Christmas may come early for some lucky Portland families, who are eligible for a $15,000 down payment to buy a home, courtesy of Wells Fargo & Co.

The San Francisco-based bank is contributing $5.2 million to provide 227 moderate-income Portland families with a down payment, under its NeighborhoodLIFT program. Wells Fargo is partnering with the nonprofit Portland Housing Center, the city of Portland and NeighborWorks America.

Prospective home buyers can register and learn more about the program at, or by calling 866-858-2151. There also will be a weekend home buyer event on Dec. 13 to 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, at Hall C of the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Portland. Pre-registration is advised, although walk-ins are welcome.

“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 in a kickoff event Tuesday, Nov. 19. “This public-private partnership has the potential to make a huge difference to Portland residents and neighborhoods,” Hales said.

“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.

Recipients of the down payment funds won’t have to repay the money if they remain in the home five years after purchase. They must participate in an eight-hour home-buying education class with Portland Housing Center, which will determine eligibility and distribute the funds to home buyers.

Wells Fargo also is donating $500,000 to a group of Portland nonprofits, to be announced later.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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