Posted October 1, 2007

Program helps Temple employees put down roots where they work


On Monday, President Ann Weaver Hart unveiled the university’s new Employee Home Ownership Program, which will offer financial help for those who purchase a home in the communities surrounding the Main Campus and Health Sciences Center in North Philadelphia.

“Temple University is tied to its neighborhoods, offering many gateways through which community and university resources pass,” said President Hart in announcing the program.

“Our goal is continued growth and investment in our city, from Main Campus south to City Hall, and north to the Health Sciences Center,” she said.

In partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, Temple is offering new financial support and access to programs aimed at encouraging faculty and staff to live in the communities where they work. Through a combination of programs, full-time Temple employees may be eligible to receive up to $17,000 in funding toward the purchase of homes within selected Philadelphia ZIP codes.

In concert with Mayor John F. Street's Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, the Employee Home Ownership Program was originally proposed to Temple by Philadelphia Fifth District Councilman Darrell Clarke. It is designed to help Temple employees put down deeper roots in the neighborhoods around the university — where about 500 Temple employees live now.

About half of those residents are currently renting. The Temple Employee Home Ownership program will allow these Temple employees to build equity in the communities where they live.

Here’s how it works:

* Temple will provide qualified full-time, permanent employees with forgivable loans of $4,000 or $5,000 toward the purchase of a single-family home that will be their primary residence in selected ZIP codes.

* Loans will be forgiven at a rate of $83.33 per month ($1,000 per year) until the entire loan is forgiven. The home must be used as a primary residence throughout the entire forgiveness period, up to five years.

* The City of Philadelphia, through its Home-Buy-Now program, will match Temple’s contribution with grants to homebuyers using approved mortgage lenders. These grants are not income-dependent and do not need to be repaid.

* As a means of stimulating the development of underutilized and vacant city properties, Temple will provide additional financial incentive for employees who purchase homes subject to the city’s 10-year tax abatement program. To be eligible for this additional benefit, employees must receive a credit of up to $2,500 from a home builder toward the purchase price of the home. Temple will provide matching funds of up to $2,500 for employees who purchase and reside in the newly built home. Together, this funding creates an additional employee benefit of up to $5,000.

* Additionally, some employees may qualify for lower-rate mortgages and additional closing cost assistance through programs offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Eligibility is based on income and other special circumstances.

The Home Ownership Program is available to all active, full-time, permanent, non-probationary employees of Temple University. Funds will be provided at settlement directly to the closing agent. Single-family homes in the 19121, 19122, 19132, 19133 and 19140 ZIP codes are eligible for $5,000 loans and matching city grants; homes in the 19123, 19125 and 19130 ZIP codes are eligible for $4,000 loans and matching grants.

The university also will be offering information seminars to guide first-time employee homebuyers through the process.

The program complements Temple’s range of community-service efforts such as the Partnership Schools initiative, the Community Outreach and Hiring program and community health services.

For more information about the program, visit