Wilkes University has established an Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) program to aid in the revitalization of neighborhoods in and around campus and throughout the City of Wilkes-Barre.
This benefit is extended to all full-time employees who have successfully completed ninety (90) calendar days of service. If spouses or domestic partners are both eligible employees of Wilkes University, only (1) one loan will be made available.
Eligible employees can receive a $5,000 or $10,000 forgivable loan on a primary residence. Loan amounts are based on the location within the City of Wilkes-Barre. This loan can be used to defray down payment, closing costs or points on the purchase. A map which specifically outlines the eligible areas and loan amounts can be found in the Human Resources Department. Employees are encouraged to review the map prior to applying for Employer-Assisted Housing to ensure the property is within the eligible area.
The entire loan is provided to the employee at the time of purchase. The Program may be funded with $40,000 annually for all forgivable loans within the program. Loans are offered to employees on a first-come, first served basis.
Loan Forgiveness/Tax Consequences
The University will forgive 20% of the loan each year over a five year period of employment from the issuance date of the loan. Employees who leave the University prior to the conclusion of the five-year period are responsible for reimbursing the University for any outstanding funds due. Any compensation due to employee by the University at the time employment ends will be used to offset any outstanding funds due. Loan forgiveness may have tax consequences and the employee is responsible for any and all taxes.
For example, assume that an employee closes on the purchase of a home in the eligible area on September 1, 2011 and that he/she is eligible for $10,000 loan amount. July 1st will be considered the anniversary date of the forgivable loan. On July 1, 2012, the University will forgive $2,000 (20%) of the loan assuming that the employee fulfills all conditions of the program. That $2,000 will appear as income to the employee on the W-2 he/she receives from the University for 2012. It is subject to FICA and all other withholding taxes. The University will forgive $2,000 (20%) again on July 1, 2013 and each year thereafter until 2017. These amounts would appear on the employee’s W-2 form each year respectively.
Forgivable home purchase loan applications are available through Human Resources Department or via the website at www.wilkes.edu. A copy of a fully executed property purchase contract and complete mortgage lender application must be attached to the completed Wilkes application form.
Employees who are just starting to look for a home in the City of Wilkes-Barre can request a Conditional Reservation for one of the Forgivable Home Purchase Loans that are available each year. If approved, employees can use a Conditional Reservation with lenders to certify that down payment support is available through the Wilkes EAH program. Conditional Reservations expire 90 days after the initial approval. Employees must complete and submit a Forgivable Home Purchase Loan Application with all necessary attachments and information.
Grant funding for property improvements in the area of downtown Wilkes-Barre bounded by Ross, South Franklin, South Main, Horton and River Streets may be available through The Schiowitz Grass Roots Housing Initiative Fund of The Luzerne Foundation. Although the University exercises no authority to approve or deny grants, employees are encouraged to contact The Luzerne Foundation at (570)714-1570 to obtain an application or more information.
Additional homeowner programs, initiatives and information may be available thru the Federal, State and Local governments.
Effective Date: 8/25/2006 Revised: 10/2013