Loan-to-Grant Program Continues Helping Families Purchase Homes
Since the Crozer-Keystone Employee-Assisted Homebuyer (EAH) Program was launched by Employee Benefits Services in July 2008, 13 Crozer-Keystone employees have received a $5,000 loan-to-grant toward the purchase of a home.
This program provides financial assistance to eligible Crozer-Keystone employees who wish to buy a home to use as their primary residence within a designated area surrounding the Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Widener University campuses or Community Hospital. With this financial aid, eligible employees can own a home for less than $2,000 down and a monthly mortgage of $650 or less. While many Chester residents pay monthly rent of $900 or more for a three-bedroom rental property, Crozer-Keystone employees with good credit could own a home for less.
Any Crozer-Keystone benefit-eligible employee with at least one year of service is eligible to apply for one of the $5,000 “down payments” once he/she has a signed agreement of sale to purchase a home in his/her possession. Once a mortgage commitment letter and a scheduled closing date is confirmed, the funds are dispersed. The funds are provided in the form of a check made payable to the title agency that is available at settlement.
The EAH program is limited to six employees each fiscal year on a first-come, first-served basis. Employee applicants must present acceptable pre-approval letters for mortgage financing, signed agreements of sale for eligible homes, and a completed Crozer-Keystone Loan Application/Agreement to Employee Benefit Services in order to be eligible. The Crozer-Keystone EAH loan can be used for the purchase of an existing home or a newly constructed home, as long as it is within the targeted areas. The loan-to-grant can also be used in conjunction with any eligible City of Chester homebuyer program as well as with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency program.
“To date, 13 employees have taken advantage of the program and several of them have purchased newly constructed homes located near Community Hospital,” says William Kreider, vice president of Human Resources for CKHS. “We partnered with Widener University as two of the first local employers to offer this benefit to employees, and now several other local employers have followed. The EAH program is benefiting both the community and our employees.”
In addition to the loan-to-grant program, employees are encouraged to take advantage of the many other local resources that are available to provide guidance, and possibly additional funding, when purchasing a home. The Chester Community Improvement Project (CCIP), for example, provides pre-purchase mortgage counseling to first time, low- to moderate-income individuals interested in purchasing a home in the City of Chester and Delaware County. The program prepares applicants to secure mortgages, understand fair housing practices, select a realtor and learn more about home inspections, home maintenance and settlement.
“I was very excited to become a homeowner. The program helped me out tremendously. I can walk to work if I have to and my kids are very excited to be in their new home,” says Daaiyah Sabree, staffing coordinator at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. “Learning about the program really opened my eyes to a better future. I loved it so much that I told my sister, Daarinah, and now she is a homeowner and very happy. I can’t tell enough employees about the program and what a great experience and opportunity that we now have. I am thankful to Crozer-Keystone.”
CCIP also provides guidance to potential buyers who may have credit problems. Several Crozer-Keystone employees have already taken advantage of these resources and have been able to improve their credit ratings enough to qualify for a mortgage. Employees are encouraged to contact Larry Douglas, housing program manager, at (610) 876-8663 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the programs CCIP offers, which includes homebuyer seminars.
For Crozer-Keystone employees, the program is administered by the Employee Benefits Services department. For more information and details, contact Susan Winkles at (610) 595-6387 (19-6387) or visit the “My Finances” page of www.crozerbenefits.org