Aflac honored for employer-assisted housing program

Homes for Working Families awarded Aflac with its 2008 Pioneer Award for the company's employer-assisted housing program.

“We are proud to have a program that helps employees realize their dream of owning a home for the first time,” Paul S. Amos II, Aflac president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. ”Our investment has not only made a difference in the lives of our employees, it has strengthened our sense of community and civic pride."

Aflac was profiled in the Homes for Working Families' publication entitled "Understanding Employer-Assisted Housing: A Guidebook for Employers."

An employer-assisted housing program can including homeownership education, counseling and financial assistance for homebuyers or renters — benefits that employers can offer to help workers afford homes.

Aflac established its program — a partnership with NeighborWorks Columbus — in 2002. It provides grants to Aflac employees to purchase their first home. It also offers additional funds if they buy in certain neighborhoods.

The company provides down payment and closing cost assistance as well as homeownership and financial counseling.

More than 200 employees have participated in the program. Forty-four have bought their first home.

Aflac was one of 14 organizations recognized. The list includes CVS Caremark, the Schwann Food Company and the University of Chicago.

Homes for Working Families is a national non-profit organization that attempts to push policy changes that help working families find affordable, quality homes.