Program Description

HIF provides funding for the creation and preservation of alternative forms of affordable housing. These forms include, but are not limited to, single room occupancy (SRO) units; limited equity cooperative housing; transitional housing for the homeless; battered women's shelters; mutual housing; employer assisted housing; and lease to purchase housing.

Eligible Applicants

Non-profit corporations organized under M.G.L. c. 180; may also be required to be a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code at the time of loan closing. In order to qualify as a Non‑Profit Corporation, no member, shareholder, officer or employee of such corporation or its board of directors may profit, directly or indirectly, from the HIF assistance or from the Eligible Project. In addition, in order to qualify as a Non‑Profit Corporation for purposes of the HIF program, DHCD must determine that a corporation is capable of managing all of its responsibilities in connection with the proposed project.

Eligible Activities and Affordability Requirements

HIF loans may used for the reasonable and necessary hard and soft costs to develop an eligible project, including costs of acquisition, construction, architecture/engineering, environmental testing and remediation, insurance, taxes, surveys and permits, development consultants, legal services, financing, relocation, title and recording, inspection services, marketing and rent-up, and developer overhead and fees.

Not less than 50% of the occupants of HIF housing shall be persons whose income is less than 80% of the area median income as determined by HUD, and not less than 25% of the occupants may be persons whose income is less than 30% of the area median income.

Funding Limits

Loans are limited to not more than 50% of the total development costs, with a maximum HIF loan of $500,000. This limit does not apply to loans provided for the creation of battered women's shelters where HIF funds may be used for up to 80% of the financing of total development costs.

Loan Terms

Loans are issued with a Land Use Restriction, recorded in the registry of deeds, providing that the land will be used for the purpose of providing alternative forms of rental and ownership housing for up to 99 years. The property cannot not be released from this restriction until the balance of the principal and interest is repaid in full or until a mortgage foreclosure deed is recorded.

Loans are for a term of 30 years during which time repayment may be deferred by the loan issuing authority unless, at the end of a fiscal year, cash collections from all sources in connection with such housing, except for contributions, donations or grant moneys, exceed 105 per cent of cash expenditures. If, on the date loans become due and payable to DHCD, an outstanding balance exists, loans may be extended for up to 10 years, provided that the project continues to remain affordable housing. Interest rates for loans are fixed by DHCD, in consultation with the state treasurer.

Within 120 days after the expiration of affordability restrictions on housing assisted under HIF, DHCD or its assignee, has the option to purchase a HIF property at its current appraised value reduced by any remaining obligation of the owner. Prior to any sale or transfer or other disposition of HIF housing, an owner must offer DHCD or its assignee, a first refusal option. No sale, transfer or other disposition of such land can take place until either a first refusal option period expires or the owner is notified in writing by DHCD that the first refusal option will not be exercised.

Selection Criteria

DHCD gives preference to projects that provide transitional and permanent housing for homeless individuals and families. Projects must be financially feasible, complying with all of the loan terms. Upon completion, projects must comply with the applicable requirements of the Massachusetts Lead Law, the State Sanitary Code and any other applicable federal, state or local statute, regulation or ordinance, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If proposed, projects involving supportive services must demonstrate that funding for such services is secured to the extent feasible. DHCD must take due consideration of a balanced geographic plan for alternative forms of housing when issuing loans. Owners must be in good standing with all DHCD programs. The principles of sustainable development should be reflected in the project application.

How to Apply

DHCD makes HIF funding available through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), twice yearly. Applicants must complete and submit the One Stop Housing Application.

One Stop Application

Current Notice of Funding Availability

Additional Program Information

HIF Program Guidelines doc format of hifguifde.doc
HIF Regulations doc format of 760023.doc
HIF Forms and Applications





For additional information please call the HIF staff at (617) 573-1300.