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President Salovey underscores the success of Yale's Homebuyer Program

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The Homebuyer Program was one of the first launched as part of Yale’s community investment program for New Haven.

President Salovey posed for his first official "homebuyer" photograph on July 11 with some recent Yale homebuyers: (left to right) Robin Ladouceur, Graduate School; Alicia Van Campen, Yale University Art Gallery; President Salovey; Daniel Juarez, World Fellows Program; Elizabeth Barber, Yale Medical Group; and Heather Rivera, Religious Studies.
Photo by Michael Marsland

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In nine months time, Yale's groundbreaking New Haven Homebuyer Program for Faculty and Staff will be 20 years old. President Salovey brought some recent attention to the New Haven Initiative when he welcomed a group of relatively new homebuyers to Woodbridge Hall for a picture that boldly reiterates the fact that 1000+ staff and faculty members have now purchased homes in the city. To date the number is 1,060 and 80% of the staff and faculty are first-time homeowners.

The Homebuyer Program gives permanent employees working 20 or more hours a week an annual income benefit if they purchase a home to own and occupy in target areas in New Haven. The program operates in two-year phases to allow for assessment of its impact and for strategic modifications.  Currently, the program provides employees with a $5,000 first-year bonus and an annual $2,500 grant for up to 10 years as long as they continue to own and live in the home and remain employed by the University. This $30,000 total benefit is the most generous such incentive offered by any university-based employer-assisted homeownership program in the country. Related article.

Daniel Juarez and Robin Ladouceur, who appear in the photograph above with President Salovey, recently took advantage of the program's benefits and welcomed Working@Yale into their homes to answer some questions and to have some photographs taken.

HouseDaniel Juarez
Assistant Director,
Communications & Outreach
Yale World Fellows Program

How did you learn about the Homebuyer program and how has it impacted your life?
I learned about the Homebuyer Program when a former co-worker used the program several years ago. The program encouraged us to look into living in New Haven. We might not have considered living in New Haven, otherwise.




Cybil and Daniel Juarez in front of their house on Norton Parkway in New Haven.



Why did you pick the neighborhood you are now in?
My wife and I got to know the Beaver Hills neighborhood when we started looking for a home.  The houses are older, but they have a lot of character.  We liked Beaver Hills so much that our search centered on this neighborhood.

Inside JuarezWhat do you love most about your house?
My family and I love having people over to “our house.” We were blessed to host Thanksgiving dinner last fall and to have a number of house guests since we moved in in September 2012.

What does the word "home" mean to you?
As much as my family and I do love our house, it is a house.  It’s only “home” when we’re there together.

 



Left to right: Daniel, three-year-old Ricky, Cybil and six-year-old Danny.

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Kitchen shotRobin Ladouceur
Assistant Dean, Graduate School
At left in her kitchen

How did you learn about the Homebuyer program and how has it impacted your life?
I learned about the program when I transitioned from being a graduate student at Yale to an employee at Yale. Several of my Yale friends and colleagues have bought their homes through the Homebuyer Program. Among our many excellent benefits, this is the one people outside of Yale really seem to envy. The Homebuyer Program was the clincher for the neighborhoods in which I concentrated my house search. The first installment of the benefit covered a huge chunk of my closing costs. It therefore eased a financial burden significantly. The yearly benefits will help defray the costs of property taxes.


Why did you pick the neighborhood you are now in?
I looked both in Fair Haven and Beaver Hills - both are really diverse, thriving, community-minded neighborhoods in New Haven. There are active list serv communities, regular neighborhood get-togethers, and great alderpersons. And I love the history of both neighborhoods. It ultimately boiled down to the house. I have always loved homes that sport Craftsman design elements, and this one has them in spades! The home is in great shape, was reasonably priced, and is in a wonderful location. I also have several friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who live in the neighborhood, some but a house away from me!

What do you love most about your house?
It's a house with real character, so there are many details to choose from!: the overall layout and space, the coffered ceilings in the dining room, the woodwork throughout, the bright cheery and yet funky kitchen that overlooks the backyard, the squeaky floors, the obvious signs that a dog once lived here, and the fact that it is one of the older homes built by the Beaver Hills Company.  History of the Beaver Hills historic district.

OutsideWhat does the word "home" mean to you?
I moved a lot as a kid, so it's interesting that I have been in New Haven for 18 years — the longest I have lived anywhere. And yet, all that time, I was pretty itinerant, moving from apartment to apartment until my most recent job, which made me want to commit to New Haven and Yale on a deeper level. At its most base, home means no more noisy upstairs neighbors; at its most lofty, a space of my own, a place of security, peace, fun, and friends!

Robin Ladouceur in front of her house on Norton Parkway.

Photos by Kimberly Pasko