Yale’s New Haven Homebuyer Program, which offers university employees an income benefit if they purchase a home in the Elm City, notched its 1,000th participant this December.

University President Richard Levin first introduced the homebuyer program in 1994, offering employees a maximum $30,000 incentive to purchase and occupy a house in New Haven. To date, Yale has disbursed $25 million in bonuses and grants to the program’s 1,013 participants. University trustees voted at their most recent meeting on Dec. 10 to renew the program for another two year period.

“It gives me tremendous satisfaction that the Yale Homebuyer Program has led so many colleagues to invest in New Haven’s neighborhoods, enjoy the benefits of living here, and contribute to our community’s renaissance,” said Levin.

Participants must be permanent Yale employees working 20 hours or more per week. After an employee purchases a home, the program provides a $5,000 first-year bonus and an annual $2,500 grant for up to 10 years. The homebuyer benefit applies to homes purchased in Wooster Square, the eastern portion of East Rock, Beaver Hills, Newhallville, Dixwell, Dwight, Fair Haven, the Hill, Newhallville and West Hills.

Of the homebuyer participants since 1994, 29 percent are members of the Yale faculty, 27 percent are management and professional staff, 31 percent are clerical and technical staff, and 13 percent are service and maintenance staff.

According to the U.S. Census, New Haven has seen the largest population growth from 2000 to 2010 of any city with over 100,000 residents in New England.