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Employer-assisted Housing Program

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., at right, and former employee Richard Barbella, left.
At a news conference to announce Lexington's new Employer-assisted Housing Initiative, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr., at right, said he will use part of a $1 million cash gift contributed to the university by former employee and lottery winner Richard Barbella, at left, to finance UK's cost for the innovative new housing program aimed at helping faculty and staff members buy homes near campus.

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The initiative, called “Live Where You Work,” is an effort to increase homeownership opportunities among Lexington’s workforce through access to financial assistance of up to $15,000 for eligible employees, housing information and education provided by counseling agencies, and innovative financing options. The initiative promotes urban revitalization by targeting homes in downtown Lexington and the UK area.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2003) -- University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr., Lexington Mayor Teresa Ann Isaac, and Samaritan Hospital CEO Frank Beirne today joined representatives from the Lexington Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) and Fannie Mae to announce Lexington’s first Employer-assisted Housing (EAH) Initiative.

The announcement was made at a news conference on a parking lot on Martin Luther King Boulevard where condominiums are planned that will be eligible for financing under the new EAH initiative.

The initiative, called “Live Where You Work,” is an effort to increase homeownership opportunities among Lexington’s workforce through access to financial assistance of up to $15,000 for eligible employees, housing information and education provided by counseling agencies, and innovative financing options. The initiative promotes urban revitalization by targeting homes in downtown Lexington and the UK area.

“Live Where You Work will greatly aid UK in its efforts to attract and retain superior faculty and staff, as well as serve as a catalyst for revitalizing neighborhoods contiguous to the UK campus,” said UK President Todd. “We value our employees and our town/gown relationship with the city of Lexington, and are proud to help our employees achieve the American dream of homeownership.”

The EAHP Web site at which UK faculty and staff can get more detailed information about the program is www.uky.edu/HR/Benefits/EAHP/.

“Live Where You Work provides an excellent opportunity to provide homeownership in the downtown Lexington area to those residents who work in the downtown area,” said Mayor Isaac. “This initiative is an excellent example of the benefits to public/private partnerships in a key area of our community which will only be strengthened.”

Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest source of home mortgage financing, helped the three Lexington employers design customized benefit plans to assist employees with homeownership and offers employers a tool to attract and retain qualified employees, while revitalizing neighborhoods and reducing employee commutes. Fannie Mae will purchase eligible first mortgage loans originated by lenders participating in the initiative.

“This EAH program will allow employees to live close to where they work and encourage them to walk, bike or use public transportation,” said Samaritan Hospital’s CEO Beirne. “We are proud to be a part of this effort to revitalize the Lexington community, while offering a unique benefit to our employees.”

UK, LFUCG, and Samaritan Hospital require applicants to successfully complete an approved homeownership education program, which focuses on credit maintenance, budget planning, home maintenance, and post-purchase counseling. Local participating homeownership counseling agencies include Community Reinvestment Alliance of Lexington (CRAL), Resources Education & Assistance for Community Housing (REACH), and Community Ventures Corporation (CVC). After obtaining certification from a counseling agency, applicants will be referred to participating lenders – Bank One or National City Bank – to apply for a home loan.

Through “Live Where Your Work,” LFUCG, UK and Samaritan Hospital have created unique EAH benefit plans for their respective employees for homes purchased in designated neighborhoods. All three employers are providing eligible employees with forgivable loans of up to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price to be used for down payment, closing costs, and rehabilitation or renovation assistance of houses, condominiums, town houses and duplexes. The EAH loans are forgiven over a five-year period providing the home buyer remains a full-time employee of his or her employer. Highlights of the EAH benefit plans include:

• LFUCG will provide eligible employees with EAH loans of up to $7,400. The loans are restricted to employees whose incomes are 80 percent or less of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) median income; currently the maximum income is $45,050 for a family of four.

• UK will provide certain regular, full-time employees with EAH loans of up to $15,000, subject to the provisions of the program.


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