggest obstacles in homeownership for either first time or second time homeowners is the down payment,” Wells Fargo Region Bank President Corey Heaton said.

To take part in NeighborhoodLIFT, you have to meet income requirements. That includes not exceeding 80 percent of the local area median income. Those who are in certain professions including the military, teachers, first responders, firefighters and law enforcement can earn 100 percent of the area’s median income.

“It’s an appreciation for what they’ve done or do,” Heaton said.

In addition to income requirements, you also must have a preapproval letter from a qualified lender and take an eight-hour homebuyer class.

“A prepared homeowner is a successful homeowner,” NeighborWorks America Regional Vice President John Santner said.

Future homeowners who will hopefully lead to healthier neighborhoods, not just over the holidays, but all year long.

“We believe home ownership is the American dream,” Heaton said.

“Successful homeowners build secure communities. They revitalize communities,” Santner said.

If you’re interested in applying for the program, you can contact a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant or Grow SD.