“Live Where You Work helps families buy their first home, save money and reduce their commuting time to work. It also has the larger goal of encouraging community revitalization through increased homeownership,” said Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa, who is Chair of the HMFA Board. “I commend Middletown officials for their commitment to improving the township’s quality of life and I encourage more municipalities to join the program.”
The Live Where You Work program provides low-interest, fixed rate mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers purchasing homes in towns where they are employed. Homes must be located in a municipality that has become a Live Where You Work partner with the HMFA, which is an affiliate of the DCA. Additional program benefits include downpayment and closing cost assistance for the purchase of a home within Smart Growth Areas and flexible underwriting criteria for the loan qualification process.
“We are pleased to have Middletown as one of our Live Where You Work communities,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “With its diverse landscape and housing stock, Middletown is providing a great opportunity for local residents to become homeowners at a time when we want to support homeownership.”
The other 34 municipalities participating in the Live Where You Work program include: Trenton, Jersey City, Woodbridge, Elizabeth, Atlantic City, Rahway, Morristown, Evesham, Neptune Township, Bayonne, Carteret, New Brunswick, Paterson, Glassboro, Orange, Keyport, Newark, Washington Township (Gloucester County), Edgewater Park, Cherry Hill, Plainfield, Old Bridge, Passaic, Belmar, Asbury Park, Pemberton, Gloucester City, Voorhees, Manchester, Lakewood, Freehold Borough, East Orange, Red Bank and Collingswood.
“I am proud that the Live Where You Work Program has been established in Middletown. Having residents who live and work in the community is beneficial to the environment and the local economy,” said Committeewoman Pamela M. Brightbill.
The Live Where You Work Program complements the BUY Middletown program, which encourages the community to support the local economy, and Middletown’s Green Initiative, an eco-friendly cache of programs and projects all designed to reduce the township’s carbon footprint. Live Where You Work also furthers municipal efforts to create a more environmentally sustainable community. Middletown earned a Sustainable Jersey certification last month and became one of only 67 New Jersey municipalities to receive the certification since the program began in 2009.
“Live Where You Work dovetails perfectly with Middletown’s efforts to create a greener community,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger. “The program will reduce auto reliance and emissions by helping people who work in Middletown minimize their commute by living in Middletown.”
Live Where You Work received the 2009 President’s Award for Innovation from the Council of State Community Development Agencies, a national association that supports state efforts in community development, affordable housing, local economic development and state-local relations. The award recognizes innovative activities, policies or programs that have been implemented at the state level and have demonstrated success in solving community needs.
To learn about how to get a Live Where You Work mortgage, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE. For more information about how municipalities can join Live Where You Work, please call 609-278-7478. you can visit the Live Where You Work website at www.livewhereyouwork.nj.gov.