Live Local

Syracuse University has offered a housing assistance program to faculty and staff since the inception of the Guaranteed Mortgage Program (GMP) in July 1994. Over the years, hundreds of regular full- and part-time Syracuse University faculty and staff have participated in the program.

In September 2022, the University expanded these efforts and created Live Local. The overarching effort now includes two programs for qualified faculty and staff to choose from – the existing Guaranteed Mortgage Program and the new University Area Home Ownership Program (UHOP). Collectively, the programs offered through Live Local encourage faculty and staff to purchase, improve, and live in homes in convenient proximity to Main Campus.

Qualification Requirements

One- and two-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums are eligible to be purchased under the Live Local program. The home must be the owner’s primary residence, and it must be located within the predetermined program boundaries. All regular full- and part-time Syracuse University employees are eligible to apply to one of several lending institutions and will be admitted to the program if they meet standard lender underwriting requirements. Once approved by the lender, applicants can enroll in the program and receive the benefit. A list of participating lenders for each program is available here.

Guaranteed Mortgage Program

The Guaranteed Mortgage Program is offered by three lending institutions: Empower Federal Credit Union, Tompkins Employees Federal Credit Union, and The Summit Federal Credit Union. Employees apply directly to their lending institution of choice to determine if they met the lending institution’s underwriting requirements. Each lender has its own requirements and offers different interest rates, so borrowers are encouraged to speak with all three institutions to determine what works best for them. Under the GMP, applicants must finance 100% of the purchase price of the home, and because the University guarantees the loan to the lender, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is waived, potentially saving the borrower thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

More information about the GMP application process is available here.

University-Area Home Ownership Program

UHOP was designed to expand upon the current benefits offered by the GMP. The program is offered through Solvay Bank and allows the applicant to finance up to 100% of the purchase price or provide a down payment. Borrowers who meet Solvay Bank’s underwriting requirements qualify for Solvay Bank’s best interest rate. As with the GMP, the University guarantees the mortgage to the lender, so PMI is not required.

By enrolling in UHOP, home buyers have the option to access a separate forgivable home improvement loan for qualified home improvements up to 12 months after closing on their home. The forgivable home improvement loan is a 10-year interest-only loan to the borrower worth up to 10% of the home’s purchase price ($15,000 maximum). The entire principal amount of the forgivable home improvement loan shall be payable in five equal principal installments on each of the sixth through the tenth anniversary of the closing date of the home improvement loan. Principal payments will be paid directly by the University to Solvay Bank so long as the borrower remains a qualified participant in the program.

More details about UHOP, including qualifying home improvement projects, available here.

More information about the UHOP application process is available here.

Program Boundaries

Eligible neighborhoods are located to the east, south, and west of Syracuse University’s Main Campus. Please refer to the program map below for a view of eligible neighborhoods, or browse the interactive map.

A downloadable program brochure is available here. [PDF]

Live Local Eligible Area Map

You can visit CNYRealtor.com to view homes currently on the market. Syracuse University strongly recommends that you verify with the Syracuse University Real Estate Office that the property you intend to purchase falls within the program guidelines for the Live Local Programs.

Syracuse University also maintains a “Home for Sale by Owner” listing. These are properties in the eligible neighborhoods owned by an SU faculty or staff member not listed with a realtor. If you are an SU faculty or staff member who owns a house in these neighborhoods and wish to list your property as being for sale, fill out the listing form or contact the Real Estate Office.