Public Employee Press
Housing program announces new services
Council 37 has expanded its groundbreaking Municipal Employees Housing Program
to include loans for land purchase and new construction, and has added three more
lenders to its list of participating banks.
We dared to dream outside
the box to help our members find a solution to the affordable housing crisis,
said DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts.
Roberts initiated the
program with a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and developed it with Housing Commissioner
MEHP is the most comprehensive union housing initiative
in the nation. It pairs DC 37, the city Housing Authority and the Dept. of Housing
Preservation and Development, with co-sponsors Neighborhood Housing Services,
a nonprofit organization, and Amalgamated Bank.
MEHPs list of participating
banks has expanded to include Countrywide, M&T Bank and GMAC; Wells Fargo
Bank is no longer a participant in the MEHP program.
loans, an added feature of the program, would allow DC 37 members to purchase
land to build a first or second home, with as little as 5 percent down, at an
adjustable rate. The loan could later be converted to a permanent, fixed-rate
mortgage once construction is complete. This loan would have just one closing
fee, saving members thousands of dollars compared with most banks, which require
two separate closing fees.
MEHP offers city employees a 5 percent preference
for Housing Preservation and Development Dept. rental units, co-ops and condominium
apartments, which are available through lottery; helps obtain housing for homeless
DC 37 members; and provides home-buying counseling and mortgages for members purchasing
single to four-family homes. MEHP also works with HomeFirst to obtain grants of
up to $24,000 for down payment or closing costs for qualified DC 37 members.
The program also offers credit counseling and repair, matching savings plans,
and more. For more information about MEHP please call 212-815-1814.
date, almost 4,000 DC 37 members have participated in some aspect of the MEHP
program, and the average qualified member has received about $20,000 in mortgage
This program continues to exceed our expectations as
it addresses members crucial need for affordable housing and opens the door
to home ownership in this city, Roberts said.