The NHS program was created by the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1980. The program continues to serve as an integral part of the Commonwealth's plan to make housing safe and affordable, and make permanent improvements in the lives of our residents. Neighborhood Housing Services Program (NHS) assists residents and public/private entities to reinvest in urban neighborhoods in Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy, and Springfield by rehabilitating housing and making it affordable for low and moderate-income families. The program accomplishes its goal by:
- Increasing the availability of housing rehabilitation loans for low and moderate income homeowners who cannot receive financing through traditional lending institutions;
- Increasing the availability of affordable rental housing for low and moderate income tenants by rehabilitating multi-family rental housing;
- Improving housing conditions by addressing health and safety issues;
- Fostering Neighborhood stability; and
- Revitalizing urban neighborhoods and communities.
Seven private non-profit housing and community development organizations are currently offering NHS loans. Income eligible homeowners must contact their local NHS agency to apply for housing rehabilitation loans.
Eligible Activities and Funding Requirements
Rehabilitation of owner-occupied 1-4 family properties, condominium and planned unit developments allowed; investor owners with 51% or more HUD income eligible residents.
First Priority: rehabilitation for existing homeowners.
Second Priority: purchase/rehabilitation. (Proceeds can be used for down payment and rehabilitation - owner occupants only).
Third Priority: Investor-owned properties. Declining scale pre-payment penalty clause to be included in loan approvals.
The minimum loan amount for rehabilitation is $3,000. The first priority shall be structural and/or mechanical systems repair and state health/safety and sanitary code violations.
Loan Terms: Up to 30-year fixed level payment. The interest rate may vary between 0-6%, as determined by local NHS agencies.
Borrower Income: The borrower's income must be at or below 90% of HUD median income guideline for a family of four. See the Income Limits chart here. Documented evidence of 12-18 months of consistent level of income. Only earned income shall be considered to define borrower's eligibility. One hundred percent (100%) of rental income can be considered as earned income in certain situations.
Maximum Debt-to-Income Ratios: 36/44 maximum allowable indebtedness; higher ratios may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, depending on employment and credit history of the borrower. In the calculation of debt-to-Income Ratios, 75% of rental income (50% for vacant units) shall be deducted from housing expenditures, where applicable.
Maximum LTV: 120%
Property Inspection and Appraisal: NeighborWorks Organization or an authorized inspector must conduct and provide evidence of inspection. Estimated property value from a scaled loan-to-value appraisal, or current documented estimate of market value.
Borrower's Credit History: Credit report dated within 60 days of submission; six-month record of good credit; some allowances for slow credit; one year from discharge of bankruptcy if paying, "as agreed", explanation is allowed for unpaid judgments.
Property Insurance: Evidence of sufficient property insurance to cover mortgage debt.
How To Apply
Local NHS agencies are responsible for underwriting NHS loans. Please contact your local NHS agency located in the following cities and towns:
- Boston Homeowners Collaborative
- Codman Square NDC
- Dorchester Bay EDC
- Urban Edge Housing Corporation
- Homeowners Rehab, Inc.
- Chelsea NHS
Quincy and the South Shore
- NHS of the South Shore
- Springfield NHS
For other NeighborWorks Organizations: please contact, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation at 617-450-0410.
Program Reporting Forms
NHS Reporting Forms
For additional information, please call the Division of Community Services at 617-573-1400.