March 23, 2016 - From the Blog
Baltimore City has eight anchor institutions, across three sectors, as defined in the Baltimore Anchor Plan released in June of 2014. Anchor Institutions are critical to Baltimore’s success. The Anchor Plan directly states that, “the City of Baltimore recognizes that these institutions serve as a catalyst to attract and retain residents, create jobs, and support economic growth. The 2010 Census reported that 28,400 Baltimore City residents worked at the nineteen area colleges, universities, and professional schools.”
Live Baltimore works directly with all of these anchors through Employer Outreach Programming.
The Live Near Your Work incentive program is a signature program of the city and one that Live Baltimore works very closely with. The city matches an employer’s contribution dollar-for-dollar up to $2,500—potentially resulting in $5,000 in direct downpayment and closing cost assistance.
Over the last two years, with the assistance of Live Baltimore, 30 companies have joined or refreshed their participation in the program, the application process has been revamped, a robust package of marketing materials has been created, and program utilization is up over 45%.
Liz Koontz, Live Baltimore's Employer Outreach Manager, works directly with our eight anchors and all of the other 90 employers involved.
Historically, the Johns Hopkins Institutions have had the most robust participation overall and have awarded many $36,000 grants for employees purchasing in certain areas around their campuses. In 2015, 110 grants of varying tiered amounts were awards in targeted areas around the city. Employees of the State of Maryland and Under Armour round out the top three employers in terms of usage. This program has a major impact on Baltimore's neighborhoods and on the recruitment and retention efforts of the employers involved.
More recently, another anchor Institution, Bon Secours, has stepped up its participation in the program in a major way. In August of 2015, the hospital created a tiered system around their hospital. The top tier contribution is $25,000 for a home purchase within a one mile radius! With the city match, employees START with $27,500 toward a new home purchase. The second tier is $12,500 for a purchase within three miles and $7,500 for a purchase anywhere in Baltimore City (and remember you can stack other B-HiP incentives in addition to Live Near Your Work). It is important to note Bon Secours is located in West Baltimore and has always been a strong community partner. At a time when Baltimore as a whole is concentrating resources to help revitalize this part of our city, Bon Secours is making even more of an effort to revitalize the areas they impact most. At Live Baltimore we wanted to highlight and commend this ongoing effort!
Are you wondering if your company participates in Live Near Your Work? Check out the list here. If you don’t see your employer's name, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get your employer involved! Find out more about the city’s anchor institution plan here.