Syracuse University partners with Home HeadQuarters on Home Ownership Grant Program
Syracuse University partners with Home HeadQuarters on Home Ownership Grant ProgramOctober 12, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
To continue its leadership role in expanding home ownership opportunities for Syracuse University faculty and staff, and to support economic revitalization of the City of Syracuse, Syracuse University announced today that it has partnered with Home HeadQuarters, Inc., to offer a home buyer assistance program for faculty and staff purchasing homes in designated areas of the City of Syracuse.
The Home HeadQuarters Ownership Grant Program will provide a $2,000 cash grant for all benefits-eligible full-time and regular part-time SU faculty and staff, regardless of income or length of service, who purchase homes in identified areas. Called matching cash grant zones, the areas are census tracts within the city as defined by criteria established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as neighborhoods in need of incentives to attract home buyers.(To view an enlarged map, click on the image at left.)
“The importance of home ownership-from the perspective of our faculty and staff and that of the City of Syracuse-is multi-dimensional,” says SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “I am pleased that SU is taking a leadership role in an initiative that will boost our efforts to help our employees call the City of Syracuse home.”
Under the program, Home HeadQuarters will provide a $1,000 cash grant and the University will match that for a total of $2,000. The cash grant can be used for home purchase expenses such as down payment, closing costs, attorney’s fees, home inspection, property tax and insurance premiums and title insurance.
“This is a great day for families in our community that dream of owning their own home,” says Kerry Quaglia, executive director of Home HeadQuarters, Inc. “That Syracuse University, as a private employer, has stepped up by partneringwith Home HeadQuarters and the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative to provide this kind of incentive to home buyers, sets an example for all Syracuse area companies-it’s just smart business.”
Home HeadQuarters is funded in part through private donations to the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative (SNI). SNI, a public/private, non-profit collaboration created to help encourage new housing and investment opportunities in the city, began through the efforts of Rep. James Walsh. Since SNI’s inception in 1999, Walsh has secured more than $46 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding for the effort. Those funds have leveraged more than $35 million in additional private sector monies and garnered $8 million in private pledges.
“Syracuse University has been a strong SNI partner since the Initiative’s beginnings,” says Walsh. “Our primary goal through SNI has always been to encourage and support additional home homeownership in Syracuse. Today’s announcement builds upon previous commitments from the University to strengthen city neighborhoods and become more engaged in the Central New York community.”
Since 1994, Syracuse University has operated the Guaranteed Mortgage Program to provide eligible faculty and staff an alternative financing method to purchase a home in designated neighborhoods to the east and south of SU’s main campus. The new home ownership program does not replace this existing mortgage program, but rather extends the University’s commitment to affordable homeownership to other areas of Syracuse. If a cash grant zone overlaps the boundaries of the mortgage program, participants are eligible for both programs.
Says City of Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll, “This home buyer cash grant program is another great example of Syracuse housing partners and private business collaborating to encourage homeownership in the City of Syracuse. I want to applaud the efforts of Syracuse University, Home HeadQuarters and the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative Trust Fund in stepping forward in creating this wonderful program to promote meaningful homeownership.”
Today’s announcement took place at the newly constructed home of SU employee Erlease Wagner, the first participant in the new program. Wagner isassistant director of compliance for SU Athletics and has worked at the University for six years.
The University has signed a three-year contract for the program. SU’s financial commitment will be capped to provide funding for up to 20 grants annually. The expectation of up to 20 participants is comparable to the number of faculty and staff who take advantage of SU’s existing Guaranteed Mortgage Program on an annual basis. If demand is higher than anticipated, the Home Ownership Grant Program will be evaluated and additional funding sought.
The program is being administered through the SU Real Estate Office and will follow eligibility guidelines already established by Home HeadQuarters for similar cash incentive programs, in addition to guidelines for SU’s Guaranteed Mortgage Program. For more information, contact Kerry Quaglia at Home HeadQuarters at 474-1939 or Claudia Bement in SU’s Real Estate Office at 443-2104. Information is also available on SU’s Real Estate Office and the Home HeadQuarters Web sites,at http://bfasweb.syr.edu/real_estate/ andhttp://www.homehq.org.
Home HeadQuarters, Inc., a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1996 to improve the quality of local housing and neighborhoods, promotes sustainable home ownership and affordable home improvements, acting as a “one-stop shop.” It offers a multi-faceted range of services and products to current and prospective homeowners, including homebuyer education, financial counseling, housing repair and rehabilitation programs, innovative loan products and financing assistance and post-purchase counseling.