The company offers mortgage insurance payments

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The Redwood Trust believes this advantage will attract a more diverse workforce and increase employee retention.

The mortgage company, which saw firsthand the problems of rising house prices, took a step to ease the burden of its employees.

And they did it with what they believe is the first-ever benefit offering: raising the cost of mortgage insurance, an expense that can add a few hundred dollars – or more – to a monthly mortgage payment. Young people and minority buyers are often affected for the first time, as only those buyers who do not have the required 20% down payment on the purchase price of a home must purchase mortgage insurance. The policy protects lenders from default, but buyers pay the bill – usually 0.5% to 1.5% of the original loan amount per year.

Sasha Macomber of Redwood Trust

Redwood Trust, which has offices in expensive Denver, New York and Irvine, California, and corporate headquarters in the even more expensive San Francisco Bay Area, has introduced new perks for its 250 employees since May 1, says Sasha Macomber. Chief HR Specialist.

According to Macomber, as the Redwood Trust has considered increasing benefits in recent years, leaders have focused on health and wellness, including financial well-being and “the overall well-being that can be achieved through a quality home”.

It only needs to be strengthened during pandemicof course, because homes have become “everything to us: our schools, our gyms, our workplaces,” she says. Combining the company’s mission to provide quality housing for everyone with the knowledge that 8 out of 10 Americans believe that affordability is an issue, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, “Mortgage insurance came to us as something that could be perfectly acceptable … innovative “.

In some parts of the country, the 20% prepayment can be a particularly big hurdle, especially for young and diverse workers, she said. As such, this benefit is consistent with both Redwood’s mission and its diversity efforts to help young employees and those in different stages of their careers. Executives also believe it will increase employee retention.

Interest has been high so far, but Macomber acknowledges that not everyone will be eligible for this advantage. “We really focused on the employees we felt we were the most about,” she says. “We definitely want to add [for other employees] with time.”

The company also encouraged other organizations to follow suit, saying the exemption is easier to establish than, for example, a complex down payment aid. “We wanted to offer something that was easy to apply,” she says. “The costs add up, and that’s a significant benefit.”

Redwood Trust offers insurance claims as compensation. It is too early to say how much the company can spend on the bonus, she said.

Related: Learn more about employee benefits from HRE here

Elizabeth Clark – executive editor of the magazine HR manager… She earned her degree in journalism from the University of Florida and then worked as a reporter and editor in South Florida for over 25 years before joining her. HRE… Elizabeth lives with her family in Palm Beach County. She can be contacted at eclarke@lrp.com.



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