Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America And Portland Housing Center To Help Eligible Local Homebuyers With $15,000 Down Payment Assistance Grants Dec. 13-14 At Oregon Convention Center

Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and Portland Housing Center today joined Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to announce the $5.15 million Portland NeighborhoodLIFT SM, a program to help moderate-income Portlanders purchase a home.

“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 SM 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 Portland NeighborhoodLIFT SM program will include a free homebuyer event on Dec. 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Oregon Convention Center in Hall C at, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Portland. 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.

The event will also include a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour® viewing center where attendees can preview homes available for sale in local neighborhoods.

“Portland was impacted by the housing crisis and while mortgages are available at low-interest rates, many families are unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment,” said Don Pearson, Community Banking regional president for Wells Fargo. “NeighborhoodLIFT program can help local homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”

To qualify for down payment assistance, applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the Portland area median income ($83,300 for a family of four and income maximums vary depending on family size and loan product); an eight-hour homebuyer education session with Portland Housing Center, a member of the NeighborWorks network and HUD-approved counseling agency; a commitment to stay in the home for five years and qualification for a first mortgage on the property.

Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender, and Portland Housing Center will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Portland in order to receive the $15,000.

“This innovative partnership between NeighborWorks America, Portland Housing Center and Wells Fargo will help Portland homebuyers overcome a 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.”

Homebuyers will also 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.

In addition to providing grants for homebuyers, the Wells Fargo program will also donate a total of $500,000 to a group of Portland nonprofit organizations to help the local housing market.

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 LIFT programs to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn. Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create nearly 4,800 homeowners in housing markets where the programs have been introduced.

About NeighborhoodLIFT SM program

The NeighborhoodLIFT program 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.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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