May 20, 2008

Greater Circle Living Fact Sheet

Greater Circle Living Logo

What is Greater Circle Living?

Greater Circle Living offers a $5,000 forgivable loan for down payment and/or closing costs for the purchase of an owner-occupied home by full-time employees of any nonprofit institution in Greater University Circle, a district encompassing portions of seven Cleveland neighborhoods.

Employees of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Museum of Art, Judson at University Circle and University Hospitals may be eligible for an additional $10,000 forgivable loan for down payment or closing costs for the purchase of an owner-occupied home, or one month's rental reimbursement in Greater University Circle. Employees at these institutions currently living in the district may be eligible for up to $4,000 in matching funds for exterior renovations.

Loans are forgiven if the employee continues to work for a participating Greater University Circle institution and continues to occupy the residence for five years after the loan closes.

What is "Greater" University Circle?

Greater University Circle encompasses portions of seven neighborhoods:

  • Buckeye-Shaker (including Shaker Square)
  • Fairfax
  • Hough
  • Glenville
  • East Cleveland (southwest quadrant)
  • Little Italy
  • University Circle
Who is funding this program?

Institutions providing funding are:

  • Cleveland Clinic ($1 million)
  • University Hospitals ($750,000)
  • Case Western Reserve University ($500,000)
  • Cleveland Museum of Art ($200,000)
  • Judson at University Circle ($50,000)

Philanthropic funding comes from:

  • Cleveland Foundation ($1 million)
  • Surdna Foundation ($300,000)
  • Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust ($200,000)

Loans for employees of Case, Cleveland Clinic, the Museum of Art, Judson and University Hospitals are provided by their employers.

Loans for employees of other nonprofits in the district come from a coalition of philanthropic funding partners: the Cleveland Foundation, the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust and the Surdna Foundation.

How long will funds be available?

Greater Circle Living is a five-year program.

Who administers this program?

Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp., a community development corporation that previously administered similar programs for Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.

University Circle Inc. will help market the program and educate eligible employees through its Living in the Circle Center, 11330 Euclid Ave., Cleveland (open in June 2008).

What does the program include?
  • Financial assistance
  • Training for home buyers
  • Help with the application process
  • Education on housing options
  • Assistance with budgeting/managing finances
How do I apply?
  • Determine eligibility by visiting or, or call Fairfax Renaissance at 216-361-8400
  • Complete an inquiry form
  • Attend a pre-purchase counseling session
  • Obtain pre-approval
  • Look for a new home
  • Sign a purchase agreement
  • Apply for Greater Circle Living funds
  • Apply for a primary loan
How can I learn which apartments are covered under the rental reimbursement program?

Approved apartments will be listed on the LiveCLEVELAND! website at, which will also highlight available housing in the seven neighborhoods that make up Greater University Circle.

Properties for rent or purchase are provided to LiveCLEVELAND by local, nonprofit community development corporations serving the seven neighborhoods.

I am interested in renovating my home in the district. How do I find out what is covered and find a contractor?

Homeowners will work with an inspector to determine if renovations are eligible for the program and to identify a contractor.