With coronavirus vaccination rates plateauing and delta variant infections rising, a mortgage lender is throwing money into the problem.
Neat Capital will offer its mortgage purchase and refinancing applicants a $ 500 discount on closing costs for loans with a proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated borrowers are also eligible for credit provided they present valid medical or religious deterrent against vaccination.
Neat is also keen to create or join a coalition to promote vaccination across the industry, according to CEO Luke Johnson.
"Financial services companies are always slow to make progress," said Johnson. “Working in a highly regulatory environment reduces the desire to address important community issues, especially in a highly politicized context. Vaccinations are becoming a reasonable expectation of safety and companies face real risks in making their customers sick. "
Neat, based in Boulder, Colorado, requires vaccinations for its employees, although they can be exempted for medical or religious reasons. All unvaccinated workers must wear a mask at all times in the office.
Currently, the official vaccination guidelines vary in the housing industry. Remax, a real estate brokerage company with independent franchises, has established remote working capabilities and relies on its employees to make the best decisions for themselves, a company official said. Several states are offering scholarship raffles and even lottery entries for vacation stays and cash prizes to help increase vaccination rates.
"We have real conversations with our teammates about empathy and the importance of vaccinations," said Johnson. “We have a colleague with severe autoimmune deficiency who cannot be vaccinated – and I'm not sure if either of us could live with ourselves if we made her seriously ill because we were too selfish to get stung will."
Neat's approach to its employees' vaccination status and the new $ 500 program might just be the beginning of similar mandates. On August 23, the Food and Drug Administration upgraded Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine to full approval from emergency approval for children 16 and over, giving companies the foundation to make this a requirement.