The University of Rochester is encouraging its faculty and staff to consider buying homes in the city with letters to its 15,600 employees about a variety of housing incentive programs-offering as much as $6,000 toward closing costs-in partnership with a number of banks. In addition, the University has invited the Home Store to come to campus to present seminars on home buying.
The letter to full- and part-time University employees was mailed, and the seminars scheduled, in conjunction with the "City Living Sundays" (March 9, 16, and 23) sponsored by Rochester City Living, a cooperative venture of area lenders, real estate professionals, neighborhood associations, private businesses, City of Rochester, Rochester City School District, and Landmark Society.
"Especially as the only university or college based in the City of Rochester, we strongly endorse home ownership in the city," said Ronald J. Paprocki, senior vice president for administration and finance. "We hope that these incentives promote consideration of city living among our faculty and staff population."
"This is only one aspect of our ongoing interest in the city's well-being," he added. "We remain a firm supporter-and plan on being an anchor tenant-in the proposed Brooks Landing project across the river from the River Campus. On our side of the Genesee, the recent improvements to the Bausch & Lomb Riverside Park add significantly to the city's recreational amenities.
"We are very pleased to see the University encouraging its own community to think about living in the city," said City Council President Lois Giess.
Working in conjunction with the city in past months on ways to encourage staff and faculty to buy homes in the city, the University asked its banking partners to propose incentives. The banking institutions responded with a variety of options, some applicable to home purchases anywhere in the city, and others focusing particularly on low- or moderate-income areas. In some cases, the incentives are available only to those who do not now own homes and/or who earn less than a certain level of income. Each bank qualifies homebuyers according to its own guidelines.
The housing incentives include:
o Up to $6,000 in closing costs for new homeowners within the city; any funds left over can be used to "buy down" the mortgage rate
o $500 to all prospective homeowners for purchase/refinance anywhere in the Greater Rochester area
o Up to $3,500 toward closing costs to new homeowners who intend to occupy a residence in HUD-designated low- or moderate-income census tracts in the city and who have family incomes of $54,900 or less
o Also, all employees will receive a credit of $500 off their closing costs for any purchase or refinance transaction anywhere in the Greater Rochester area
Advantage Federal Credit Union
o $300 toward closing costs for an owner-occupied one- or two-family property anywhere in the city
o A $2,500 grant to assist with closing costs for any owner-occupied one- or two-family property in HUD-designated low- or moderate-income census tracts in the city
o Fixed interest rate over the life of loans, priced up to 1 percent below market rate, for purchases in the census tracts as described above
o A credit of up to $335 toward the application fee for a property anywhere in the Greater Rochester area
Representatives of all of the banking institutions also will be invited to campus at a later date to meet with interested employees and explain their programs.