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Loyola University Chicago offers new program to help faculty, staff purchase homes in the local community

(Chicago)….. Loyola University Chicago is helping its employees live near work – and save money and time spent commuting – through a new program that provides housing assistance to faculty and staff who purchase homes in communities adjacent to the El’s Red Line, from the Loop to Rogers Park. About 15 employees already have decided to participate since the University Assisted Housing program (UAH) launched March 1, 2008.

Through the program, Loyola faculty and staff receive a forgivable loan from the University to be used for down-payment assistance and closing costs. Loyola is contracting with the Rogers Park Community Development Corporation (Rogers Park CDC) to provide all UAH participants with free, pre-purchase home-ownership counseling, which has been shown to reduce the risk of foreclosure. Rogers Park CDC also will help participants determine if they qualify for additional housing assistance from the city, county, and state.

The UAH program builds upon the original “walk to work” initiative, which was one of the early Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) programs in Illinois.

“Loyola recognizes that the Red Line has always been a critical part of our University, as it provides door-to-door service between the Water Tower Campus and the Lake Shore Campus. We want faculty and staff to be part of our environmental goals and recognize that they don’t need to depend on a car to work here,” said Jennifer Clark, director of community relations. “And, we want to provide extra incentives for employees who commit to our local communities of Edgewater and Rogers Park.”

The UAH program not only benefits Loyola’s workers, but also helps to stabilize Chicago communities by promoting home ownership in the city.

“Today’s tough housing market underscores the value of the basic Employer-Assisted Housing model that Loyola has embraced,” said Robin Snyderman, vice president for community development, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). “We applaud Loyola University Chicago for building on this model to create an innovative program that promotes workforce stability, reduces employees’ commutes, and encourages neighborhood reinvestment and public transit ridership.”

MPC launched Illinois’ EAH model with pilot company System Sensor of St. Charles, Ill., in 2000. Since then, more than 65 Chicago-area employers have “signed on“ to offer EAH, and more than 1,500 Illinois workers have purchased homes through the program.

In Chicago, other employers offering EAH programs include Chase Bank, Chicago Public Schools , The John Buck Company, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Charter One Bank, Harris N.A., Rush University Medical Center , and University of Chicago. MPC helps employers design customized EAH programs in Illinois and nationwide, and provides program evaluation.

For more information about Employer Assisted Housing, contact Mandy Burrell Booth, MPC assistant communications director, at 312.863.6018 or mburrell@metroplanning.org; or Jane Hornstein , consultant, employer and developer relations, MPC, at 312.863.6040 or jhornstein@metroplanning.org. For specific questions about Loyola’s UAH program, contact Steve Christensen, communications manager, Loyola University Chicago, 312.915.6164 or schris6@luc.edu.

About Loyola University
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is the nation's largest Jesuit, Catholic University . Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,500 students, which includes nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome , Italy . Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China . Loyola's ten schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master's degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Recognizing Loyola's excellence in education, U.S.News & World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the "top national universities," and named the University a "best value" in its 2008 rankings. For more information, please visit our Web site at LUC.edu.

About Rogers Park Community Development Corporation
The mission of the Rogers Park Community Development Corporation (RPCDC) is to foster community development and create and preserve affordable and diverse housing opportunities in Rogers Park and Chicago through education, training, advocacy and devel opment.

About Metropolitan Planning Council
Founded in 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of business and civic leaders committed to serving the public interest through development, promotion and implementation of sound planning and development policies so all residents have access to opportunity and a good quality of life – the building blocks of a globally competitive greater Chicago region.

 

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