First American Invests $1 Million in the SFHDC Equity Fund

—Investment Will Help SFHDC Build 300 Affordable Homes in the Bayview Area—


February 22, 2007, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), America’s largest provider of business information, announced today that its New Market Ventures Fund has invested $1 million in the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation’s (SFHDC) Equity Fund, a program addressing the housing and retail needs of southeast San Francisco and leading the development of 300 affordable new homes in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.  First American will proudly join the SFHDC and other community partners at the 4th Annual SFHDC Gala and Awards Celebration at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at San Francisco’s City Hall.

“SFHDC is proud to present First American with the Geraldine Johnson Community Builders Award for its cutting-edge efforts to create change in under-served, low-income communities in San Francisco,” said Regina Davis, SFHDC’s executive director.  “First American has truly demonstrated its commitment by making the first $1 million investment in SFHDC’s affordable housing equity fund.”

Established in 1988, SFHDC is a nonprofit community developer whose mission is to help low- and moderate-income families and individuals build assets through homeownership, and to prevent the displacement of minorities from the city of San Francisco, where housing costs are among the highest in the nation.  The Equity Fund, established in 2005, is supported by corporations and foundations that share SFHDC’s goal of building stronger communities.  The Equity Fund facilitates the acquisition of land and covers other predevelopment costs necessary to pave the way for affordable housing development, commercial revitalization and mixed-use projects in the city’s under-served neighborhoods.

In addition to its most recent investment, First American has pledged more than $50,000 in grant donations to SFHDC’s homeownership counseling center in Bayview-Hunters Point since 2004.

“In just over three years, First American has evolved into a leader in its industry in working to narrow the minority homeownership gap and enhance economic development of our inner cities,” said Robert L. Gnaizda, policy director and general counsel at The Greenlining Institute.  “Its support of the SFHDC further illustrates the company’s understanding that improving the viability of under-served markets can be both profitable and socially responsible.  It is our hope and expectation that First American will continue to leverage its New Market Ventures Fund in this manner, and that many other FORTUNE 500®-level corporations will follow its example.”

“The challenges facing the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood are numerous, but so are the opportunities for public/private collaborations to make a real impact in revitalizing this part of our city,” said Daniel Y.S. Wong, member of the Citizen’s Committee on Community Development, an advisory body charged with public oversight of the San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Community Development and the Mayor’s Office of Housing.  “Affordable homeownership and new job opportunities will lay the foundation for the successful transformation of this neighborhood, and we applaud the SFHDC and its corporate partners like First American who are helping make homeownership possible in the Bayview District.”      

First American’s New Market Ventures Fund was established in 2006.  It is committed to investing in companies and or projects that are designed to increase the rate of homeownership in under-served communities.  Other investments made since its inception have included a multi-million dollar investment into a mortgage loss loan reserve pool administered by Neighborhood Housing Services of America, which enables prime-grade mortgage loans to be made available to borrowers with little or no traditional credit histories; a tax-credit investment in a 400-unit affordable housing project in Atlanta; and an equity investment in a minority-owned technology company that is the largest provider of enterprise software for nonprofit homeownership counseling agencies in the country.  

“By investing in the Equity Fund, we know we are supporting a brighter San Francisco future.” said Mark Sachau, Division President of First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation.  “The community wins with a broader homeownership base.”

Since October 2003, First American has been executing a comprehensive, nationwide plan to substantially expand homeownership opportunities for families in under-served Latino, African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander and low- to moderate-income communities. The corporation and its subsidiary companies have led the title insurance and settlement services industry in creating innovative programs to increase low-income and minority homeownership nationwide through consumer-focused real estate financial literacy programs, training and seminars for real estate professionals, grants and investments in housing programs through trusted advocates, and the hiring and training of First American staff to better service diverse communities.  First American’s program was the first of its kind in the title insurance and real estate information services industry.             

About First American
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a FORTUNE 500 company that traces its history to 1889, is America’s largest provider of business information. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within five primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information, and Risk Mitigation and Business Solutions. With revenues of $8.1 billion in 2005, First American has approximately 2,100 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com

 

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