December 10, 2007

University to partner with Cleveland Foundation, Circle employers to extend homebuyer assistance program

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Employees of Case Western Reserve University and some of its University Circle neighbors may not be in new homes for the holidays, but they could be in new homes in the next years thanks to a grant from the Cleveland Foundation to revitalize and expand what started as the university's homebuyer assistance program.

Begun in 2004, the university's Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP) -- an innovative collaboration involving Case, the City of Cleveland, University Circle Incorporated and other local Community Development Corporations -- was a program designed to assist employees of the partner institutions with home ownership and revitalizing area neighborhoods. Through the EAHP, benefits-eligible employees were granted funds for use toward closing costs or as down payment assistance on homes in the city of Cleveland.

The Case Western Reserve-specific program was put on hold in 2006 while the university worked with additional circle institutions and local foundations, including University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic, to extend the program to additional institutions' employees.

In this new program, called the Greater University Circle Initiative, led by the Cleveland Foundation, Case Western Reserve will join with other circle institutions and local foundations in offering $5 million in grants and forgivable loans over the next five years to employees who buy, rent or renovate homes in circle neighborhoods. Areas targeted under the new plan include parts of Glenville, Hough, Fairfax and Buckeye-Shaker as well as some neighborhoods in East Cleveland.

The University Circle Initiative will be administered by Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp., with assistance from University Circle Inc. It will launch sometime this spring. Additional information will be forthcoming in Case Daily.

The Case Western Reserve-specific employer-assisted housing program has been one of the most successful in the country. In its first year, 43 employees purchased homes in Cleveland, while four employees received renovation reimbursements, bringing the total number of accepted applicants to 47.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, December 10, 2007 12:42 PM | News Topics: Administration, Collaborations/Partnerships, Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, HeadlinesMain, Philanthropy, Public Policy/Politics, University Circle

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