Hospitals offer cash incentives for employee housing

Two Detroit hospitals and a university are offering employees financial incentives to live in the city's Midtown area, reports the Associated Press. The push is designed to draw more residents to the area and improve its economic impact.

Now, more than 30,000 workers at the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University can get a $3,500, two-year leasing allowance for new renters, a $1,000 allowance for lease renewals this year and a $20,000 forgivable loan toward buying a new home, notes the AP. Such incentives are available for the New Center, Midtown, Virginia Park and Woodbridge neighborhoods.

"This program is one of a number that is being rolled out as part of collaboration between the Midtown anchors," Susan Mosey, president of the University Cultural Center Association, told the Detroit News. "It's all part of a collaborative strategy to bring more residents and to collaborate and coordinate more services here in the neighborhood."

Although Henry Ford hasn't had trouble attracting patients and potential employees, CEO Robert Riney says renovating Midtown will make the hospital more desirable.

Hudson-Webber Foundation CEO David Egner developed the "Live Midtown" incentive program, noting the success Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have had in revamping their cities through health and education systems, notes the Detroit News.

So far, $1.2 million has been allocated for the 2011 pilot year, with funding expected for future years, said Mosey.

These incentives come amid major development plans for the Midtown area, including Henry Ford's $500 million in capital improvements for its flagship hospital, Detroit Medical Center and Vanguard Health Systems multimillion-dollar construction plans for new buildings and renovations at its Midtown campuses, as well as a $450 million light rail line scheduled to run through the area up to Eight Mile.

 For more:
- read the Detroit News article
- read the Associated Press article