The College assists Faculty by renting houses and apartments to junior untenured faculty, visiting faculty, junior lecturers and coaches who have not received senior contract status at subsidized rates. For eligible senior tenured faculty, senior lecturers, senior-contract coaches and certain administrators, the College offers a plan for the purchase of College houses, along with an Enhanced Second Mortgage Plan and a Matching Grant Plan. These plans are more fully described below.
The Housing Program is administered by the Rental Property Department, with the advice of the Faculty Housing Committee. This Committee is comprised of the Treasurer, the Director of Human Resources, the Director of Rental Property, the Director of Facilities and four faculty members appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Committee of Six. Mortgage plans are administered by the Treasurer's Office.
The College administers the Housing Program for eligible personnel on an equal opportunity basis regardless of race, color, sex, gender or sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, or mental or physical disability.
A house or unit is designated as either: (1) a rental unit reserved for the junior faculty members, visiting faculty, junior lecturers and coaches who have not received senior contract status, or (2) available for purchase through the Rental Property Department and Treasurer's Offices after consultation with the Faculty Housing Committee. Once a house or unit has been designated as available for rent or purchase, eligible individuals will have the opportunity to rent or buy such house or unit under the Rental Plan or the House Purchase Plan, as determined by the point system (or any successor system consistent with the Eligibility Listing in the Program).
New faculty, or those wishing to change their units, are subject to the Housing Assignment System described below.
a. College Housing Eligibility. Faculty are eligible for College Housing as set forth below.
Housing units (for both rental and purchase) are assigned on the basis of a point system. The point system is based upon "credits" for (1) each year of service; (2) each child; (3) rank at time of assignment to College housing; and (4) rank when appointed to Amherst.
The Point System.
|Rank||Credits for Each Year of Service||Credits for Each Child||Credits for Rank at time of Assignment to College Housing||Credits for Rank when Appointed to Amherst|
(1) Credits for Each Year of Service. One point is given for each year's continuous service effective with the date of original appointment. For example, if the date of appointment is July 1, the appointee would be given one (1) point for the spring housing assignment period of that year.
(2) Credits for Each Child. One point is given for each dependent child as defined by Internal Revenue Service regulations. The one exception is in the case of an unborn child. If at the start of the Housing assignment period, a pregnancy is known to exist, an additional one (1) point is given.
(3) Credits for Rank at Time of Assignment to College Housing. This column refers to current rank, or, in the case of promotions, rank at the time of assignment, July 1. Rank when originally assigned to housing is not relevant. For example, an Assistant Professor promoted to Associate Professor would be given six (6) points under this category for the ensuing housing assignment period.
(4) Credits for Rank when Appointed to Amherst. This column reflects credit for rank at the time of original appointment to Amherst College. These credits assist faculty who may have been in academia prior to appointment to Amherst. They partially offset the greater credits for years of service accrued by faculty members who have spent their entire careers at Amherst. For example, a faculty member currently at the rank of Professor, but who was appointed to Amherst at the rank of Associate Professor, would be entitled to six (6) points under this category. A Professor who was originally appointed as an Assistant Professor would receive two (2) points.
Occasionally there are questions regarding how a particular title correlates to the point system ranking. Please consult the Human Resources Office for guidance. The President can make special housing assignments that serve the interest of the College at his/her discretion.
b. The Housing Assignment System. The Housing Assignment period for rental units is from mid-April through the last day of August. The eligible faculty are advised of housing units that are expected to be available the next fiscal year. Faculty who want to be considered for rental vacancies during the housing assignment period must submit a written Housing Request to the Rental Property Department by a date specified in the annual mailing. Failure to submit a timely Housing Request may result in removal from consideration. Those who express interest can obtain their point credits by contacting the Rental Property Department.
Assignment to housing follows the fiscal year pattern of appointments, July 1st through June 30th. Assignments for rentals are automatically renewed except when the terms of the assignment period are limited or a transfer to another housing unit occurs as a result of the spring assignment procedure. Letters of assignment will be sent to the new occupants by the Director of Rental Property. Conditions of maintenance and terms of payment are detailed in the letter of assignment. Occupants of college rental housing are required to sign a lease defining the terms and conditions of the rental.
Faculty who wish to leave College housing during the assignment period must meet the terms of the assignment letter to the end of the fiscal year.
In the case of vacancies occurring after the housing assignment period and during the next fiscal year, the Director of Rental Property may make temporary assignments until the end of that fiscal year, normally June 30th, as circumstances dictate.
Separating Faculty must be prepared to vacate rental College housing at the time of separation. Retiring Faculty must vacate rental College housing within two years after retirement. The family of a faculty member who dies during the year may reside in College housing through the end of the fiscal year that follows the faculty member’s death.
c. Types of Units. The College owns several types of rental housing, including single-family homes and multi-family units. Merrill Place and Joseph Smith House are multi-family units primarily used as rental units by junior faculty, visiting faculty, junior lecturers and coaches who have not achieved senior contact status. Requests for reassignment cannot be made for a period of at least three years.
d. Rental Plan. Junior faculty, visiting faculty, and junior lecturers and coaches who have not yet achieved senior contact status are eligible to rent College housing units. Upon receiving tenure or senior contract status, a renter may only remain in rental housing for two years. Any occupant who was a tenured member of the faculty, a senior contract coach, or a tenure track faculty who later received tenure , or certain administrator, as of March 2, 1998, and who did not wish to or was not qualified to purchase his/her home at that time, may remain in his/her assigned unit only. A comprehensive annual listing of rentals will be available from the Rental Property Department. Annual rent increases are determined by the Rental Property Department. It is recommended that renter's insurance covering personal belongings and liability be secured by all renters of College housing.
