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Match Money Doubled to Participate in Down Payment Assistance Program

Mercer, in partnership with the Knight Foundation, has expanded its grants to faculty and staff who purchase homes in the newly designated Intown Macon district, which includes the neighborhoods of Tatnall Square Heights, Huguenin Heights and Beall’s Hill, the neighborhoods around the Macon campus.

Since 1996, Mercer has provided down-payment assistance to full-time faculty and staff to purchase homes in the three neighborhoods. The program is a benefit to encourage Mercerians to participate in the revitalization of the neighborhoods. The down payment assistance came in the form of 5-year mortgages, forgivable over the first five years the resident lived in the home. Initially, the three neighborhoods that make up the Intown Macon district had different down-payment assistance criteria. However, with the new grant, all three neighborhoods are eligible for the same amount of assistance: a down-payment loan of up to 17 percent of the home’s purchase price, with a maximum of $20,000, in the form of a 5-year forgivable mortgage.

Since the program began, 33 faculty and staff have participated and the neighborhoods have been revitalized. Recently, the area has seen much progress, with the addition of two eateries near the Mercer Triangle Center and the creation of the College Hill Corridor Commission, which will further develop the area. The success for the area continued last year, when the Knight Foundation provided a $100,000 grant to match Mercer’s contribution for homes built or rehabilitated in the district.

The new Down Payment Assistance Program now includes the larger Intown Macon district and, thanks to the Knight Foundation, Mercer has been able to increase its matching fund from $5,000 to $10,000, for a total of $20,000, including Knight funds.

For more information about the Down Payment Assistance Program, contact Gina Hall at extension 2787 or hall_gm@mercer.edu. For more information on homes available in the area, contact the Historic Macon Foundation for a list of homes, and the real estate agents and construction companies operating in the Beall's Hill area.