For Immediate Release - November 30, 2011

AG Coakley Awards $155,000 in Grants to Promote Asset Building

Funding a Result of Settlement with Mortgage Company for Alleged Discriminatory Practices

BOSTON — Four organizations were awarded a total of $155,000 in grants aimed at promoting asset building in low-income communities across the Commonwealth, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

“We are pleased that our civil rights investigation into unfair lending practices has resulted in our office being able to award this grant money,” said AG Coakley.  “The grants will fund constructive programs across Massachusetts to help educate and assist those pursuing financial goals and economic self-sufficiency.”

The grants were awarded to four organizations – Crittenton Women’s Union, Chelsea Restoration Corporation, Holyoke Community Land Trust, and the Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Trust Fund – that provide consumer education and assistance pertaining to increasing household assets or savings, debt management, investment, job development and small business opportunities.  Some programs will help consumers create long-term plans for economic self-sufficiency, while others enhance assistance for first-time homebuyers.  One program will expand their first-time homebuyers program specifically for the purpose of serving more armed service veterans.  Other programs will use the grants to rehabilitate homes for first-time homebuyers and hold train-the-trainer financial literacy conferences around the state. 

The following organizations were awarded grant funding:

  • Crittenton Women’s Union
  • Chelsea Restoration Corporation
  • Holyoke Community Land Trust
  • Treasurers’ Financial Literacy Trust Fund

The funding for this grant program stems from a settlement obtained by the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division against Massachusetts’ largest residential mortgage leader, Mortgage Master, for alleged discriminatory lending practices.  As a part of the settlement, Mortgage Master paid restitution to affected borrowers and provided funds to support consumer-oriented organizations in Massachusetts.

The grant was open to organizations within Massachusetts that provide services and support to low-income communities.  The four chosen organizations were selected based on their history of success, the fit between the purpose of the grant and the proposed use of the funds, and the need within the target population, among other criteria.

The grant period will begin on December 1, 2011 and the grant money must be utilized by December 31, 2012.