ST. LOUIS – BJC Health Care and Washington University found a way to help their 52,000 employees own a home through their Live Near Your Work homeownership program.

“The Live Near Your Work program is a forgivable home loan program for employees of Wash U and BJC who are benefits eligible,” Lisa Weingarth, Washington University’s senior advisor for St. Louis initiatives, said. “Through the program, employees can get up to a $12,500 forgivable home loan.”

The rewarding benefit of this home loan is that it’s forgivable after five years of living in the home, which helps employees become homeowners.

“And it is really intended to help our employees to purchase a home,” Weingrath said. “That is close to the university or in neighborhoods that have been historically disinvested.”

Twenty-six years after launching the program, BJC Health Care and Washington University are expanding the list of eligible neighborhoods.

“With the new expanded zip codes, we are now expanding the program with BJC into north and other parts of St. Louis City. Plus, the University City Third Ward,” Weingrath said.

Anne Peterson is one of the more than 400 Washington University employees who have used the program to find her family’s home.

“We were one of the first few employees to take part in this program,” she said. “It was a huge benefit to us. We were thinking to buy our first (home) and plant roots in St. Louis.”

Peterson is grateful for the program because it has made the financial, professional, and family aspects of her life easier.

“I love living close to work and knowing my commute is short, so I can drop my kids off at daycare and be at work within five to 10 minutes,” she said.

For more information on how to apply for the Live Near Your Work homeownership and neighborhood stabilization program, visit