Live Near Your Work, WashU’s employee housing assistance program, is growing! The program, established 10 years ago, provides forgivable loans to WashU and BJC Healthcare employees who buy homes in certain neighborhoods near campus. Recently, the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation announced the addition of new eligible neighborhoods, including Visitation Park, Academy, Fountain Park, Lewis Place, and Vandeventer. All of WashU’s campuses can be easily reached from these neighborhoods by walking, biking, and public transit. Learn more here about what makes each St. Louis neighborhood unique.
The Benefits of Living Near Your Work
Not only will the program expansion provides additional housing options for faculty and staff, but it will also make it easier to commute to work without a car. The neighborhoods are within reach of all of WashU’s campuses by alternative transportation and are largely walkable, meaning that daily errands such as grocery shopping can be easily accomplished on foot.
“Live Near Your Work is just one strategy to […] encourage employees to live closer to work and use alternative transportation” said Hank Webber, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration.
Thanks to the central location of the WashU campuses, employees will not only be close to work but also to a variety of local restaurants, businesses, parks, and culture. Having easy access to these amenities enables us to travel less on a daily basis, saving us time, money and benefiting the local economy and the environment.
With the recent changes in the program, Live Near Your Work now provides a flat forgivable loan of $8,500 for closing costs and a down payment. Employees who purchase a home in Forest Park Southeast, such as one in the newly completed mixed-income development, are eligible for a $12,500 forgivable loan. The university will also double the program’s overall budget to $200,000.
Beyond free money towards your new home, you can also save by eliminating your annual parking permit, filling up your car tank less often, and perhaps even getting rid of your car entirely!
Living car-free or reducing the number of car trips you take is one of the top ways to reduce your environmental impact. See for yourself as you calculate your environmental footprint.
Live Near Your Work also Benefits Neighborhoods
The goal of the program is to permanently stabilize and rehabilitate these neighborhoods through reinvestment. The neighborhoods are located within the St. Louis Promise Zone as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Promise Zones are high-poverty areas that, upon receiving this designation, receive federal tax credits designed to create jobs and encourage investment.
“By expanding the boundary north of Delmar, we are providing more housing options for faculty and staff at all levels and assisting in stabilizing neighborhoods. These neighborhoods boast a lot of beautiful homes.” said Ashley Johnson, Live Near Your Work Program Director.
For more information, visit the Live Near Your Work website.
This article was written by Alternative Transportation Associate Noah Hagen.