This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

UB helping employees buy and renovate homes in University Heights

Published: December 4, 2003

Reporter Editor

In an effort to encourage home ownership in the University Heights neighborhood surrounding the South Campus, UB is helping its employees purchase and renovate homes in the area.

Through the new Home Loan Guaranty Program, eligible faculty and staff may finance up to 120 percent of the purchase price—including renovation and closing costs—of a home in the University Heights area. Neither a down payment nor private mortgage insurance is required.


Employees also may refinance existing mortgages of homes in University Heights to cover renovation under the program, which is being administered by UB's University Community Initiative (UCI), a unit of the Office of Public Service and Urban Affairs.

Homebuyers must apply for their mortgage from one of UB's banking partners in the program—either M&T Mortgage Corporation or HSBC Mortgage Corporation (USA). The UB Foundation will guarantee the loan.

UB has been criticized by some for its recent student housing construction blitz in Amherst—five apartment-style housing complexes have been built on or near the North Campus in the past six years—which, critics say, indicates the university is "abandoning" University Heights.

The Home Loan Guaranty Program is an effort to show that the university is, indeed, committed to maintaining a strong, vibrant University Heights neighborhood, UB officials say.

"We really looked for a way to send the message to the community and to UB employees that the university is very positive about the South Campus area," said Danis Gehl, director of UCI. "We believe that one way to show that is by making it easier for university employees to buy houses in the area," Gehl said, calling home ownership "a critical factor in neighborhood stability."

The program is open to those who hold an appointment half-time (50 percent) or greater, or who hold an adjunct/part-time faculty position with a term appointment with UB, the SUNY Research Foundation, UB Foundation Services, Inc., or UB Foundation Activities, Inc. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, and at least 21 years of age.

Adjunct instructors or part-time faculty with temporary appointments; faculty and staff with temporary appointments; employees with probationary status; graduate, teaching and research assistants; student assistants, and students are not eligible.

To be eligible, a property must be a single-family or two-family home and located in the University Heights area bounded by Kenmore Avenue, the old railroad right-of-way, East Amherst Street, Westminster Avenue, Hewitt Avenue, Eggert Road, Winspear Avenue and Main Street.

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit, or contact UCI at 829-3099 or