Unions re-launch $1 million new home buying incentive program

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$2K - $10K to buyers at closings during April

HomebuilderBy ED FINKELSTEIN

Publisher

Six St. Louis unions are once again teaming up with local homebuilders to offer more than $1 million in incentives for new homebuyers during the month of April.

The “Neighborhoods Built by Your Neighbors” incentive program, now in its fifth year, provides new home buyers with $2,000 to $10,000 in cash to be applied at closing to anything the buyer wants to use it for: closing costs, additional down payments, interest rate reduction, extras for the home, or upgrades such as a brick front, different flooring or a finished basement.

“Once again St. Louis construction unions are stepping up to stimulate the St. Louis economy, put their members to work and give potential homebuyers an incredible buying opportunity,” said Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building Trades Council.

PARTICIPATING UNIONS

The amount each union will provides is based on the percentage of manhours each of the six trades has in building a home, with funding coming from the locals’ treasuries and local, national and industry market recovery programs.

Participating unions include Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, Electrical Workers Local 1, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council, Cement Masons Local 527 and the Carpenters’ District Council.

The homes will be 100 percent union built.

The program is currently limited to the month of April in the Missouri communities of the six participating homebuilders: Bridgewater Communities, Fischer & Frichtel, McBride & Son Homes, McKelvey Homes, Payne Family Homes and Simon Homes. The homebuilders are investing $100,000 extra to promote the program throughout the month.

Certificates for the program will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will end when the entire $1 million incentive is gone.

Homebuilding Partnership logoMAKING THE AMERICAN DREAM POSSIBLE

Based on an average home price of $250,000, the program is expected to generate 329,000 new manhours of work for local construction tradesmen and will benefit some 240 homebuyers. There are approximately 1,372 hours of union labor involved in building a new home.

"Owning your own home is the American Dream,” said John O’Mara, business manager, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562.

This program gives residents the opportunity to afford a new home, and communities the opportunity to grow and prosper, with homebuilders and union members partnering to create a home that is built with long lasting quality and craftsmanship.

“Local 562 is proud to be a part of this program because it has put our members back to work doing what they do best, making sure our communities are built right,” O’Mara said.

IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs praised the cooperative nature of the program.

“All the unions are proud to be able to help create work for our members while providing a 100 percent union built home and a great incentive to people looking for help in buying a new home,” Jacobs said.

With home buying interest rates at historic lows, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Business Manager David Zimmermann said, “This kind of incentive can be just the right nudge to get buyers back into the market again. And it will help our members greatly.”

ACCLAIMED BY BUILDERS

“This program is a testament to the relationship between St. Louis’ leading home builders and its union trade partners,” said John F. Eilermann Jr., chairman and CEO of McBride & Son Companies, the nation’s largest union homebuilder. “And most importantly it’s the best way to kick off the 2015 selling season.”

McBride coordinated the original program in 2011.

“It’s really an amazing deal for buyers,” said Jim Brennan, owner of McKelvey Homes. “It’s real cash for use at closing and it’s in addition to St. Louis Union Homebuilding Partnership Builder’s best deal.”

Barry Simon, president Simon Homes, said, “It is a great testament to the ‘can do’ spirit in St. Louis homebuilding. We are excited to be a part of it.”

The program is really about neighbors coming together to make a difference, added John Fischer of Fischer & Frichtel Custom Homes. “That fact is when Union trades people are working, they are buying other goods and services and the economy grows.”

Ken Kruse, president of Payne Family Homes, said, “Our local unions are truly putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to keeping people working. They have committed $1,000,000 in cash for use at closing to homebuyers. That really says a lot.”

You can learn more about the program, or buying the home of your dreams, at www.stlunionbuilders.com.

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