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Expanding Penn's Enhanced Mortgage Program

The program that has helped hundreds of Penn faculty and staff members purchase homes in West Philadelphia has expanded its geographical coverage area--creating the opportunity for more employees to participate in the program. Through the Enhanced Mortgage Program, employees can now buy homes as far west as 52nd Streets (up from 49th Street) as far north as Haverford Avenue (expanded from Market Street) and southward to the Schuylkill River.  This geographical area (see map below) mirrors the coverage area for Citizens Bank University Neighborhood Improvment Program, one of Penn's mortgage partners.

The new program offers forgivable loans of $7,500 to employees of Penn and the Health System who purchase homes within these boundaries. These loans can be used for a down payment, to buy down points, or for interior or exterior home improvements. A homebuyer may also use the loan to convert a property from a multi-family to a single-family residence.  Existing homeowners may apply for a $7,500 loan for improvements to houses valued at $75,000 or less. All loans through the program will be forgiven after the purchaser has lived in the home for seven years. 

 "There is a really strong real estate market in University City now," said Leroy Nunery, vice president of Business Services Division.  "This retooled program will allow us to stretch our dollars further, and it will give home buyers this opportunity as well. Our expanded coverage area offers more homes in a variety of price ranges, which should fit the budget of many of our employees. Our Community Housing programs have also had a very positive impact on the West Philadelphia community, and we hope to spread these benefits further north and west."

Loans through the Enhanced Mortgage Program will be administered on a "first come, first served" basis. Applicants will only receive funding for homes that have agreements of sale or approved home improvement invoices.

The Office of Community Housing will continue to offer its other signature programs, including homeownership counseling services and the Guaranteed Mortgage Program. The Guaranteed Mortgage Program enables eligible employees to apply for financing of up to 120% of the home price, to cover home purchase and closing costs. The Guaranteed Mortgage Program's coverage area will remain the same, West Philadelphia neighborhoods within the boundaries of City Line Avenue, the Schuylkill River, Cobbs Creek and the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks to the east.  They now extend not only north and west as described but southward beyond the old boundary of Woodland Avenue to the Schuylkill River

For more information on these programs that help promote home ownership in University City and beyond, visit or call (215) 898-7422.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 25, March 16, 2004