For Immediate Release - June 13, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO SUPPORT NEW HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH

Twenty-six Mortgage Lenders, Over 1,000 First Time Homebuyers Utilize Mass Homeownership Compact in its First Six Months

Homeownership Funding Announcement

Governor Patrick announces funding to support new homeownership opportunities across the Commonwealth at the Upham’s Corner Branch Citizens Bank in Dorchester. (Photo: Kenshin Okubo / Governor’s Office)

BOSTON – Friday, June 13, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced new support for homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers across the Commonwealth, including the production of new affordable homes and access to reduced-cost mortgages through various lenders.  The announcement comes as 26 mortgage lenders and over 1,000 first time homebuyers have signed on and utilized the Mass Homeownership Compact, a commitment among lenders to originate mortgage loans to first-time home buyers with household incomes below the area median income.

“Investing in housing generates jobs, grows local businesses and strengthens our communities,” said Governor Patrick. “Supporting reasonably priced housing for moderate and middle income families, along with our strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure, will fuel sustainable long term economic growth.”

The $9 million in funding, supported by the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Housing Stabilization Fund, will create over 160 new affordable and market rate homes across the Commonwealth. The funds allow the homes to be priced so they are affordable to low and moderate income residents. Friday’s announcement, made at a Citizens Bank branch in Dorchester, marks the end of Commonwealth Housing Week.

“Housing is the cornerstone to economic success in the Commonwealth and the Massachusetts housing market is well on its way to being fully recovered,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). “Through key initiatives and collaborations across state government, we continue to ensure a stable and robust housing market for our neighbors and our communities.”

In June 2013, Governor Patrick announced the Mass Mortgage Compact creating a goal of providing 10,000 mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers over the next five years. The Homeownership Compact includes a commitment among lenders to originate mortgage loans to first-time home buyers with household incomes below the area median income through the MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership programs.

Since its formation, 26 mortgage lenders have signed onto the Mass Homeownership Compact, and over 1,000 loans have been made to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. Earlier this week, as part of Commonwealth Housing Week, the Massachusetts Division of Banks awarded $1.5 million in grants to 11 regional foreclosure prevention centers and 10 individual/first-time homeownership centers across the Commonwealth. The Division of Banks funds first-time homeownership counseling programs and regional foreclosure educational centers with administrative fees associated with the licensure of mortgage loan originators.

“Grants like these help rebuild communities, help strengthen local housing markets and advance the state’s economic growth,” said Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbara Anthony. “These grants, funded by fees paid by loan originators, will go back into communities and help families that are in trouble to help stabilize communities and to help first time homebuyers realize the American dream of owning their own home.”

“There continue to be pockets of distressed properties in certain communities and neighborhoods that require ongoing attention and resources, which is why foreclosure prevention and first time homebuyer education efforts are so crucial,” said Commissioner of Banks David J. Cotney. “Public-private partnerships which allow for innovative ideas such as the compact and for us to reinvest administrative fees directly into communities via grant money are truly the foundation for a stronger housing market.” 

The following projects were issued homeownership grants today:

Parcel 24 South in Boston: New Boston Ventures and the Asian CDC will work together to build 51 condominium units as part of the large-scale rental-and-ownership project (One The Greenway) already in construction in Chinatown.  The DHCD-assisted homeownership units will be sold to eligible households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) for Boston. In addition to the DHCD award to the ownership component of this important large-scale project, the City of Boston will provide substantial funds as part of its continuing support for the redevelopment of Parcel 24.  Homeownership counseling services will be made available to the buyers of the Parcel 24 South condominiums.

Massachusetts Mental Health Association/Roxbury Tenants of Harvard in Boston: This non-profit developer will construct a high-concept, mixed-use, rental and ownership project on a prime site in the Longwood Medical area, with substantial support from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  When completed, the project will contain 145 total units, including 85 condominiums, with 43 condominiums affordable to low or moderate income buyers.  The City of Boston also is contributing significant funds to the project.  In addition to providing subsidy to 43 of the condominiums, DHCD will award low-income housing tax credits and additional subsidy funds to help support the affordable rental units to be built as part of this innovative project.  

