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Housing grants help employees reduce their commutes

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in Hiring,Human Resources

While some Baltimore residents suffer through a one- or two-hour commute every morning, employees at Johns Hopkins University are sleeping a little later.

Since the university began participating in Baltimore's "Live Near Your Work" program in 1998, about 220 employees have received $2,000 grants to buy homes close to the university's three campuses.

The program aims to increase homeownership and stabilize neighborhoods by offering grants that defray settlement and closing costs. The city ponies up $1,000, and the employer matches it. Employers can decide which employees qualify and what restrictions to place on the grants.

Johns Hopkins uses the program as a recruiting tool, especially for potential out-of-state employees. The school allots funds for up to 44 grants each fiscal year, and in 2005, it made nine grants.

Contact: Sandy Jenkins, client services assistant for work/life programs, Johns Hopkins University, sljenkins@jhu.edu

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