HELPING WORKING PHILADELPHIANS BUY HOMES

Date: 
March 22, 2013
Media Contact:
Robin Robinowitz
Urban Affairs Coalition
267-973-1064

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   March 22, 2013

 HELPING WORKING PHILADELPHIANS BUY HOMES

The first arts organization joins Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now since its re-launch

Philadelphia, PA, March 22, 2013 --  The Village of Arts and Humanities recently joined Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now, a city program that helps Philadelphia’s workforce to become homeowners. The City of Philadelphia provides incentives for participating employers to provide their employees with grants or forgivable loans toward the purchase price of a new home within the city limits.  Located in North Philadelphia, The Village of Arts and Humanities is the first arts organization to join Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now.

The city will match the funding up to $4,000 per home buyer. Since its re-launch in July 2011, Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now has provided over $250,000 in matching grants to 75 employees of 22 participating employers, which has been used to leverage over $16 million dollars in home sales in the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now is administered by a partnership with the Urban Affairs Coalition, which assists with the program’s design and ongoing management. 

Elizabeth Grimaldi, executive director, The Village of Arts and Humanities, bought her first home in 2006 through the Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now Program. "I'm happy that this program continues to exist, and that I can offer it to Village staff.  Home•Buy•Now is one of the most effective programs for an employer to retain talent. Village staff are creative, innovative, and passionate about community -- by helping them to be homeowners in Philadelphia, I truly believe that our entire city will benefit for years to come.”

The program features $4,000 matching grants for homebuyers that purchase within targeted areas and $2,000 matching grants for other homebuyers throughout the City of Philadelphia. The program also offers onsite homebuyer workshops, discounted housing services and linkages to other housing programs.

With seven full-time staff, The Village of Arts and Humanities is offering the maximum matching grant allowed, $2,000. They have three employees interested in purchasing a home through the program.

 

Philadelphia Home-Buy-Now provides wide-ranging benefits:

  • For participating employers, the program offers a powerful tool for building strong, successful companies.  Studies of similar programs have found that staff who receive housing benefits like Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now stay at their jobs 50 percent longer, saving their companies money in separation, recruitment and training costs. Staff who receive a housing benefit also score higher on performance reviews than their peers.
  • For Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, the program contributes to stability and a sense of community by bringing in new homeowners.

 

Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now is funded out of bond proceeds, with a public commitment of only $735,000, and does not impact the general fund. Details about can be found about Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now at http://www.uac.org/philadelphiahomebuynow or contact Christopher Waters, program manager, Employer-Assisted Housing, Urban Affairs Coalition at cwaters@uac.org or 215-851-1955.

The mission of The Village of Arts and Humanities is to support the voices and aspirations of the community through providing opportunities for self-expression rooted in art and culture. The Village inspires people to be agents of positive change through programs that encompass arts and culture, engage youth, revitalize community, preserve heritage and respect the environment.

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