TMC Helped Empoyees Obtain the Dream of Home Ownership

Cindy Knowlton comes home every day to her brand new three-bedroom, two-bath house on the east side that still smells like new paint – and she still pinches herself that it’s hers.

A billing and coding coordinator, Knowlton discovered last year that Tucson Medical Center was participating in a partnership with a nonprofit entity that would help TMC employees receive down payment assistance.

In Knowlton’s case, she’s long been conservative with credit, so her credit scores were strong. But even so, it was challenging getting together the amount of money she needed for a down payment.

At the one-year anniversary of the program launch, there are about a dozen other TMC employees who also have their own homes thanks to the down payment assistance program.

Kate Hoffman, the executive director of the non-profit Live the Solution, said the success of the TMC program will serve as a model for other businesses seeking to develop a housing assistance program for their employees.

TMC invested $25,000 in the program, as did its partnering organization. If employees brought $1,000 to the table, each of the two entities contributed $2,000. That spelled $5,000 toward a down payment.

Hoffman said slots were filled quickly once word got out, but the program offered other help beyond the down payment assistance.

Employees were able to attend sessions on credit counseling and financial education. The program also helped employees discover the various types of assistance available to local residents, including help with rent and utility payments.

“This is an example of thinking outside the box when it comes to employee benefits, by helping provide employees with financial empowerment opportunities,” said Hoffman, a former loan officer herself.

“Buying a home is no simple transaction, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer, so to have someone help you through that process is really important.”

Michael Duran, Vice President and Chief Development Officer with the TMC Foundation, said TMC was happy to be able to support its employees by helping them with down payment assistance.

“Not only is it a wonderful retention tool in what can be a competitive industry, but on a larger level, home ownership helps families and helps build greater stability within our larger community,” he said.

“Home ownership is a cornerstone of the American dream, and we were happy to be able to help our employees realize that goal and build brighter futures.”

For Knowlton, who has worked at TMC for eight years, it was a dream come true when she picked up the keys on April 28. Her daughter, a senior in high school, was thinking about going away to college, but now Knowlton suspects she’ll stay home initially. Even the family dog is happy.

“TMC cares for their employees,” Knowlton said, “and it just shows they want their employees to succeed not only in their jobs, but in their personal lives as well.”

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Rd. | Tucson, AZ 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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