In its first year, Greeley Home Ownership Program for Employees (G-HOPE) helped 16 employees purchase homes. The program was approved by the City Council as a way to encourage employees to live in the community in which they worked by providing down payment assistance for home purchases within the University District. The loan is a secondary lien on the property but is forgiven at a rate of 20 percent per year or in its entirety if the owner lives in the home for five years. Participating employers included the City, UNC, Banner Health and School District 6.
Staff estimates the initial $150,000 used to fund G-HOPE will allow the program to continue for several additional years – and provide down payment assistance for approximately 26 additional loans — even without additional allocations. It is important that participants use a mortgage lender from the list of preferred professionals because some potential participants who did not use lenders from the list were discouraged or not approved for loans. City staff were complimentary of local REALTORS, who marketed G-HOPE to their clients and helped the program succeed.