Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) January 24, 2013
The Workforce Home Benefit program established by Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and the Northside Leadership Council (NSLC) in 2005 has helped many employees at the hospital realize the dream of home ownership. A new two-year grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group, will help even more employees take advantage of this unique opportunity in the future.
The Workforce Home Benefit program helps AGH employees become first-time homeowners in one of 15 Northside neighborhoods by providing them with a variety of important home buying resources, including a matched home ownership savings account plan, flexible, low interest mortgage products with low down payment requirements, home buyer education services and access to expert financial and credit counseling.
PNC’s grant of $24,000 will help fund home ownership educational services provided to participants of the program by Neighborworks Western Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting financial empowerment through home ownership.
“We are extremely grateful to PNC for its generosity in helping us continue this wonderful program for our employees and for its commitment to strengthening communities,” said Debra L. Caplan, AGH Senior Vice President and a member of the NSLC Board of Directors.
“Home ownership is a cornerstone of the American dream and we are delighted to help make that dream a greater possibility for many of our employees through this initiative. We are equally committed to doing everything we can to promote the health and vitality of the Northside community, which is so critical to the success of our organization and the people we serve,” Caplan said.
According to Mary Ellen Sullivan, Vice President/Community Consultant for PNC’s Community Development Banking division, PNC and the PNC Foundation have long, distinguished histories of supporting communities throughout western Pennsylvania and of strengthening and enriching the lives of people who live here.
”Through this initiative, we plan to increase home ownership in local urban neighborhoods,” Sullivan said. “The ability for individuals and families to purchase a home is at the foundation for growing wealth. In addition, homeowners tend to become vested in their community, advocating for better schools and improved stability of their neighborhood.”
For more than two decades, AGH has maintained a strong partnership with the Northside Leadership Conference that, among other things, has encouraged and helped facilitate AGH employee ownership of homes on the Northside. The Workforce Home Benefit program has enhanced that mission considerably, said NSLC Executive Director Mark Fatla, Esq.
“The Northside Leadership Conference is fortunate to have AGH as a great neighbor and a true partner in addressing community and economic development on the Northside. Our partnership is dedicated to making this community the best possible place to live, work and invest,” Fatla said.
To be eligible for the Workforce Home Benefit program, one year of full-time employment with the hospital and/or a previous employer are required. Some components of the program have income restrictions and all applicants must complete the Neighborworks home ownership education seminar to qualify for any of the incentives.
Home buyer education workshops offered at the hospital provide a complete spectrum of home ownership and home buying information to employees, including an overview of home ownership responsibilities and tips about selecting real estate professionals, improving one’s credit position, obtaining mortgage financing, budgeting, and saving for down payment and closing costs.
Workshops this year will be held on January 26th, February 23rd, May 18th and August 24th. While the program was created for AGH employees, the workshops are open to employees throughout the West Penn Allegheny Health System.
“This program is important on so many levels, removing barriers to home ownership for individuals and families, strengthening companies by enhancing employee loyalty, recruitment and retention capabilities and stabilizing communities by creating more stakeholders in the health and progress of our neighborhoods,” Fatla said.