Housing affordability is a major career issue for police officers, firefighters, teachers and nurses, according to a Bank of America survey. About 60 percent of respondents in these occupations said that their ability to own a home, based on their salary, influences their decision about whether to continue to work within their profession and within their community.

The survey included 2,000 interviews conducted with a sample of 1,000 homeowners and 1,000 non-homeowners who are police officers, firefighters, teachers (kindergarten through 12th grade, in public and private schools), and nurses (licensed, registered and practical who work in hospitals and doctors’ offices). Each sample of 1,000 utilized 250 respondents from each field and used equal numbers of respondents from each of 10 major city areas. A total of 100 interviews were conducted within each of 10 of the largest metro areas, broken out evenly for each audience. For each sample of 1,000, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level

“Substantial research shows that there is a profound need to make it more feasible and possible for our ‘neighborhood champions’ to own a home,” said Kevin Shannon, Bank of America Consumer Real Estate president. “Our latest survey amplifies these findings, looking at the home ownership needs, priorities and obstacles faced by law enforcement officers, firefighters, teachers and medical personnel.”

Additional findings from the research will be subsequently released, according to an announcement today. According to a June 2003 study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, people working in the law enforcement, firefighting, education and medical professions have about a one-in-three chance of finding a home they can afford, and a three-in-10 chance of finding a home they can afford in the surrounding suburbs. And median incomes earned by workers in these occupations is less than the minimum needed to qualify for a median-priced home, according to a study by the National Housing Conference.

Bank of America offers a Neighborhood Champions program that is designed to provide flexible mortgage financing for full-time educators or employees at the primary, secondary or college/university education levels; part-time teachers; full-time sworn members or employees of a police or other law enforcement department or related profession; full-time firefighters of employees of a fire department or related profession; and full-time medical professionals including, but not limited to nurses, nursing assistants, medical technicians or employees of a hospital, nursing facility or doctor’s office employees. Available nationally, the bank’s Neighborhood Champions programs features greater flexibility with credit scores and credit histories, no income restrictions and requires little to no down payments.

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving 33 million consumer relationships with 5,700 retail banking offices.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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