Chicago Business Leaders Investing in Housing Solutions - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Chicago Business Leaders Investing in Housing Solutions

Local companies currently offering employer-assisted housing programs.

Advocate Bethany Hospital – Located in Garfield Park, helps employees purchase homes around the hospital, on the west side. Hospital is now stepping up the marketing of the program to include information about West End, the new mixed-income site located nearby, which was formerly Rockwell Gardens. Ten employees have enrolled in counseling, and at least three have purchased homes through the program.

Bank One – Provides down payment assistance to their employees, in conjunction with a Bank One mortgage product. Employees can access the state matching funds and homeownership counseling through a REACH partner

Charter One Bank – Has already helped 13 employees buy homes (statewide). Tiered incentive makes available $8,000 in down payment assistance to employees who move into targeted communities, including the new mixed-income sites. All other employees can receive $5,000.

Draper and Kramer, Inc. – A full service real estate firm, headquartered in Chicago's financial district, is offering eligible employees $2,500 per household, with the potential for equivalent matching funds from IHDA. Assistance will be available in conjunction with a first mortgage from Draper and Kramer Mortgage Company.

Illinois Institute of Technology – The first employer to launch an EAH program specifically in support of the Plan for Transformation. Located across the street from the old Stateway Gardens, IIT will offer employees a $7,500 forgivable loan to buy homes at Park Boulevard — the new mixed-income community replacing Stateway. IIT also encouraged the nearby Illinois College of Optometry and De La Salle Institute, a small catholic school, to set up similar programs, each of which will offer their respective employees $2,500 each. The Park Boulevard developer opened the sales trailer to employees of these institutions in advance of its public opening, and more than 100 employees attended. Over 50 employees are now in counseling getting ready to purchase once the new homes are available.

First Midwest Bank – Has a program up and running that offers employees a $2,500 grant to purchase a home within 15 miles of the branch in which they work. First Midwest has two branches close to the city of Chicago, one near O’Hare Airport and one in Blue Island. At each of those branches, per Mayor Daley’s request, the bank will market the various Plan for Transformation sites, and will offer an additional $250 to any employee interested in purchasing at the mixed-income sites.

MB Financial Bank – Has an EAH program that offers employees up to $15,000 in down payment assistance as a forgivable loan, one of the most significant assistance levels among participating employers. MB Financial has helped about 20 people since January 2004. In response to Mayor Daley’s “call,” the bank has committed support the Plan for Transformation.

MB Real Estate – Will begin offering employees down payment assistance to purchase homes at The Acres of Oakwood Shores, formerly Madden Park/Wells. The homes are about to go on the market, and they are working with a REACH Partner on launching the program.

Metropolitan Planning Council – Offering employees a tiered incentive program, with one level for employees who wish to purchase or rent a home in the new mixed-income communities, and a second level for employees who want to acquire a new home near transit lines throughout the region.

National Interfaith Committee for Workers Justice – A small nonprofit that will allow employees to access future raises for down payments now. This allows employees to leverage the state matching funds. It illustrates how even small organizations can implement a program.

University of Chicago and U of C Hospitals – Launched in May 2003, the program has already helped 63 employees become homeowners. U of C offers $7,500 in down payment assistance to employees. More than 200 additional employees are enrolled in homebuyer education with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. The program focuses on key neighborhoods around U of C, including several new mixed-income sites: Lake Park Crescent, Jazz on the Blvd and Oak Wood Shores. U of C’s initiative currently represents one of the largest EAH commitments.

The Walsh Group – Will be offering employees down payment assistance to live at Park Boulevard .

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