Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Home Loan Program for Massachusetts Military Veterans
"Home for the Brave" program will provide safe, affordable mortgages and special services for qualified veterans
"Brave men and women from Massachusetts are serving their country overseas to fight for our freedom and to protect our way of life," said Governor Patrick. "They deserve every opportunity to live the American Dream, and this program will help deserving veterans do just that."
"For all the sacrifices they make on our behalf, it is critical that we do everything we can to help Massachusetts' veterans reach the dream of home ownership,'' said Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, who chairs the Governor's Advisory Committee on Veterans Services. "The Home for the Brave mortgage shows our appreciation to our veterans while also providing them with the peace of mind of knowing they will have assistance if they are redeployed.''
The "Home for the Brave" program was developed by MassHousing, the state's affordable housing bank, in consultation with the Veterans Housing Sub-Committee of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Veterans Services.
Veterans will have access to a low- or no-down payment mortgages from participating banks and credit unions. So far forty-two lending institutions have committed $187 million in private funding to the program. Fannie Mae has provided a $300,000 grant to assist with closing costs for the first 200 veterans who take advantage of the program.
The "Home for the Brave" program mortgage offers qualified veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces living in Massachusetts:
- 100-percent financing with no down payment required for single-family homes or condominiums, 97-percent financing for two, three and four-family properties.
- Discounted interest rates fixed for a minimum of 10 years.
- Loans come with MassHousing's MI Plus™ mortgage insurance, which will pay the principal and interest on a veteran's mortgage for up to six months in the event of a job loss or deployment.
- Disabled veterans can access funds from the U.S. Veterans Administration for accessibility upgrades to their homes.
- Borrowers can earn up to 135 percent of the median income for the city or town in which they are purchasing a home. Income limits vary, but may be as high as $111,240.
MassHousing will also insure veterans' loans with its MI Plus™ mortgage insurance, which will allow veterans to receive 100-percent financing with no down payment for single-family homes and condominiums. MI Plus™ will also pay the principal and interest on a veteran's mortgage for up to six months in the event of a job loss or deployment.
To be eligible for a Home for the Brave mortgage, one must be a veteran as defined under M.G.L. c. 4, sec. 7, cl. 43rd as amended by the Acts of 2005, ch. 130. Borrowers must also have good credit and meet other underwriting standards. There are an estimated 400,000 veterans in Massachusetts, according to the Department of Veterans Services.
"Taking the burden of worry from the shoulders of the service men and women who are serving this great nation of ours is the right thing to do. We've read about military families losing their homes because they can't make their mortgage payments. This program will lessen the chance that it will happen here in Massachusetts. We welcome the Home for the Brave mortgage program as another state benefit in this great Commonwealth," said Secretary Tom Kelley of the Department of Veterans' Services.
The MassHousing-approved lenders participating in the "Home for the Brave" program are:
Bank of Canton
BankFive of Fall River
Bank Belmont Savings Bank
Cape Ann Savings Bank
Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank
Chicopee Savings Bank
Country Bank for Savings
Crescent Credit Union
Dedham Savings Bank
East Boston Savings Bank
Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank
Fidelity Cooperative Bank
First Citizen's Federal Credit Union
Greenfield Cooperative Bank
Greylock Federal Credit Union
Meetinghouse Cooperative Bank
Metropolitan Credit Union
Middlesex Savings Bank
Milford National Bank
Monson Savings Bank
Mt. Washington Bank
North Easton Savings Bank
Norwood Cooperative Bank
Peoples Bank of Holyoke
Randolph Savings Bank
Rollstone Bank and Trust
Scituate Federal Savings Bank
South Shore Bank
St. Mary's Credit Union
Watertown Savings Bank
Webster Five Cents Saving Bank
Winter Hill Federal Savings Bank
"Our veterans are the backbone of our state and our nation,'' said MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason. "We commend Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray for their dedication in creating quality affordable housing for our veterans and commend the numerous lending institutions that immediately stepped forward to commit their private funding to make this very important program a reality for the hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts men and women who have served on our behalf.''
"Home for the Brave is another example of the affordable housing leadership Massachusetts residents have come to expect from the Patrick Administration. Providing our veterans with access to affordable homeownership opportunities isn't just good business, it's the right thing to do for people who've made huge sacrifices for our country." said Jeff Hayward, SVP of Fannie Mae's Community Lending group. "Fannie Mae commends Governor Patrick and MassHousing for developing such a unique and comprehensive program, combining preferred financing and mortgage terms with additional benefits from key banking partners. We are honored to participate."
For more information, go to www.masshousing.com.