Long Island companies are helping its workers with down payments...

Long Island companies are helping its workers with down payments on homes. (Undated) Credit: iStock

Two local companies are crowing these days over the success of programs that help employees buy homes on Long Island.

BAE Systems, a defense contractor in Greenlawn that employs 819 workers, said 16 employees have each been given $5,000 grants toward down payments on homes in Nassau or Suffolk counties. The program began in 2007.

Maria Felix, a company spokeswoman, said "a bunch more" have applied recently.

Officials said the program is open "to all employees in good standing."

At Northrop Grumman Corp. in Bethpage, whose program started in 2005, 18 employees have each been given $5,000 toward down payments, said Tom Sullivan, the company's real estate manager. Northrop Grumman handed out $40,000 in down-payment grants last year alone. A number of would-be homeowners also wanted to take advantage of the Obama administration's $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, he added.

Marcelo Lopez was the first Northrop Grumman employee to receive $5,000 for a down payment, in November 2005. Lopez, then a 29-year-old engineer, bought a home in Levittown after renting for years. He is still with the company.