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Introducing the “Live Near Your Work ” Program to Encourage Active Participation from Gallaudet University Employees

Washington, D.C. – December 20, 2011 – Gallaudet University today announced it will offer its employees the opportunity to participate in the District’s “Live Near Your Work” (LNYW) program designed to encourage employee home ownership near their jobs. LNYW is a homeownership grant program created by the D.C. Office of Planning that will match contributions by major District employers up to $6,000 per participating employee toward a down payment and closing costs when an employee purchases a home in the District near his or her place of work.

At a press conference held at Gallaudet University, President T. Alan Hurwitz, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, the District’s Director of the Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning, and Linda Argo, Assistant Vice President of External Relations and Strategic Initiatives for American University, announced the launch of the pilot program. The program will be made available in the Spring of 2012 to full-time, permanent employees of Gallaudet University and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. University officers, members of the president’s cabinet, and employees listed on the University’s most recently filed IRS Form 990 are disqualified from participating.

“The Live Near Your Work program is a great incentive to encourage Gallaudet University employees to become a part of the community,” President Hurwitz said. “This initiative will help the environment, support area businesses, contribute to the D.C. tax base, reduce congestion, and save our employees time and money. We hope Gallaudet employees will take advantage of this opportunity to become an integral part of the neighborhoods around the university.”

Gallaudet and the D.C. Office of Planning have agreed to jointly fund the program to provide grants for ten employees. Each grant will amount to $12,000 per participating employee. The grant can only be applied toward the down payment and closing costs for the purchase of homes that will serve as an employee’s primary residence, located within 1.5 miles of Gallaudet.

“I am very excited to announce this partnership with these great Washington institutions,” Mayor Gray said. “As institutions of higher education and employers of thousands of workers, they add so much to the District. With ‘Live Near Your Work,’ we can support their employees’ dreams to purchase homes while encouraging them to plant long-term roots in the District.”

“By living closer to their jobs an average employee could save over $2,800 each year from reducing the number of miles they drive while commuting alone,” said Tregoning. “The savings could easily triple or more if the neighborhood they purchase in makes it possible to live there without owning a car, as is possible in many D.C. neighborhoods.

In early February, the Office of Program Development will host a Live Near Your Work presentation and Housing Fair on campus.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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