Close quarters

Traffic crawling. Horns honking. The never-ending stop-and-go. Sounds like a typical daily commute for many working adults. Instead, consider the luxury of living just a few miles from your office, or so close you could walk.

Now imagine being given money to help pay for this new home.

The financial incentives for full-time Johns Hopkins employees to purchase a home near the Homewood, East Baltimore, and Bayview campuses increased this summer. Live Near Your Work base grants, which assist employees with a down payment and/or closing costs, increased from $3,000 to $5,000. In some designated areas, grants are now as high as $23,000 near the Homewood campus and $36,000 near the East Baltimore campus.

The Live Near Your Work program, launched in 1997 and overhauled in 2008, has awarded more than 350 grants. Coordinator Sandy Jenkins says she sees this program as a recruitment and retention tool for Johns Hopkins. "It helps out a lot of employees who may have thought that owning a home was out of their reach." All Johns Hopkins employees who take advantage of the program must take a course on home ownership, either online or in person through an agency.

The program expansion is just one example of Johns Hopkins' efforts to revitalize Baltimore; this summer, the university joined Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to sign the Baltimore City Anchor Plan, a pledge to work toward solving some of the city's most pressing challenges in the areas of public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life.

For more information on the Live Near Your Work program, click here.

Posted in University News