Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Kim Carter and Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury announced the launch of the BCPS Housing Incentive Program, a subsidy program to assist new and current educators in the district to buy or repair homes in a designated area.
Through the program, all BCPS teachers and administrators, living or buying within a targeted area of the district, can receive up to $10,000 in financial assistance toward buying a new home and up to $10,000 toward making improvements to their new or existing home. The program is an effort by the City and the district to encourage and support more BCPS educators to live in the same community in which they serve.
“We want our teachers and administrators to have the opportunity to plant roots where they teach and experience all that Battle Creek has to offer,” says Superintendent Carter.
Under the terms of the program, new homebuyers or existing homeowners must purchase or own a home within a targeted area that covers a 12-square mile section of the BCPS district generally bounded on the north, east, and west by the Battle Creek city limits and to the south by Territorial Road and Kingman Avenue. Participants must commit to working in BCPS for three years.
Eligible new homebuyers can receive down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 20% of the home’s value—maximum of $10,000—and up to $10,000 in renovation. Teachers and administrators who already own a home in the designated area are eligible for up to $10,000 in matching funds for home improvement projects.
“We hope this housing incentive program sends a message to teachers and administrators that we want and need them in Battle Creek and want to provide them with the financial support to live in the district,” said City Manager Rebecca Fleury. “We believe this program is a great recruiting tool for the district and will help strengthen vulnerable city neighborhoods within the school district through investment.”
Battle Creek is one of a number of cities around the U.S., including Detroit, that are providing housing incentives to educators to help recruit top talent, strengthen neighborhoods around district facilities and encourage them to live in the communities where their students live.
“Everyone benefits when teachers live in the communities where they work,” said Anita Harvey, BCPS’ director of transformation. “There’s a greater connectedness and sense of belonging between students and staff when they live in closer proximity. We’re striving for that at Battle Creek Public Schools.”
The housing incentive program is funded through the City of Battle Creek by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Those interested in the program can find more information on the city’s website (www.battlecreekmi.gov) and can submit an application to be considered for eligibility. Informational meetings for interested applicants will be held Friday, March 16 at 3-4 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. at BCPS central offices, 3 Van Buren West in the Board Room.