Penn partners with the city to help employees buy a home

West Philadelphia

Penn employees looking to live in one of West Philadelphia’s beautiful Victorians or modern condominiums can use a city program that provides aspiring homeowners with a matching grant toward closing costs.

Penn Home Ownership Services (PHOS) has partnered with Philadelphia Home-Buy-Now to sweeten the incentives for University faculty and staff to purchase a home in the PHOS-designated area.

Employees who are looking for a home in University City and meet the eligibility criteria may find they already qualify for two PHOS programs. One is a $7,500 Enhanced Forgivable Loan that can be used for closing costs, down payment, buying down points and/or interior or exterior improvements. Homebuyers can also use the funds to convert a multi-family dwelling into a single-family home.

Additionally, the Closing Cost Reduction Program offers prospective buyers mortgage financing options that feature discounted closing costs of 0.25 percent of the mortgaged amount.

The City of Philadelphia’s Home-Buy-Now program will kick in an additional $4,000 matching grant to Penn employees for closing costs on top of the $7,500 forgivable loan, for a total of $11,500.

West Philly

Steven Minicola

Faculty and staff who have taken advantage of the additional incentive have found it helpful. Pharmacology professor Ben Voight and his wife Stacie Bumgarner, who began looking for their first house in July, recently closed on a 1920s-era house this week, with the help of these programs.

“Nicole [Hudson, program manager with PHOS] was straight-forward, easy to work with and helped us navigate the process,” Voight says. “We had a strategy and a type of home in mind, but it was good to have someone calm, cool and collected to move the process forward.”

Voight says the program funds will help him and his wife replace the old electrical wiring in the house.

Penn employees can learn more about all of these programs, including eligibility requirements and the PHOS geographical boundaries, by calling 215-898-7422 or visiting the Penn Home Ownership Services website.

Faculty and staff can also speak with PHOS and Home-Buy-Now representatives at the Employee Resource Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from noon to 2 p.m. in Houston Hall.

Originally published on September 29, 2011