By AFRO Staff

Johns Hopkins University and Medicine are significantly expanding the already-long list of Baltimore neighborhoods where employees can get money to buy homes through the Live Near Your Work program.

The program is a longstanding partnership between Johns Hopkins and the Baltimore City Office of Homeownership, which offers matching funds to incentivize local employees to buy homes in Baltimore. Of the approximately 100 participating employers, Johns Hopkins is by far the largest and has extended the benefit to most employee homebuyers.

The list of eligible neighborhoods for Johns Hopkins University’s Live Near Your Work program grows. (PhotoCred: Live Baltimore)

With the expansion, miles of central Baltimore join the program: Belair-Edison, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello (CHUM), Darley Park, East Baltimore-Midway, Johnston Square, Mayfield, and South Clifton Park. Baltimore territory eligible for home-buying grants range from $5,000 to $17,000 now stretching without interruption from the Homewood campus to the Bayview campus and beyond.

As Baltimore works to reverse population trends, this expansion means more help for people trying to become first-time homebuyers in the city and a greater opportunity to strengthen city neighborhoods. The benefits of this program are undeniable.

Nearly 90 percent of those who receive grants through the program use it buy their first homes, and about 80 percent of them were already living in Baltimore. In just 10 years, the program has catalyzed a population shift from renters to homeowners of nearly 800 East Baltimore homes, reviving a sense of community in once neglected, abandoned, and largely marginalized neighborhoods.