I want to thank all the members of the administration for the creativity and effectiveness that they brought to this program and to so many others; to Representative Holmes, to you and your colleagues, for your partnership; to our colleagues who are lenders today and supporters of the program that I’m so proud to announce today. I thank you for being here.
I particularly want to thank Sean and Rashida for welcoming us to their beautiful home, and doing so graciously.
Over the past 6 years, we have pursued a disciplined strategy of investing in education, in innovation and in infrastructure. This includes increasing our stock of affordable housing and helping more young people and families fulfill the dream of owning their own home.
And we’re making extraordinary progress. Working with the Legislature and our federal partners, many of you here, we have invested over $700 million in housing initiatives, developing over 10,000 units and creating more than 14,000 jobs.
The simple truth is that investing in access to housing creates jobs and long term economic development and growth. And that is what we must be about.
That’s why we have climbed out of recession faster than most other states. In fact, earlier this year the Labor Department reported that Massachusetts has more jobs today than it did at its pre-recession peak in 2008. We were one of the first of only seven states in America to achieve this milestone. That may seem like abstract evidence for some of you, but if you want practical experience of what it’s like to see people go back to work, try driving on any of the highways these days. The traffic is awful. That’s an indicator.
We need to keep that going. That’s what today’s announcement is about. Investing now to secure long term economic growth.
I’m proud to announce our shared commitment to provide 10,000 mortgage loans to first-time home buyers over the next five years. Working with MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Programs, lenders will create mortgage loan programs targeted to first-time home buyers with household incomes below the area median income. The chances for modest-income families to own their own home in Massachusetts just got a lot better.
I want to thank the lenders and banks who have already joined us in this important work.
This is a fitting way to kick off the first Commonwealth Housing Week, which I am proud today to proclaim. Throughout the week, our Department of Housing and Community Development and Office of Consumer Affairs will be highlighting the recovery of the Massachusetts housing market and the success of the state’s foreclosure prevention efforts, and efforts like the one we announced today to expand housing opportunities.
Click here to view the press release.