Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Expanded Greater Circle Living Program attracts employees to live, work and play in Greater University Circle


Cleveland, OH – University Circle Inc., Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation (FRDC), and Greater Circle Living (GCL) announced today increased investment in the GCL program in University Circle. The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) have all pledged increased commitments to the program driven to attract employees to buy or rent in University Circle and its surrounding neighborhoods. The official relaunch of the Greater Circle Living program is set to kick-off at the 3rd annual Showcase in the Circle, presented by Charter One Foundation, scheduled for today, September 27th at Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
 
“This is an incredible time in University Circle, and our anchor institutions and foundation community recognize that. They have shown great commitment to the GCL program from the beginning and have recently increased their financial commitment,” says Chris Ronayne, president of UCI. “Innovative programs like Greater Circle Living are a best practice model when foundations, institutions and communities invest in urban neighborhoods like University Circle.”
 
Originally launched in 2008, GCL is a program allowing eligible employees in the Greater University Circle (GUC) area to receive financial incentives when purchasing, renting or renovating a home in the GUC.  This program has already had success, with 38 employees taking advantage of the home purchase program, 48 using the rental assistance program, and the 15 homes have received money toward exterior renovations. This groundbreaking program gives financial incentives for employees to live close to work while investing money in neighborhoods that are being revitalized around University Circle. Once only recognized as a visitor destination, University Circle has seen a boom of economic development and growth, and with that, a growth in diverse housing options. Employees taking advantage of the GCL program have the opportunity to live close to work, near world-class museums and institutions, and enjoy University Circle’s most recent additions to the neighborhood.
 
Some highlights of the revised program include:
 
-        Employees of CWRU, University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic are eligible for up to $30,000 in forgivable loans
-        Many GUC institutions have relaxed program eligibility requirements, including allowing some part-time employees to participate
-        Employees of participating institutions are eligible for up to $8,000 in exterior home renovations
-        New hires are now eligible for the program
“Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation is pleased to continue to partner with UCI, the Cleveland Foundation and the incredible institutions of Greater University Circle,” said Vickie Eaton Johnson, Executive Director of Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation.  “The program increase made by the institutions is a public testament to their commitment to improving Cleveland’s neighborhoods surrounding the Circle and we believe that the combined investment will benefit us all.”
A funder and key partner in GCL from the beginning, The Cleveland Foundation continues its financial commitment. “The Greater Circle Living program is a centerpiece of the Cleveland Foundation’s goal to build community in the neighborhoods adjacent to University Circle. Through this program, we encourage employees to live in the neighborhoods where they work, strengthening the community by growing neighborhoods and engaging those residents to serve as civic ambassadors,” said India Pierce Lee, program director for Neighborhoods, Housing, and Community Development at the Cleveland Foundation.
The financial commitment as well as the dedication to promoting and marketing the GCL program from institutional partners including CWRU, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals is paramount in the success of GCL. “Since it was launched nearly five years ago, Greater Circle Living has made a true difference for our employees by improving access to affordable housing in University Circle,” says Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO of University Hospitals. “We are proud to be part of the expansion of this innovative program by doubling our funding and making the program available to all University Hospitals employees who want to live close to work and call University Circle home.”
“We at Case Western Reserve consider this area a remarkable place to learn, work and live – and it is getting better all of the time,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “We look forward to seeing even more excitement and vitality in the area going forward, and appreciate the support of all of the organizations that have worked to make this program a reality.”
"Cleveland Clinic is proud to continue our support of the Employer Assisted Housing Program. For the past several years, we have been working to strengthen our communities by encouraging our employees to live closer to the workplace,” says Pamela Marshall Holmes, Senior Director of Community Outreach. “By increasing our commitment to the Greater Circle Living Program, we are able to reach out to so many more employees. We will increase our efforts to inform Cleveland Clinic employees of this opportunity through various meetings and new communication strategies."
For more information Greater Circle Living, please visit universitycircle.org/live-here/housing or Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation at fairfaxrenaissance.org
 
 
 
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(216) 375-8593

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