EAHP grows as it begins second yearBy Peter Schuler
After one year of operation, an initiative by the University and its Hospitals to spur home ownership in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus is showing positive results, with 33 closings completed and more pending contracts and closings in progress.
Most qualified staff and faculty who have taken advantage of the EAHP (Employer Assisted Housing Program) have been first-time homebuyers. EAHP provides a $7,500 interest-free loan that will be completely forgiven over a five-year period as long as the applicant remains an employee of the University or its Hospitals.
The participants are purchasing homes in all of the target neighborhoods—Hyde Park-South Kenwood, North-Kenwood Oakland, Washington Park and Woodlawn—and are using a variety of lenders and loan products.
“We’re thrilled that the program is working exactly the way everyone hoped. It’s helping our employees become stakeholders in the future of our neighborhoods and is a win-win for everyone in the mid-South Side,” said Hank Webber, Vice President for Community and Government Affairs.
The EAHP process begins with a homebuyer and financial education course, as well as one-on-one counseling through the not-for-profit organization Neighborhood Housing Services. Fifteen participants who received counseling assistance also have purchased homes but chose not to utilize the EAHP funds because of a decision not to purchase in one of the target areas or because their purchase price exceeded program guidelines.
Further information on EAHP is available from University Housing Services by calling (773) 702-3420.