Through a partnership between the University of Washington (UW) and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (“the Commission”), UW faculty may qualify for assistance with their down payment when buying a home.
This program—called the University Housing Assistance Program or UHAP—is available to a select number of newly-hired tenure-track assistant and early-career associate professors who have been nominated by their dean/chancellor and selected by the provost. Through a second-mortgage loan, eligible borrowers can receive up to 10% of the home’s sale price (or $90,000, whichever is less) which reduces the amount of cash needed for a down payment.
The 2022-23 University Housing Assistance Program requires that candidates:
- Are associated with the unit’s approved 2021-22 hiring plan
- Accept an official offer of UW employment as a tenure-track assistant or early-career associate professor
- Reserve their spot in the program within one month of official invitation to participate
- Initiate a UHAP loan with an eligible lender within the first three years of employment at UW
- Qualify for a loan
Once you have been officially invited to participate by the UW Office of Academic Personnel, you must accept the invitation within one month of the invitation date. While accepting the invitation does not obligate you to participate, it does reserve your opportunity to participate in the program at any point within the first three years of your employment at UW.
Should you choose to participate, the next step is to contact the Commission to discuss the benefits of the program and answer initial questions. Your program contact is Dietrich Schmitz. He can be reached at 206-287-4459 or via email at Dietrich.Schmitz@WSHFC.org.
The Commission will help direct you to approved lenders in your area who have been trained on the University Housing Assistance Program. The lender will confirm your program eligibility and determine how much assistance you qualify for. A loan must be initiated within the first three years of UW employment in order to qualify for the program.
To receive the down payment assistance, the borrower must qualify for a first mortgage loan. This requires meeting conventional loan guidelines in such areas as debt-to-income ratio and credit score.
The down payment assistance is provided as a second mortgage loan with an interest rate of 3.5% or 75% of the first mortgage rate, whichever is less. The loan has deferred payments for a maximum of seven years, followed by amortizing payments for 23 years. The entire down payment-assistance loan is due and payable if the borrower sells, refinances, no longer occupies the home or is no longer employed by the University of Washington.
For questions related specifically to the financial aspects of this program, please contact: Dietrich Schmitz at Dietrich.Schmitz@wshfc.org or 206-287-4459.
For general questions about the UW’s University Housing Assistance Program not answered in these program materials or in the below FAQs, please contact: Robert Bradshaw at the UW Treasury Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 221-7102.
2022-23 University Housing Assistance Program (UHAP) FAQ
Q: Why does the UHAP exist and how are participants selected?
A: UHAP is intended to support the UW’s vision to recruit the best, most diverse and innovative faculty from around the world. The program aims to fund up to 13 loans per year for newly-recruited tenure-track assistant or early-career associate professors. Participants are nominated by deans/chancellors with final selection and approval made by the provost.
Q: Is the program right for me?
A: The UW has partnered with the Commission and local lending institutions that understand and can provide information on the program. Once nominated, a representative from the Commission will review the program with you and will refer you to participating lenders. The program is designed to assist faculty purchase a home in King, Pierce, or Snohomish counties. If you have your own funds for a 20% down payment, depending upon your situation, there may be other options better suited to your needs.
Q: What do I have to do to participate?
A: Participants must be nominated by their dean/chancellor, approved by the provost, and officially invited to participate by the Office of Academic Personnel. Upon invitation, the participant will have one month to confirm their interest and reserve their spot in the program.
Q: Does an invitation to participate in UHAP guarantee that I’m going to get a loan?
A: No. Actually being approved for a loan will depend on many factors, including household income level and credit history. The lending institution, not the UW, will manage the loan approval process.
Q: If I am selected as a participant in the Program, how do I access it?
A: We recommend reaching out to the Commission first to discuss benefits and answer initial questions regarding the program before contacting a lending institution. The UHAP loan is considered a second mortgage. The borrower will need to have or acquire a first mortgage with an approved lender and initiate a UHAP loan with the lender within the first three years of employment at UW.
Q: How long do I have after being selected to participate in the Program before I have to purchase a home?
A: The participation period is three years from the employment start date, provided you reserved your spot in the program upon official invitation. The loan must be closed by the three-year deadline.
Q: Is the UHAP a loan or a grant?
A: It is a loan with favorable terms.
Q: What are the terms of the loan?
A: The 2022-23 UHAP interest rate is 3.5% or 75% of the rate on the first mortgage, whichever is lower. This rate structure is in compliance with Fannie Mae guidelines. The payment is deferred for a maximum of seven years. After 7 years, the loan will amortize for 23 years for a maximum term of 30 years. However, if the purchased home is sold or refinanced, the loan is due upon closing or sale. If the home is no longer the UW employee’s primary residence, or if the UW employee leaves the UW, the loan is due in full for the borrowed amount plus any accrued interest within six months. Participants will be subject to the terms and conditions in place during the program year during which they were invited (see “Could the terms of the program change?” below).
Q: Can I buy a house anywhere?
A: The program is limited to houses purchased in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The loan must be used to purchase a primary residence. The program cannot be used to purchase raw land.
Q: How much can I borrow?
A: The loan is limited to 10% of the price of the purchased home or $90,000, whichever is less. The loan limits will be revisited annually to reflect changing home values over time.
Q: If I leave the UW, but don’t sell the house, how long do I have to pay off the loan?
A: Six months from the UW employment end date.
Q: Could the terms of the program change?
A: Yes. Although the program will be re-evaluated annually, participants will be subject to the terms and conditions in place during the program year during which they were invited. In other words, if you were invited to participate in the 2022-23 program, you will not be subject to new or revised terms and conditions of the 2023-24 program or future program years. Once an invitation to participate in the program has been extended, the terms at the time of invitation will remain in place for the duration of the 3-year participation period, including the maximum loan amount.
Q: Does the loan have a right of survivorship?
A: Yes. If the UW employee passes away during the term of the loan, the surviving spouse would be the primary borrower on the loan. If the home is sold or refinanced, the loan is due upon closing or sale. If the home is no longer the surviving spouse’s primary residence, the loan is due in full for the borrowed amount plus any accrued interest within six months. The surviving spouse is responsible for notifying the University if the home is no longer their primary residence within six months. The right of survivorship does not apply beyond the surviving spouse.
Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about UHAP?
A: For questions related specifically to the financial aspects of this program, please contact: Dietrich Schmitz at Dietrich.Schmitz@wshfc.org or 206-287-4459.
For general questions about the UW’s University Housing Assistance Program not answered in these program materials, please contact: Robert Bradshaw at the UW Treasury Office at email@example.com. Or (206) 221-7102.