That’s the offer from a group of downtown Detroit businesses, including a staffing firm.
Called Live Downtown, the program leverages cash that five companies, including Strategic Staffing Solutions Inc. (S3), has thrown into the hat for employees who agree to live or rent in the downtown area.
Live Downtown promises incoming employees up to $20,000 if they buy a home in or near downtown Detroit. It also promises as much as $3,500 for renters. The Detroit area includes downtown, Corktown, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park and Woodbridge.
S3, together with Quicken Loans Inc., Compuware Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and DTE Energy Co. will pool about $4 million for the five-year effort to attract people to Michigan’s largest city. Altogether the program is available to about 15,000 employees.
The staffing firm is ranked the 4th largest Detroit-area women-owned business by Crain’s Detroit Business. The other companies all rank among the city’s top employers and all have moved their corporate headquarters into downtown Detroit.
Administered by Midtown Detroit Inc. – a new organization born of the merge between the New Center Council and the University Cultural Center Association – and coordinated by Downtown Detroit Partnership, the incentive is expected to be offered to about 500 downtown Detroit employees of S3.
According to a spokesperson at Strategic Staffing Solutions, the firm is working to include its contract consultants in the plan.
Live Downtown could expect to fund up to 250 workers annually. That estimate is based on a similar program launched by Midtown Detroit Inc. launched last January. That program, available to about 30,000 workers, has brought in 193 approvals so far.
The Hudson-Webber Foundation, which has provided matching funds for Live Midtown, will contribute about $140,000 for Live Downtown administrative costs.