Grant money can help MultCo residents buy a house

Civic Affairs

Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program expanding in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People who want to buy a home in Portland could qualify for as much as a $22,500 down payment assistance grant through the expansion of a program from Wells Fargo.

The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program will create 270 homeowners in Portland and Multnomah County, officials said. The bank’s philanthropic division is putting up $7.1 million for the assistance-and-education program in this area.

At a press conference with officials from Wells Fargo plus the Portland Housing Center and NeighborWorks America, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the details of the plan. Wells Fargo is also expected to announce grants to support housing affordability and revitalization efforts in neighborhoods throughout Portland and Multnomah County.

“If we’re going to solve the housing affordability crisis, it’s not just government. It’s the private initiatives as well,” Wheeler said.

Potential homebuyers need to become eligible for the grants. They must be pre-approved for financing and be in a contract to buy a home in Portland or Multnomah County. Wells Fargo officials said those who are eligible can earn up to 100% of the area median income.

Home buyers have to go through 8 hours of home buyer education as part of the agreement.

Those currently in the military or veterans may reserve down payment assistance grants of $22,500. Others eligible at that level include teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program has been around since 2012.

The last time Wells Fargo offered this money in Portland was in 2013. That’s when Kelsy Johnson took advantage of the funds.

“It felt like we were not in a place to buy,” Johnson said. “We had been married for a couple years living in a downtown condo. We wanted to grow our family but we weren’t in a place to buy.”

Registration to reserve an appointment begins online at 9 a.m. November 25. A homebuyer event is set for December 13 and 14 at the Portland Expo Center.

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