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Incentive Program Draws Enthusiastic Residents To Midtown

DETROIT (WWJ) - "Live Midtown" is back for a second year. The popular program offers financial incentives to encourage employees of Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and Detroit Medical Center to live where they work.

What's it all about?

"The motivation is just to kinda capture the energy and economic impact of these institutions  more locally around where their campuses are," said Edward Potas, Anchor Strategy Manager for Midtown Detroit. "So, by having people live there, they're buying groceries, they're sending their kids to school, they're visiting local restaurants. It's a great thing for the neighborhood."

Potas said response to the program has been great. When it kicked off last year, it was so successful that applications were no longer accepted after just seven months.

Potas said the over 250 people who participated in 2011 couldn't be happier. "There was kind of pent up demand when the funding had exhausted from last year," he said.

"They love it. I mean, they have to live somewhere and they're looking to reduce their costs in some cases," Potas said. "Folks that are driving some distance ... there's a multitude of reasons; recapturing their time, versus a 30, 40 minute commute, they have a 2 to 5 minute commute. And often times they're just walking to work."

The incentives include a $20,000 forgivable loan toward buying a home, $5,000 in matching funds for home improvement projects and up to $2,500 for new renters.

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