Redwood Trust to Offer Mortgage Insurance Reimbursement as an Employee Benefit, Encourages Others to Do Same
New, innovative program advances the landscape of corporate responsibility while tackling homeownership.
Redwood Trust, Inc. today announced the Redwood Employee Home Access Program, a mortgage insurance benefits program for its workforce that supports employees seeking a path to homeownership. Through the program, Redwood is reimbursing all mortgage insurance (MI) costs to help its employees put down roots in areas of their choosing.
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As part of this announcement, Redwood CEO Chris Abate encourages other corporate leaders to offer MI support for their employees as part of a standard benefits package, similar to subsidizing health insurance.
“If as a corporate leader you’re focused on environmental, social, and governance objectives, I urge you to consider this benefit for your employees, too,” said Abate. “Homeownership is the bedrock of our communities. It builds family wealth and contributes to a sense of inclusion, security, and wellbeing. Let’s put affording a home within reach of every one of our employees.”
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In a tight labor market, assistance such as the Redwood Benefit can be instrumental in employee retention, attracting a more diverse workforce, and enhancing employee wellbeing. MI — including government programs such as those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — is essential for many homebuyers, enabling them to pay a monthly premium on top of their mortgage in lieu of a larger down payment. But even that is a burden for many people, including younger Americans and Black and Hispanic households, for many of whom this additional financial obligation is a more meaningful hurdle.
Overall, research shows that 8 in 10 Americans say housing affordability is a problem, 6 in 10 U.S. households can’t afford a median-priced home, and fewer than half of potential buyers can comfortably make a 20% down payment on a home. To help respond to these challenges in access to affordable housing, Redwood has built a bridge to homeownership for its employees by adding MI to its standard suite of employee benefits.
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Abate, a leader in the mortgage industry, calls on other corporate leaders to join him in creating a sustainable solution to housing affordability by utilizing private sector resources.
“Everyone has the right to own their home and experience life satisfaction and positive financial health. But getting to that place amid a pandemic and historic job losses can be an uphill battle. Redwood Trust is pleased to contribute to improving our employees’ health, security, and productivity through a commitment to building generational wealth and instituting a benefit that contributes to addressing the affordable housing crisis. This is an innovative employee benefit that offers a path to achieving the American dream of homeownership that is unattainable for far too many Americans,” added Abate.