University of Rochester

New Incentive for University Employees to Buy a City Home

March 28, 2008

Up to $9,000 Available for Each Purchase, Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

Financial incentives to attract University of Rochester regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff into city neighborhoods closest to the River Campus and the Medical Center begin this month with a new arrangement among the University, the City of Rochester, Advantage Federal Credit Union, and Canandaigua National Bank & Trust.

"We're offering $3,000 with a comparable amount from the City of Rochester and Advantage Federal Credit Union or Canandaigua National Bank & Trust to encourage employees to seriously consider owning a home in the city that is close to our University," said University President Joel Seligman. "Let me particularly express my gratitude to Ron Paprocki, our chief financial officer, for his leadership in this initiative and for his commitment to supporting our neighbors."

The targeted areas for the incentive program are the 19th Ward, Plymouth-Exchange, and other neighborhoods on the west side of Rochester in Sector 4; while to the east, they include Highland Park, the South Wedge, and other nearby communities in Sector 6.

"The University of Rochester is our largest employer and a steady supporter of what this city has to offer," said Mayor Robert J. Duffy. "We are proud to match the University's investment and want to thank them for their ongoing support. We also want to thank Advantage Federal Credit Union and Canandaigua National Bank & Trust for offering an additional incentive to help people save for a down payment and closing costs. This is an outstanding initiative and a great complement to our City Living Sundays program that will help Rochester families achieve the dream of home ownership," he said.

The benefit program provides new homeowners in sectors 4 and 6 with up to $9,000 toward the purchase of a primary residence. Buyers are not limited by their income. Regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff are eligible.

The University's benefit is provided through a loan that will be forgiven if a five-year occupancy and certain employment commitments are satisfied.

"We timed this program to this year's City Living Sundays—March 30, April 6, and April 13," said Paprocki, the University's senior vice president for administration and finance. "We see value in our employees being part of city neighborhoods and also benefiting from easy walking or busing distance from their homes to work." (More details on City Living Sundays can be found at www.rochestercityliving.com.)

Since 2003, the University has encouraged employees to work with a number of local banking institutions that offer funds toward closing costs, lower interest rates, and other incentives. These programs remain available and can be applied to any location in the city—but do not qualify for the $3,000 benefit from the University or the $3,000 from the City of Rochester. Information on all of the University's housing incentive programs can be found at www.rochester.edu/working/benefits/housing.

As part of the new University Home Ownership Incentive Program for Sectors 4 and 6, NeighborWorks® Rochester (www.nwrochester.org), a community-based nonprofit agency devoted to strengthening city neighborhoods, will provide participants with home ownership counseling and pre- and post-purchase education. Fees for education services will be paid at closing.

In addition, information sessions regarding the University Home Ownership Incentive Program will be held at the University during the week of March 31. For a list of dates, times, and locations of the information sessions, visit www.rochester.edu/working/benefits/housing.

Rochester employers Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox, PAETEC, Unity Health, Visiting Nurse Service, and the City of Rochester participate in similar programs to promote city home ownership.




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