St. Louis Homebuilders Launch Seventh Year Of Union Stimulus Home Buying Program


A home buying stimulus program that successfully energized homebuilding during the Great Recession will launch its seventh year in May and support emerging trends in home ownership.  The Neighborhoods Built by Your Neighbors Program unites a group of St. Louis’ largest homebuilders and the construction trades to offer incentives to homebuyers.  Since it was launched in 2011, the program has built 1,680 homes housing approximately 5,000 people.

The construction trades are contributing nearly $1 million to the stimulus program, which will offer from $2,000 to $10,000 cash for use at closing based on the sales price of the home for the month of May. The savings will be offered on new homes built by the partnership of homebuilders and construction trades in Missouri communities.

The partnership members on the homebuilding side include Bridgewater CommunitiesFischer & FrichtelMcBride & Son HomesMcKelvey HomesPayne Family Homes and Simon Homes.  Among the construction trades, the partnership includes the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1St. Louis- Kansas City Carpenters Regional CouncilPlumbers & Pipefitters Local 562Sheet Metal Workers Local 36Greater St. Louis Construction Laborers, Painters District Council 58 and Cement Mason’s Local 527.

“The stimulus program put the dream of owning a home within reach even during the depths of the Great Recession,” said John F. Eilermann Jr., chairman and CEO of McBride & Son Companies. “With the economy strengthening, we want to sustain momentum and make home ownership possible for those on the margins, including Millennials who are beginning to embrace home ownership.”

Millennials were once thought to shun home ownership, but Money Magazine recently reported on a Bank of America report showing that Millennials, aged 18-34, now plan to own a home.

“Beyond helping people entering the home buying market who otherwise would not be able to afford a new home, the program is all about showing that good paying union jobs leads to more people buying homes and stimulating the economy as a whole, “ said Al Bond, executive secretary-treasurer of St. Louis- Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council. “The name of the program says it all ‘Neighborhoods built by your Neighbors’.”

Buyers of new homes will average $5,000 in cash from the unions for use at closing.

“We see this as not only a way to stimulate home buying, but to introduce another generation of home owners to the enduring value of our electrical and communications work” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  IBEW and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association are uniting to support the program though its Electrical Connection partnership.

The program, which runs only during the month of May, showcases the unique and progressive relationship between St. Louis area unions and private homebuilders. It fact, it’s the only of its kind in the United States and is exclusive to the partnership members,

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

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

“This program is about neighbors coming together to make a difference,” stated 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.”

Certificates will be distributed on a first come basis. The Union contributions are based upon man hours by trade on an average St. Louis home.

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

“We are proud to be a part of this program; and giving an unprecedented deal for buyers,” said Bridgewater Communities President Tim Miller.

“We are pleased to be engaged in the stimulus program again as it is a great opportunity to showcase the quality, affordability and value that professional contractors employing well-trained union construction trades  can deliver,” said Doug Martin, CEO, of St. Louis Chapter NECA.  “NECA contractors and the IBEW work very closely with the homebuilders to thoughtfully plan and deliver residential electrical systems that integrate state-of-the-art technology with safe, reliable, code-compliant installation expertise.”

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