A new Kettering University program aimed at helping employees with the cost of purchasing a home will also make a positive impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the University’s campus in the city of Flint.
The Kettering University Employee Home Purchase and Renovation Assistance Program will provide eligible employees with a $15,000 forgivable loan for purchasing and occupying a home in one of three designated neighborhoods near campus. In addition, a $5,000 forgivable loan will be available to eligible employees who already reside full-time within those neighborhoods to assist them in making exterior improvements to their property.
“As an anchor institution in Flint, we recognize and take very seriously the role we can play in creating thriving and vibrant neighborhoods around us,” said Kettering University President Dr. Robert K. McMahan. “This program allows us to help improve our neighborhoods in the University Avenue Corridor by encouraging home ownership and, in turn, provide options for our faculty and staff to reside near our campus.”
The three designated neighborhoods eligible in the program are:
In addition to loans through the program, Kettering will also assist employees with ensuring any homes they purchase are in compliance with federal water safety guidelines.
“The residents of Flint are strong and resilient, and this is a critical time in our city’s history,” McMahan said. “We at Kettering are committed – through our actions and confidence in the city and its future – to being a leading partner for Flint as the city creates a new narrative of recovery, renewal and reinvention.”
The program, which has been in development for more than a year, is the latest in several Kettering-led initiatives within the University Avenue Corridor (UAC) aimed at transforming the region into a vibrant, economically diverse connector from Kettering’s campus to downtown Flint. Those initiatives have included a major restoration of Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium, federal grants from the Department of Justice and Center for Disease Control that support placemaking, health and wellness initiatives and community building in the UAC region, recurring service projects in partnership with community organizations, the opening of an Einstein Bros. Bagels and Flint Police Mini Station, and, soon, the opening of a Jimmy John’s restaurant.
The Home Purchase and Renovation Assistance Program will, in part, provide added incentive for continued investment and development within the city.
“We appreciate Kettering's partnership and commitment to Flint by encouraging university employees to not only work here, but live and raise their families in the city,” said Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver. “It's positive changes like this that will make a big difference.”
Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin praised the new program. The League represents more than 500 Michigan cities, villages and urban townships, including Flint and surrounding communities.
“This type of program has been implemented with great success in other communities and we applaud Kettering University for taking on this leadership role,” Gilmartin said. “Great places and great communities build around their existing assets and Kettering University, without a doubt, is one of the great assets in Flint. This forgivable home loan incentive program by Kettering is truly inspirational and an example of an anchor institution not only recognizing the importance of creating vibrant places, but also investing in the placemaking effort.”
The three neighborhoods border key institutions in Flint, including Kettering, Hurley Medical Center, McLaren Hospital and the University of Michigan- Flint, and offer access to parks, recreation areas and trail systems. The neighborhoods are also representative of the city’s amazing history, including the recently restored Factory One facility – the birthplace of General Motors – in the Carriage Town neighborhood.
Nada Radakovich, president of the Mott Park Neighborhood Association, is excited to see how Kettering’s home loan program will impact the community.
“It’s a very positive thing for the neighborhood,” Radakovich said. “This would be a great incentive for people who want to live here and are invested here. It’s a great time to show support for the community.”
Sue Goering, president of the Glendale Hills Neighborhood Association, is thankful to see Kettering offering such a program and said she hopes it will bring attention to the beautiful, historic neighborhoods that exist in Flint.
“Things like this are so enormous,” said Goering, who lives in the home that her parents built. “It will strengthen any neighborhood involved. What a generous neighbor Kettering is. I say that all the time and how happy we are as a neighborhood to have Kettering as a neighbor. They always reach past their campus to make a difference.”