There’s No Place Like Home

BNL Housing Program

Pictured are some of the recent participants in the BNL Housing Program. Seated are Ernie Tucker and Liz Gilbert, Human Resources and Occupational Medicine, who coordinate the program. Standing, from left are Nicole Jenkins, Safeguards and Security Division; Christine Giammarino, Fiscal Services Division; and John Galvin, Community, Education, Government, and Public Affairs. Missing from the photo is Ray Fliller, National Synchrotron Light Source II, who was unable to make the photo because he was busy unpacking at his newly acquired home the day this photo was taken.

“There’s no place like home.” That’s what several BNLers are saying after receiving grants from the Lab’s housing assistance program and the Long Island Housing Partnership toward the down payment for their first home.

In early 2009, the Laboratory partnered with the Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP) under the “Employee Assisted Housing Program” to work with employees who may qualify for a BNL contribution of up to $5,000 toward the purchase of their first home, and for additional grant funding through the LIHP. Coordinating the Lab’s program are Ernie Tucker and Liz Gilbert of the Human Resources and Occupational Medicine Division, who review applications and link employees with staff at the LIHP. In addition to the grants, the LIHP offers financial guidance on the mortgage process to first-time home buyers. The LIHP also offers counseling and information on refinancing and default mortgage loans.

Tucker said there are currently eight employees participating in the Lab’s program. “I must note that without the help of John Hauser, the Assistant Laboratory Director for Finance at the time the program started, I don’t think our program would be quite as successful,” said Tucker. “John really jump-started the program by coordinating the financial portion for BNL.” Hauser said he was happy to be part of a program that was so beneficial to employees. “When Ernie approached me about this program, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for BNL to demonstrate its commitment to employees. Home ownership is a big part of the American dream, and BNL is all about good people improving the quality of life. In this instance, everybody benefits," said Hauser.

John Galvin of the Community, Education, Government and Public Affairs Directorate was one of the first employees to apply for grant money through the program. “I was extremely pleased and thankful, not just for the monetary assistance from the Lab and LIHP, but for the financial guidance I received from LIHP that helped me fully understand the mortgage and house closing processes. I was amazed at how smoothly the process went,” said Galvin. “Under the LIHP program, funds can also be granted to refurbish and update existing homes, for items such as siding, windows, and heating systems. I am currently in the process of having my home vinyl-sided. With the help of this program, I am enjoying home ownership.”

Christine Giammarino, who works in the Fiscal Services Division, is scheduled to close on her home in the next few weeks. “Once I heard about this program from Ernie Tucker, I started spending my free time looking at houses in various neighborhoods,” she said. “It took me some time, but I believe I have found the perfect place for me and my son to call home. I will be forever grateful for the assistance I have received from the Lab and LIHP.”

Tucker and Gilbert both agree that this program is valuable. Said Tucker, “During the photography session for this story we witnessed enthusiastic conversations among the program participants. They were comparing notes and talking about their new homes and their future plans. We smiled as we listened to their conversations. It feels good to share the excitement of home ownership with our fellow employees.”

Perhaps Nicole Jenkins of the Safeguards and Security Division said it best: “This program is just one of the many benefits offered by BNL. It feels good knowing your employer really cares about you, not just at work, but also at home. For me, working at the Lab is like celebrating a holiday every day.”

For more information on the Lab’s Housing Assistance Program contact Ernie Tucker, Ext. 5735, or Liz Gilbert, Ext. 2315,

For more information on the Long Island Housing Partnership go to the LIHP website.

2009-1465  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom