Tuesday, November 28, 2000

School district wants to help its employees buy homes

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A home ownership program for Cincinnati Public Schools employees received initial approval from the school board Monday.

        The idea comes from board President Rick Williams, who said the plan has the support of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.

        Mr. Williams wants to see the district work with the city to increase home ownership, provide an incentive to attract and retain quality staff, and create an opportunity to develop new partnerships with the community.

        The city's home-ownership rate is low — 38 percent compared with 65 percent nationally.

        Superintendent Steven Adamowski said the program would help the district recruit employees.

        School officials hope to work with Mayor Charlie Luken, lenders and the Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati to create an employer-based home ownership program.

        Specifics of the program must still be worked out, but now school officials have the green light to begin that process.

        Cincinnati Federation of Teachers President Rick Beck called the program a good sign.

        “This lets employees and the community know that we are interested in having our employees get involved and live in the communities where they work,” he said.

        Cincinnati schools are not the only Tristate group to offer such a program. The University of Cincinnati's mortgage assistance program helps first-time home buyers with loans up to $2,500 at 6 percent interest.

        Other states and school districts offer similar home-ownership assistance for teachers.


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