Mayor Barlow launches “Heroes as Neighbors” Program supporting Frontline Workers
Mayor Billy Barlow announced today the launch of the “Heroes as Neighbors” Program, a partnership between the City of Oswego and Pathfinder Bank to cover the closing costs for frontline workers and first responders who buy homes in the City of Oswego. Mayor Barlow said $100,000 in funding, supported by the federal government’s American Rescue Plan, will immediately be made available for eligible participants to receive up to $5,000 in credit to cover closings costs associated with the purchase of a residential, single family property in the City of Oswego. Eligible participants include a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), Doctors, firefighters, police officers and active members of the military.
Mayor Barlow first announced the creation of the “Heroes as Neighbors” Program during his 2021 State of the City Address in January as a strategy to attract more families and professionals to live in city neighborhoods, while acknowledging and thanking the essential, frontline workers who lead the community through the COVID-19 pandemic. “The “Heroes as Neighbors” program acknowledges our frontline workers and first responders for their continued heroic service during the COVID-19 pandemic while serving as an incentivize to encourage families and young professionals to not only work here in Oswego, but to live here in Oswego,” said Mayor Billy Barlow. “Closing costs can quickly accumulate, surprising young professionals when they go to close on a home. It can mean the difference between buying or renting, moving or staying put. The “Heroes as Neighbors” program can be that extra nudge to capture more young professionals and families to consider staying or moving to Oswego and serves as a gesture of appreciation for the work they do,” Barlow said.
Mayor Barlow thanked Pathfinder Bank for partnering with the City of Oswego to administer the program and thanked U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, whose advocacy to secure funding for local municipalities in the American Rescue Plan made the “Heroes as Neighbors” program possible.
“As Majority Leader, I made funding for New York’s municipalities my top priority in the American Rescue Plan. After fighting this pandemic on the frontlines, local governments need resources to not only continue their battle against the pandemic but also to help their communities recover moving forward,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “I applaud Mayor Barlow and the city of Oswego’s efforts to use these new resources to reward frontline workers and first responders for their courageous work.”
Thomas Schneider, President and CEO of Pathfinder Bank said, “we are both grateful and humbled by the hard work, bravery and selflessness our frontline workers show during this extraordinary time of need. The “Heroes as Neighbors” Program is one small way Pathfinder Bank is saying ‘thank you’ to our community heroes who continue to serve during the pandemic. We now, in return, are honored to help those who have helped us. We are appreciative of our partnership with Mayor Barlow and our ability to work together to serve our communities.”
In 2018, the City of Oswego launched the Resident Recruitment Initiative, a comprehensive partnership with major area employers to educate employees who work in Oswego about the community in an effort to encourage local home buying. Local major employers include Oswego Health located in downtown Oswego, along with several nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“I applaud the efforts of Mayor Barlow and the City of Oswego to recognize the contributions of healthcare workers living right here in the Port City,” said Michael Backus, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Oswego Health. “As a growing organization, we need partnerships like this to recruit and retain the healthcare hero’s right at home in our Oswego community.”
Individuals who think they may be eligible for the “Heroes as Neighbors” Program should contact Economic Development Director Nathan Emmons at the City of Oswego Office of Economic Development at 315-343-3795 or 44 East Bridge Street. A preliminary eligibility application is available at https://www.oswegony.org/government/heroes-as-neighbors-application-1. Applications will be accepted starting April 1st. Closing costs credit through the program will not exceed $5,000 and the property will need to be purchased after May 1st, 2021, and be owner occupied to qualify.