Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced last week a
new state-funded homeownership assistance program that,
when coupled with existing programs, could provide Johns
Hopkins University employees up to $11,000 in the form of
grants and loans toward the purchase of a home in selected
neighborhoods near JHU campuses.
In a press conference held at the East Baltimore
campus on Thursday, Ehrlich and other officials of the
state, city and Johns Hopkins unveiled House Keys 4
Employees, an innovative partnership between the state and
Maryland employers that enables eligible Johns Hopkins
homebuyers to receive up to $3,000 in down payment and
closing costs assistance, in addition to what is already
available through such incentive programs as Live Near Your
Work and DSELP (Downpayment and Settlement Expense Loan
The Johns Hopkins University/Johns Hopkins Health
System was the first major employer to sign on to House
Keys 4 Employees, which went into effect Oct. 1. Other
participants to date are the College of Notre Dame and the
city of Annapolis.
Under the new program, the state Department of Housing
and Community Development will, in JHU's case, provide to
eligible potential homebuyers a dollar-for-dollar match of
the city's Live Near Your Work grant in the form of a
no-interest mortgage loan. The loan does not have to be
repaid until the house is refinanced or sold. Any borrower
who receives a Live Near Your Work grant and meets the
eligibility criteria under the More House 4 Less Maryland
Mortgage Program may participate in House Keys 4 Employees.
Started in 1995, the JHU Live Near Your Work program
offers grants toward the down payment or closing costs on
the purchase of a home in three targeted areas —
Homewood, East Baltimore and Mt. Vernon, near the Peabody
Institute campus — to employees working at any
university location. Previously, employees were eligible to
receive a maximum of $2,000 in assistance — $1,000
from Johns Hopkins matched by $1,000 from Baltimore City.
On Oct. 1, LNYW will add a Tier 1 area in the close
vicinity of the Homewood campus where homebuyers can
receive $3,000 in assistance.
The new Tier 1 area is roughly bounded by the Jones
Falls Expressway to the west, Loch Raven Boulevard to the
east, University Parkway to the north and 25th Street to
the south. The overall Homewood target area extends from
North Avenue to the south to Argonne Drive and 40th street
to the north.
The Peabody LNYW boundaries are Chase Street to the
north, Mulberry Street to the south, Howard Street to the
west and Guilford Street to the east. The East Baltimore
target area stretches from Guilford Street to the west and
the county line to the east and includes the following
streets and avenues: Aisquith, North, Milton, Federal,
Edison, Monument, Kresson, Lombard, O'Donnell, Haven,
Eastern, Central and Fayette.
Funds for LNYW are limited and available on a
first-come, first-served basis to full-time
benefit-eligible university employees in good standing and
of any income level.
In addition to LNYW and House Keys 4 Employees,
potential homebuyers can avail themselves of DSELP, which
provides a maximum of $5,000 in assistance in the form of a
no-interest second mortgage loan to help cover settlement
expenses not covered by the first mortgage loan. Like the
House Keys 4 Employees program, the DSELP loan does not
have to be repaid until the house is refinanced or sold. To
qualify for a DSELP loan, applicants must be using a CDA
Maryland Mortgage Program first mortgage and meet the
income limits and maximum acquisition costs. The new home
must also be located in a priority funding area, which
includes all of Baltimore City and various locations
throughout the state.
If eligible for all three programs, a potential
borrower can receive up to $11,000 in home-buying
Katherine Giuriceo, manager of
WorkLife Programs at Johns Hopkins, said that the
additional incentives that went into effect Oct. 1 should
make it even more attractive for university employees to
buy a home near where they work.
"We hope this new program draws a lot of people in.
Certainly, this is a significant amount when you're talking
about closing costs," Giuriceo said. "People who previously
were not able to make the leap can now be homeowners. That
is our hope. And even those who choose not to live in
Baltimore City can perhaps still make use of the DSELP
For more information on home-buying assistance
programs, go to:
or call WorkLife at 443-997-7000 (Homewood) or 443-287-7000
(East Baltimore). A map of the Live Near Your Work target
areas is available online at: