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Yale Encourages Faculty, Staff to Move Into Blighted Neighborhoods

December 2, 1995

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Yale University, a picturesque gothic campus surrounded by neighborhoods of urban blight, is trying to change that view by paying faculty and staff thousands of dollars to move in next door.

The Ivy League institution, which since last year offered 10 annual payments of $2,000 for employees who buy homes anywhere in New Haven, on Friday offered a one-time $4,000 incentive for those buying in seven neighborhoods around the campus.

``As institutions, we have roles for citizenship in our community,″ said Linda Koch Lorimer, Yale’s vice president and secretary. ``We are hoping to make a real contribution to the life of the city.″

Lorimer said the new incentive, valid through the end of 1997, follows an initial phase of the program that more than doubled expectations.

Since the program began, more than half of all single-family homes bought in the city have gone to Yale employees, Lorimer said.

By the end of this year, 200 employees will have bought homes in New Haven. However, only 32 of those people bought homes within the seven neighborhoods now being targeted.

But one group of residents took offense. Mark Roffman of the Edgewood Neighborhood Association said he and other residents were not consulted about the plan and called it ``one more sad example of Yale’s misguided social engineering.″

Yale spokesman Thomas Conroy said the university had consulted with residents. ``It’s difficult to find what’s objectionable,″ he said.

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