Eligible IUPUI employees have until the end of the year to take the university up on an offer that provides forgivable loans for a down payment on a house or to help pay for exterior home repairs.
The Anchor Housing program is a pilot program that launched in 2016 in partnership with the Indy Chamber and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership.
Participating IUPUI employees who are purchasing homes near or already live near campus could get thousands of dollars in the form of five-year forgivable loans. Funds are first-come, first served.
"It's all about longevity and stability," said Jennifer Boehm, assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Community Engagement.
Boehm, who leads the partnership on the IUPUI side, said the program gives employees an incentive that's good for them, for the university and for the communities around campus.
To qualify, employees have to be a full-time benefits-eligible employee in good standing and have a household income at or below 120 percent of the area median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For a family of two, that's an annual income of $76,680, and for a family of four, it's $95,880.
Employees must purchase or already live in a home within the program boundaries, which include ZIP codes 46224, 46222, 46208 and 46241 as well as 46221 within I-465. That home must be their primary residence.
How-to for homebuyers
Ready to apply?
Go to inhp.org/iupui.
Click the "Get started" button to complete the form.
Want to learn more?
Attend the IUPUI Benefits Fair, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov 14, in Room 450 of the Campus Center.
Once accepted to the program, employees can get up to $10,000 in down payment assistance or up to $5,000 to make exterior home repairs. Both amounts are forgivable loans if the employee lives in the home for five years. Each year, on the anniversary month that the employee closed on their loan, 20 percent of the loan balance will be forgiven.
Started as a pilot program, the Anchor Housing program will end either when funds are all allocated or by the end of the year, said Trevor Meeks, vice president of single-family lending at INHP.
IUPUI employees who still want to participate have until Dec. 31 to apply for a loan, then an additional 90 days to find a home and 60 more days to close, he said.
Since the program launched at IUPUI, more than 150 employees have reached out, and five have closed on a home loan -- four of those for a down payment on a house and one on funds for home repairs.
"We would like to see more employees take advantage of this program, and we consider helping five IUPUI employees to buy or repair a home to be a success," Meeks said.
To fund the loans, IUPUI and other anchor institutions -- 14 in total -- matched an amount set aside by INHP for the program.
All told, the 14 anchor institutions committed more than $1 million to be matched by INHP. And Meeks said more than half has already been used.
After Dec. 31, any of INHP's remaining Anchor Housing Program funds will likely be allocated to another area of need in the community.
One of the biggest areas in which INHP has seen a need is affordable housing supply. Meeks said that median home prices continue to rise, and affordable homes are often only on the market for days or weeks, compared to months. INHP has begun to develop affordable homes in neighborhoods across the city to help address the shortage.
Boehm added that IUPUI has expanded the area for the program twice, including earlier this fall.
"A lot of it is timing and the market," she said, adding that there needs to be a sweet spot of home prices, and that despite the added area, it's a small market.
A program like this helps to revitalize and strengthen neighborhoods, Meeks added, saying that employees who live close to work are able to reduce their commuting costs, which frees up more of their disposable income that can then be invested into the community.
Plus, it has built stronger relationships with community partners like INHP and IUPUI.
Meeks said because of this program, he now has a working relationship with IUPUI to collaborate and connect in the future.
"Building that relationship with IUPUI and the other anchors has been phenomenal," he said.