e. Maintenance Practices. Residents of College rental housing must take reasonable care of the premises and advise the Rental Property Department of conditions needing attention. It is expected that if a tenant is moving, the premises will be left in good order, within reasonable standards of cleanliness and repair. All alterations or improvements must be done by or approved by the College. Details about maintenance practices, interior decorating requests, alterations and improvements, and procedures for service and repair calls are available in the Rental Property Department.
f. Subletting. The College requires that a rental house or unit be occupied as a primary residence by the individual to whom it is assigned. Subletting of a College housing unit is limited to periods of sabbatical leaves and other authorized leaves of absence. Written notification to the Rental Property Department of a subletting arrangement is required and must include the name(s) of the sublessee(s) and the dates the house or unit is to be sublet. A one month security deposit is required of all residents subletting their College housing units. Subletting is subject to the approval of the Director of Rental Property.
g. House Purchase Plan. Certain single-family houses are available for sale to tenured members of the faculty, senior lecturers, senior-contract coaches and certain administrators. Details regarding terms of sale under the house purchase plan, including purchase price, financing, and the College's repurchase rights, are outlined below.
(1) Purchase Price. The purchase price is 80% of the independently appraised value established by a College appointed firm. If a potential eligible buyer, or eventually, a potential eligible seller, wishes to contest this appraisal, he or she may hire an appraiser for another estimate of value. If the two estimates are within 5% of each other, the mean between the two will be taken as the final appraisal. If the two estimates are more than 5% apart, then a third appraiser, to be mutually agreed upon and paid by the College and the eligible buyer/seller, will make a third estimate which will be the agreed upon value. The current condition of the home, its deficiencies and necessities, will be reflected in the independent appraised value. Any reasonable environmental abatement (including lead paint or asbestos removal) requested by the purchaser will be performed, at the College’s expense, prior to any purchase.
(2) Financing. If the buyer wishes to obtain a subsidized second mortgage from the College the buyer must obtain a first mortgage through a bank or mortgage company of at least 5% of the purchase price. The College will make available and subsidize a second mortgage of up to $75,000, but no greater than 75% of the first mortgage.
(3) Additional Terms. The home must be the purchaser’s primary residence and must be occupied by the individual to whom it is sold. The home must be resold to Amherst College if the buyer ceases to be an eligible employee, or ceases to maintain it as a primary residence, or the home ceases to be owner occupied.
(4) Terms of Resale. Upon resale to the College, the price will be 80% of the appraised value at the time of resale. (Value to be established by the same appraisal guidelines found under Purchase Price.) The following events will initiate the resale to the College: Retirement, if the buyer ceases to be an eligible employee, divorce of eligible employee, death of eligible employee, and if the property is not the primary residence of the eligible employee.
The following timelines are applicable:
|Separating Faculty||At time of separation|
|Retired Faculty||May retain ownership for 2 years|
|Widow(ers) of eligible employees||May retain ownership for 5 years|
|Divorced Spouses of eligible employees||May stay in unit for 2 years after divorce|
h. Enhanced Second Mortgage Plan. The College makes available a twenty-year, below market second mortgage to tenure-track and tenured members of the faculty (and to certain contract coaches and administrators) who purchase as a primary residence a non-College house within a 30-mile radius of the center of Amherst, Massachusetts. The Plan is available only to first-time borrowers from the College and is not available for refinancing. The residence must be owner occupied.
The Enhanced Second Mortgage is for a period of 20 years, at a variable rate set for a three-year term, at 1.5 percentage points below the three-year variable rate on January 1st charged by the Amherst Branch of the Bank of America for first mortgages. The mortgage will be subject to caps that will limit the increase in the interest rate, at the time of the reset, to no more than 2 percentage points over the prior rate. The increase in the interest rate, over the life of the mortgage, shall not exceed 6 percentage points over the initial rate. A down payment of 5% of the purchase price is required of any buyer utilizing the Enhanced Second Mortgage Plan.
i. Matching Grant Plan. For each house sold by the College, 10% of the purchase price will be made available to the purchaser to help pay for the cost of capital home improvements that will upgrade or maintain the structure and/or the systems of the house or the property. The matching grant fund will pay for up to one-third of the cost of the approved project. These improvements must be in the nature of capital improvements such as roof repairs, or upgrades or repairs to the utility systems, driveway paving or insulation. Routine painting, wallpapering, renovations of kitchens or bathrooms, and replacement of carpets are examples of non-qualifying repairs or maintenance. All requests must be made to the Director of Facilities/Associate Treasurer before any work is performed on the project. The Director of Facilities/Associate Treasurer, in consultation with other members of the Administration, will determine whether a project qualifies for a Matching Grant. These grants will be taxable income to the homeowners.
j. Architectural Review. Plans for exterior alterations to College houses purchased under the Housing Program are subject to review and approval under the Architectural Guidelines.
Exceptions to the practices described above are subject to consultation with the Faculty Housing Committee.
All terms of the Housing Program are subject to periodic review by the Trustees of the College and by Administration to determine whether the Program is achieving its goals. The Trustees reserve the right to alter or amend the terms of the Program and the eligibility criteria as the Trustees deem necessary or warranted.