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SCU announces $12.3 million program to ease housing costs for newer faculty

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2000

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec.7 - Santa Clara University today announced a $12.3 million housing assistance program that offers tenure and tenure-track faculty a variety of rental and purchase assistance plans.

The program, approved by the University Board of Trustees, began processing applications in late November.

The new University Housing Assistance Programs "recognize the importance of affordable housing in Silicon Valley, and enable the University to continue to recruit and retain highly qualified faculty and staff," according to Robert Warren, vice president for administration and finance.

The program specifically targets new or recently hired faculty who have been identified as candidates for tenure, or who recently received tenure. Under the plan, the University provides money in addition to salary and benefits for fixed periods in four ways:

  • Rental support of up to $650 per month, until tenure is granted. This is likely to assist 115 people over the next 10 years, with $2.3 mllion to $3 million in assistance.

  • Up to $50,000 for down payment on a first-time home purchase.

  • Up to $50,000 in mortgage subsidies, over 10 years, for first-time home buyers. The down-payment plan and the mortgage subsidy plan will provide a total of $10 million to assist an estimated 135 faculty over 10 years. The $50,000 amount will be adjusted on an annual basis to reflect housing market conditions.

  • Sharing by the University of up to one-third of the home equity of a new home purchase, up to $200,000 for up to 10 years, offered only in extraordinary instances.

An individual can be eligible for the rental program and one of the purchase programs.

Here is an an example of how the program might aid a faculty member who meets the University eligibility criteria:

An assistant professor with a $65,000 annual income would, by typical bank qualifying standards, only be able to qualify for a $202,000 mortgage. With $50,000 in down payment assistance from SCU, that faculty member would be able to buy a $310,000 home. If the faculty member were to choose to use SCU assistance as a 10-year mortgage subsidy, he or she would qualify to buy a $382,000 home, assuming a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 8.25 percent, with 5 percent down.

Eligible faculty must show a good credit history and be approved by the University's designated lender, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. The rental assistance program will be administered by the University. In most instances, the housing assistance is limited to housing within 10 miles of the University.

Wells Fargo will make the first loans for both the purchase assistance programs and the equity share program. The SCU program is similar to ones that Wells Fargo has developed for Silicon Valley high tech companies.

"As the leader in providing innovative home financing programs, we pride ourselves in developing customized solutions to meet the needs of our clients, no matter what their circumstances are," said Susan A. Davis, senior vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. "With Santa Clara University, we are pleased to have provided the perfect solution for their faculty's housing needs."

The new SCU program was developed by a committee chaired by Silicon Valley developer and SCU trustee John A. Sobrato, and included the SCU dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Peter A. Facione, and James Blair, a member of the SCU Board of Regents and another local developer.

In the past decade, SCU faculty and staff have obtained rentals in 60 SCU-owned units at favorable market rates, and the University has provided about $1 million in rental support to approximately 100 new or incoming faculty.

Santa Clara University, the oldest institution of higher education in California, is a private Catholic Jesuit university with approximately 415 full-time faculty and 4,500 undergraduate and 3,200 graduate students. Home to the Mission Santa Clara de Asis, the university celebrates its 150th anniversary in the 2000-2001 academic year.

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). It is a leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages, with a presence in more than 1,200 mortgage and Wells Fargo bank stores serving all 50 states.

To arrange interviews, call Barry Holtzclaw, media relations, 408-554-5126, or email news@scu.edu. For more information about the Santa Clara University, see www.scu.edu, call 408-554-5126, or e-mail news@scu.edu.

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