Union Milford Homes in Lawrence:  Lawrence Community Works (LCW) will use $450,000 in DHCD subsidy to construct three two-family ownership/rental units on abandoned sites in the North Common neighborhood.  The new units will be built near existing homeownership units funded by DHCD and built by LCW several years ago.  All six new units will be available at sales or rental rates affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of area median income.  The City of Lawrence also will support the Union Milford homeownership initiative. Homeownership counseling will be available to the new buyers both before and after purchase.

Sachem’s Path on Nantucket: The non-profit Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), working with Oxbow Associates, will use its award from DHCD to construct the first phase of this Nantucket project. The DHCD award will support 16 homeownership units. The Town of Nantucket supported the project zoning under Chapter 40b and also will provide the phases of Sachem’s Path with approximately $2.84 million in local funds. Pre- and post-purchase counseling will be available to the Sachem’s Path buyers.    

Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services in Springfield:  Neighborhood Housing Services of Springfield will use its DHCD award to help build six affordable modular homeownership units in the Old Hill/Six Corners neighborhood of the city – an area impacted by the June 2011 tornado. The city will convey several lots to the NHS in support of this initiative. The NHS will provide counseling services to new owners both before and after purchase.   

In November 2012, Governor Patrick announced the Commonwealth’s goal of creating 10,000 multi-family housing units per year. By creating this type of housing, which is attractive to young families and individuals, Massachusetts is better prepared to keep in state the skilled, young workforce for which employers are looking.

Since 2007, Governor Patrick has worked with the Legislature and Congress to direct over $1 billion in federal and state tax credits and state housing program subsidies to projects that improve the state's affordable housing, create jobs and build stronger communities. These investments have strengthened Massachusetts in the near term and for the next generation, generating more than 14,000 jobs and 20,000 housing units.

Improving the housing stock at all levels is a priority for the Patrick Administration. Along with creating new housing, the Administration has made significant investments in the Commonwealth’s public housing stock, by preserving and improving the 46,000 housing units in the system through increased capital funding, increased operating subsidies and changes in management of those resources.

“The success of the Massachusetts Housing Compact is a great example of how everyone benefits when the private sector, government and community organizations work together to make neighborhoods vibrant and attract more investment,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts. “We at Citizens Bank are pleased to continue our commitment to improving the economic health and vitality of our Commonwealth by leveraging our strengths as a bank to encourage home-ownership.”

"Santander is pleased to once again take part in the Massachusetts Homeownership Compact with our commitment of $50 million in new lending each year through 2016," said Michael D. Bruno, Boston and Northern New England regional president at Santander. "Our participation in this important initiative over the past 13 years has helped put affordable homeownership within reach of many deserving families and individuals in communities across the Commonwealth.” 

The following lending institutions are participants in the Mass Homeownership Compact:

  • Bay State Savings Bank
  • Blue Hills Bank
  • Boston Private Bank & Trust Company
  • Cambridge Trust
  • Chelsea Bank
  • Citizens Bank
  • Clinton Savings Bank
  • Dedham Institution for Savings
  • Eastern Bank
  • Enterprise Bank
  • First Citizens Federal Credit Union
  • Freedom Credit Union
  • Liberty Bay Credit Union
  • Mechanics Cooperative Bank
  • Middlesex Savings Bank
  • Mortgage Master
  • MountainOne Bank
  • New England Moves Mortgage Company
  • Pilgrim Bank
  • Rockland Trust Company
  • Santander
  • Southern Mass Credit Union
  • St. Mary’s Credit Union
  • The Savings Bank
  • William Raveis Mortgage
  • Winchester Cooperative Bank

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