Yale University Increases Benefit for Employee Homebuyer Program

Yale University has enhanced its highly successful Homebuyer Program for employees and extended it for another two years, from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009.

The program was created in 1994 by President Richard C. Levin to encourage employees to invest and live in New Haven. The program provides homebuyers with a first-year incentive payment and an annual stipend for up to 10 years.

In this newest phase of the program, Yale is increasing the annual payment to each participant from $2,000 per year to $2,500 annually. Together with a first-year incentive payment of $5,000, this is a total grant of up to $30,000 per employee homebuyer — making Yale’s the largest and most generous such employer-assisted homeownership program offered by any institution of higher education in the nation.

The number of Yale University employees who have brought homes through the program reached 835, as of December 31, 2007. The Yale University Homebuyer Program area includes all of the city’s Empowerment Zone neighborhoods – Dixwell, Dwight, Fair Haven the Hill, Newhallville, West Rock – as well as Beaver Hills, Wooster Square, and a portion of East Rock. Its success is a strong affirmation by the University and its employees of the vitality and renaissance of New Haven.

“I have lived in New Haven for more than 30 years, owning a home and raising my family,” said Yale University President Richard C. Levin. “The creation of the Homebuyer Program was one of the first things I did as president to signal Yale’s long-term commitment to our hometown. I am delighted that so many hundreds of faculty and staff colleagues have joined me as New Haven homeowners and have benefited from the financial support this program provides.”

Yale University’s commitment of over $21 million of its own funds so far to the Homebuyer Program has yielded an investment of more than $130 million in residential purchases in the city by employee homebuyers. More than 80% of the Yale homebuyers are first-time homeowners and nearly half of all participants are minority group members. Realtors report that the program is a factor in making New Haven attractive as a place to buy for both University employees and others.

In addition to the direct financial support, Yale University offers regular homeownership counseling seminars to employees. These educational programs, together with the Homebuyer Program benefit, have helped ensure that Yale University employee homebuyers avoid subprime mortgages and other lending problems.

“I am extremely excited about the increase of the Yale Homebuyer Program,” says New Haven Alderwoman Gina Calder who represents the Dwight neighborhood. “Homeownership is critical to stability and revitalization in neighborhoods like mine. It builds the economic base in our neighborhood, decreases transience, and leads to greater involvement of our residents in our community. I applaud Yale University for its efforts to encourage neighborhood homeownership and strengthen our community.”

University employees wishing more information on how to access the Homebuyer Program may visit www.yale.edu/hronline/buyer.

The Yale Homebuyer Program is one part of the University’s long-term community investment program in New Haven, which also includes extensive partnerships with the public schools citywide; development of retail, arts and culture in downtown New Haven; the creation of new businesses that offer more jobs and tax revenue for the community. For more information on Yale University’s community investment program and partnerships with New Haven, please visit www.yale.edu/onhsa

Yale University is also New Haven’s largest real estate property taxpayer because of a community investment program that has revitalized significant areas of town. Each year, Yale University pays the city more than $12 million in taxes, voluntary payments and fees – money that helps fund schools, safety and other services.