SJ/C Extends Home Ownership Program

Sep 1, 2016

St. Joseph’s/Candler President & CEO Paul P. Hinchey announced to the Savannah City Council today that a highly successful pilot home ownership program will be extended another three years.

St. Joseph's/Candler President & CEO Paul P. Hinchey addresses the Savannah City Council Thursday to announce the extension of the home ownership program“We have had such a phenomenal response to the pilot program that it was a simple decision to continue it,” said Paul P. Hinchey, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler. “We have seen this program help our co-workers with down payments and pave a road to home ownership. Most families can do the rest themselves.  Home ownership can stabilize neighborhoods, cities and a family’s health.”

Hinchey appeared before the City Council today to deliver the final $15,000 check for the first three years and then announced the extension of the program.

In 2014, St. Joseph’s/Candler became the first business to partner with the city and the Community Housing Services Agency, Inc. to offer down payment assistance to St. Joseph’s/Candler co-workers. St. Joseph’s/Candler committed $45,000 for the first three years.

St. Joseph’s/Candler will commit $45,000 to the Savannah Affordable Housing Fund to fund the pilot program for the next three years at a rate of $15,000 per year.

During the first three years, nine St. Joseph’s/Candler co-workers purchased houses, one more has a home under contract and three more are looking for a home. If the co-worker stays in the home for five years, the loan is forgiven. 

St. Joseph’s/Candler has always maintained that good health starts outside of the hospital.

The pilot program fits squarely into SJ/C’s mission, that “Rooted in God’s love we treat illness and promote wellness for all people.”  

Program details

This pilot program will provide down payment and closing cost assistance to qualified SJ/C employees who are first time home buyers, looking to purchase a house in Savannah and who are interested in living closer to work or to public transportation that facilitates easy and cost effective travel to and from work.   This employer-assisted home purchase program is an employee benefit program intended to help attract, retain, and reward qualified SJ/C employees who want to pursue the American dream of home ownership while building financial security.  It will be linked, where possible, to neighborhood stabilization efforts being implemented by the City of Savannah and its partners.  

These funds are expected to provide at least five SJ/C employees with $4,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance during the first year of the pilot program.   Participants will receive assistance in the form of zero percent interest, five-year forgivable loans.  These loans are forgiven if participants own and occupy their home for five years after purchasing it and remain a SJ/C employee in good standing.

CHSA, and its subsidiary CHSA Development, Inc., are non-profit housing organizations formed by City, banking, and community leaders in the late 1980s to assist in the funding and development of affordable and workforce housing.  Most notably, CHSA Development, Inc. is the master developer of the Savannah Gardens revitalization initiative along Pennsylvania Avenue just south of the Savannah High School.  

Officials hope that this pilot home ownership employee benefit program will serve as a model for other Savannah-area employers.  The City’s Housing Department and CHSA will work with SJ/C officials to administer the program and, where possible, link program participants to other home purchase funding opportunities and lending institutions through the City’s DreamMaker program.   Employers interested in learning more about this innovative employee benefit program may contact Anita Smith-Dixon, Lending Administrator, with the City’s Housing Department, 912-651-6926.

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