TUESDAY, NOV. 19, 2013 -- The winter holidays are coming early to Portland as a major financial services company is joining with the City of Portland and two nonprofit agencies to help 227 moderate-income Portlanders buy homes.
Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and Portland Housing Center today joined Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to announce the $5.15 million Portland NeighborhoodLIFT program.
“With the holiday shopping season about to start, this program will help Portlanders make one of the most important purchases of their life: a home of their own,” said Mayor Hales. “This public-private partnership has the potential to make a huge difference to Portland residents and neighborhoods.”
Portland NeighborhoodLIFT program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo, the City of Portland, NeighborWorks America, and Portland Housing Center. The program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis.
The program will include a free homebuyer event Dec. 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (both days) in Hall C at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.neighborhoodlift.com or by calling (866) 858-2151. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins will be welcome.
Affordable Home Tour Included
The event will include a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour viewing center where attendees can preview homes available for sale in local neighborhoods.
Attendees will first need to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage loan from a lender approved by the Portland Housing Center. They will then have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Portland in order to receive the $15,000.
A recipient will not have to repay the grant if they stay in their home for five years. They also are required to participate in a homebuying education session with Portland Housing Center, which will determine eligibility and distribute the funds to homebuyers.
Homebuyers also will be able to apply the funds to 203k renovation loans, enabling them to make improvements as part of a new mortgage purchase loan. The event will include information sessions about these loans.
Down Payment Remains Obstacle to Homeownership
“Portland was deeply affected by the housing crisis. While today mortgages are available at historically low interest rates, many families are still unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment,” said Wells Fargo Region President Don Pearson. “NeighborhoodLIFT can help local homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”
In addition to providing the grants for homebuyers, Wells Fargo also will donate a total of $500,000 to a group of Portland nonprofit organizations, which will be announced at a later date.
“This innovative partnership between NeighborWorks America, Portland Housing Center and Wells Fargo will help Portland home buyers overcome a significant hurdle to homeownership,” said Joe Dabek, NeighborWorks America’s Pacific district senior relationship manager. “Eligibility requires completing an eight-hour homebuyer education class that has been proven to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”
More Than 4,800 Homeowners Helped
Portland is one of 22 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $180 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFTprograms to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have so far helped create nearly 4,800 homeowners in the housing markets where the programs have been introduced.
The NeighborhoodLIFTprogram is collaboration between Wells Fargo, the nonprofit NeighborWorks America and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at www.youtube.com/wellsfargo.
About Portland Housing Center and NeighborWorks America
For more than 22 years, the Portland Housing Center has been a trusted advisor for first-time homebuyers, providing home buying classes, credit counseling, financial fitness, down payment assistance, individual development accounts, and first and second mortgages.
The nonprofit has assisted 6,300 families buy their first homes. Portland Housing Center is a member of NeighborWorks America, a national organization that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.portlandhousingcenter.org to learn more.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com.