Philadelphia Home Buy Now program seeks Anchor Institution

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2013

HELPING WORKING PHILADELPHIANS BUY HOMES

The Philadelphia Home Buy Now program seeks Anchor Institution to Help Buy New Homes, Improve Communities, and Recruit and Retain Top Employees

Philadelphia, PA, January 28, 2013 -- In 2011, Mayor Michael A. Nutter relaunched Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now, a program that helps Philadelphia’s workforce to become homeowners. The city 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. The city will match this funding up to $4,000 per home buyer. One and a half years later, Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now has provided over $240,000 in matching grants to 70 employees of participating employers, which has been used to leverage over $15 million dollars in home sales in the City of Philadelphia over the course of the program.

The program has also doubled the number of participating employers from eleven (11) to twenty-two (22). Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now is administered by a partnership with the Urban Affairs Coalition, which assists with the program’s design and ongoing management. “Bringing back Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now is a major boost to Philadelphia: for employees, for employers and for neighborhoods. We are proud to partner with the city to administer the program,” said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president and CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition. The program features $4,000 matching grants for homebuyers working for anchor institutions, and $2,000 matching grants for other homebuyers. Anchor institutions are major employers with 250 or more employees in targeted areas that are no larger than one square mile surrounding the institution. The program also offers onsite homebuyer workshops, discounted housing services and linkages to other housing programs.

Twenty-two participating employers currently participate, including anchor institutions Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, with organizations such as NewCourtland Life and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

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.

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Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now is now seeking another anchor institution to join the program and has issued a Letter of Intent to Apply with a deadline of February 22. Details can be found 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.

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Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now is administered by a partnership with the city and the Urban Affairs Coalition’s Community and Economic Development Department, which assists with the program’s design and ongoing management.  The Urban Affairs Coalition unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiatives to improve the quality of life in the region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues. Find more at uac.org.