The Sacramento Convention Center was a happy place today as renters by the dozens emerged with commitments for $15,000 in down-payment assistance to help them buy homes of their own.
The assistance, from Wells Fargo and administered though NeighborWorks America, will help both home buyers and the community, said Cassandra Jennings, an adviser to Mayor Kevin Johnson.
"Neighborhoods with a higher percentage of homeowners are more stable," Jennings said.
Wells Fargo announced in October it was giving $7 million to the local NeighborWorks program - with $5 million of the grant going to home buyers. Sacramento is one of 13 cities nationwide selected to get assistance.
To qualify for the down-payment assistance, prospective home buyers must take an eight-hour home-purchasing education course, commit to stay in the home for five years, qualify for a mortgage and make less than 120 percent of the area's median income -- or $91,300 for a family of four.
The event runs through 7 p.m. today and runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Not everyone was ready to congratulate Wells Fargo. A handful of Occupy protesters said Well Fargo would be better off using the money to help people whose homes are being foreclosed.
West Sacramento social worker Janay Swain said she understood the protesters' concerns about foreclosures, but called the program "a good investment in the community."
She and her husband qualified for the assistance and hope to soon be moving, with their two boys, into a four-bedroom, three-bath home in the Laguna Parkway area.
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