Dean of the Faculty

The Housing Program

The College assists employees 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 a Matching Grant Plan. An Enhanced Second Mortgage Plan is also offered to eligible employees.  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.

After consultation with the Faculty Housing Committee, 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. 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 systems described below.

a. The Rental Housing Program.

The Housing Assignment period for rental units is from mid-April through the last day of August. Eligible employees are advised of housing units that are expected to be available during the next academic year. Employees who want to be considered for rental vacancies during the housing assignment period must submit a Housing Request Form 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.

Rental units are assigned on the basis of a point system based on (1) number of years of service, (2) number of children, and (3) rank when appointed to Amherst.  The points associated with each of these categories are described below.
           
(1) Points 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 point for the spring housing assignment period of that academic year.

(2) Points for Each Child. One point is given for each dependent child as defined by Internal Revenue Service regulations. An exception is made for a child in utero. If at the start of the Housing assignment period, a pregnancy is known to exist, an additional one point is given.

(3) Points for Rank at time of Appointment to Amherst. This category reflects credit for rank at the time of original appointment to Amherst College. These points assist faculty who may have been in academia prior to appointment to Amherst. The points associated with rank are given in the table below.  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 who is appointed (without tenure) to Amherst at the rank of Associate Professor, would be entitled to six points under this category. A Professor who was originally appointed as an Assistant Professor would receive two points.

 

 

Rank

Points for Rank when Appointed to Amherst

Assistant Professor

2

Associate Professor

6

Professor

10


Information of how a particular title correlates to the point system ranking is available from the Office of Human Resources.

The President can make special housing assignments that serve the interest of the College at his/her discretion.

Rental housing is generally intended for the use by tenure-track faculty members, junior coaches, and visiting faculty. 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, a tenure-track faculty who later received tenure, or an administrator eligible for rental housing, 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.

The following categories of employees are eligible for College Rental Housing.

Current Employees - Assistant Professors, Junior Contract Coaches, and Junior Lecturers – These individuals are eligible to either move within the housing system or move from off campus into rental housing. 

New Employees to the College -  Assistant Professors, Junior Contract Coaches, Junior Lecturers, full-time Visiting Professors of all ranks, and eligible Visiting Lecturers.

The procedure for the assignment of rental housing units is as follows.

Current Employees – Points will be assigned as described above and employees with the highest number of points will be offered housing first.  In the case of a tie in points, Assistant Professors and Junior Lecturers will be assigned units first, followed by Junior Contract Coaches. A game of chance (such as a coin toss) will be used to break ties within the two groupings.

Once all eligible current employees have been given the opportunity to select housing, eligible new employees will be offered housing as delineated below.

New Employees to the College – The assignments to new employees will proceed in a two step process.  Rental housing will be assigned first to new Assistant Professors, new Junior Contract Coaches, and new Junior Lecturers.  Points will be assigned according the system described above.  In the case of a tie in points, Assistant Professors and Junior Lecturers will be assigned units first, followed by Junior Contract Coaches. A game of chance (such as a coin toss) will be used to break ties within the two groupings.

Once all eligible new Assistant Professors, new Junior Contract Coaches, and new Junior Lecturers have been given the opportunity to select housing, the assignment of rental housing units to all other qualifying new employees will be made in accordance with the point system.

Assignment to housing typically 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. Occupants of college rental housing are required to sign a lease defining the terms and conditions of the rental.  Conditions of maintenance and terms of payment are detailed in the letter of assignment and lease.  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.

In the case of vacancies occurring after the end of the housing assignment period and through the following June, the Director of Rental Property, in consultation with the Housing Committee, may make temporary assignments to eligible employees 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.

Maintenance.  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 from the Rental Property Department.

Subletting.  The College requires that a rental 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 or 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.

b. The House Purchase Plan.

Some single-family houses are available for sale to tenured members of the faculty, senior lecturers, senior-contract coaches and eligible administrators. Priority in purchasing a home is determined by a point system identical to one that governs the rental housing program, except that a faculty member’s rank on July 1 of that year’s purchase solicitation determines the following additional points.

Rank

Points for Rank at time of Offering

Associate Professor

6

Professor

9

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 (section c below), 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 when the former spouse retains possession of house, 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

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.

Architectural Review.  Plans for exterior alterations to houses purchased from the College under the Housing Program are subject to review and approval under the Architectural Guidelines.

c. House Purchase Subsidy Program

The purchase subsidy options are available to tenure-track and tenured members of the Faculty, junior and senior contract coaches, and certain administrators who are first-time purchasers of a house while employed by Amherst College.  Purchasers may take advantage of this program only once.  A maximum of $30,000 is available for this one-time only benefit. If more than one eligible individual is applying for a subsidy to purchase a property, the combined subsidy payments cannot exceed the limits noted below.

These options are not available for a refinancing or a renovation of a home.  The house must be located within a thirty-mile radius of the center of Amherst and must be occupied at all times as the borrower’s principal residence.

Terms and conditions are effective February 1, 2014.

There are three different subsidy options. Only one may be selected.

Option One

Seven-year loan, interest free, up to $30,000

This is an unsecured loan and is intended to be down payment assistance. This loan may not be assumed by another person or entity.  Payments required under the terms of this loan will be made monthly by payroll deduction.  Should the borrower retire and payroll deductions are insufficient to meet the obligation, then arrangements satisfactory to the College will be made.

In the event of the borrower’s retirement with the approval of the College, or death, the loan shall become payable ninety days after demand by the College. Such demand may be made at any time prior to maturity. Unless and until such demand is made: (a) if the borrower has at least ten years of service at the time of retirement or death, the loan shall be payable in accordance with its original terms; or (b) if the borrower has less than ten years of service at the time of retirement or death, the loan shall become payable two years after the date of the applicable event.

The loan shall also become due and payable: (a) upon demand at such time as the borrower ceases to occupy the house as a principal residence; or (b) within ninety days after the date the borrower’s employment at the College is terminated for reasons other than retirement.

The loan may be paid off before maturity without penalty.

Imputed income will be calculated based on the mid-term AFR in the month of the loan.

Option Two

Fifteen-year loan, below market interest, up to $30,000

The interest rate on the loan will be set at 1.5 percent below the federal rate for long-term loans at the date of the loan.  This is an unsecured loan and is intended to be down payment assistance. This loan may not be assumed by another person or entity.  Payments required under the terms of this loan will be made monthly by payroll deduction. Should the borrower retire and payroll deductions are insufficient to meet the obligation, then arrangements satisfactory to the College will be made.

In the event of the borrower’s retirement with the approval of the College, or death, the loan shall become payable ninety days after demand by the College. Such demand may be made at any time prior to maturity. Unless and until such demand is made: (a) if the borrower has at least ten years of service at the time of retirement or death, the loan shall be payable in accordance with its original terms; or (b) if the borrower has less than ten years of service at the time of retirement or death, the loan shall become payable two years after the date of the applicable event.

The loan shall also become due and payable: (a) upon demand at such time as the borrower ceases to occupy the house as a principal residence; or (b) within ninety days after the date the borrower’s employment at the College is terminated for reasons other than retirement.

The loan may be paid off before maturity without penalty.

Imputed income will be calculated based on the difference between the rate on the loan and the long term AFR in the month of the loan.

Option Three 

Monthly mortgage subsidy in the amount of $75.00 per month for seven years.  

Payment of the subsidy will be paid via stipend and added to monthly wages.

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.