CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- It's no secret it's tough to buy a house in Charlottesville because it's so expensive.
The average price is $283,000, and it's really tough on city police officers who make on average $38,000 to $50,000 a year.
That's where the Charlottesville Police Foundation comes in.
The group, founded in 2007, has been giving $20,000 grants to qualifying police offers to make down payments on a condo or single-family house in Charlottesville, or three miles outside of the city limits, so they can live where they patrol.
Mindy Goodall, the Executive Director of the Charlottesville Police Foundation, says it's not a loan.
"The really unique part of the program is if the police officer stays in the Charlottesville Police Department and in the home for five years, at the end of the five years, they owe nothing," she said. "So it's not a loan, it's a forgivable grant over the course of five years."
She adds the foundation has given 13 $20,000 grants since 2008. It tries to give out two to three grants per year.
Goodall also says it's a way for the community and police to forge a better relationship.
If you would like to help out, you can go to their website and find out how you can donate by clicking on the link in the Related Links box.