For Immediate Release - June 09, 2014

Patrick Administration Kick's Off Second Annual #MAHousingWeek

Weeklong series of events highlights historic commitment to housing across all regions of the Commonwealth

BOSTON - Monday, June 9, 2014 - In continuing his historic commitment to a thriving housing market, Governor Deval Patrick today declared June 9 – 13, 2014 the Commonwealth’s Second Annual Housing Week.

Throughout the week, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Office of Consumer Affairs will be highlighting the recovery and growth of the Massachusetts housing market and the success of the state’s foreclosure-prevention and homeownership counseling efforts, and expansion of new affordable housing with events across the state.

“Housing is the cornerstone to economic success in the Commonwealth,” said DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. “Through key initiatives and collaborations across state government and with our local partners, we continue to ensure a stable and robust housing market for our neighbors and our communities. Expanding and preserving affordable housing opportunities for families and seniors with modest incomes is especially important.”

The Massachusetts Division of Banks will also later today announce the details of $1.5 million in grants it is awarding 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.

“Massachusetts was fortunate to be able to rebound more quickly than other states from the housing crisis through innovation, perseverance and dedication,” said Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony. “These grants are a great example of how government and private partners can work together to lay the foundation for a more sustainable housing market in the future.”

“These grants will help keep many Massachusetts citizens in their homes and provide assistance to first-time buyers who are looking to purchase a home in the Commonwealth,” said Commissioner of Banks David Cotney. “Massachusetts is privileged to be home to so many homeownership and housing assistance centers and we are pleased to offer these grants to help support their efforts.”

Last year, Governor Patrick proclaimed the first Commonwealth Housing Week by announcing a Home Ownership Compact that created a goal of providing 10,000 mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers over the next five years. The compact includes a commitment among lenders to originate a specific number of mortgage loans to first-time home buyers with household incomes below the area median income through the MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership programs.

The Massachusetts Homeownership compact will help accelerate economic recovery and neighborhood stabilization initiatives in the Commonwealth and retain and attract a competitive workforce.

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.

Last fall, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki accepted a national “workforce housing” award from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) recognizing the Patrick Administration’s leadership in pursuing a strategy to increase the supply of housing needed, and in the places needed, for its workforce.

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.

Since 2009, the Patrick Administration, working with the Legislature and Congress, has directed direct over $700 million 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 generated more than 14,000 jobs and 10,000 homes.

Commonwealth Housing Week will culminate with a Housing Twitter Town Hall on Friday, June 13 from 11:00a.m. with Undersecretary Anthony and Undersecretary Gornstein. Questions can be submitted using the twitter hashtag #MAhousingweek.

Click here to view the Governor’s official proclamation.

The Department of Housing and Community Development strives to strengthen cities, towns and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life of Massachusetts residents, promoting safe, decent affordable housing opportunities, economic vitality of communities and sound municipal management. Follow the Office on Twitter @MA_DHCD.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, on Facebook and on Twitter @Mass_Consumer.

Text of Proclamation:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas, The Department of Housing and Community Development recognizes that the availability of housing that is appropriate for and affordable to all residents is essential for the continued economic growth of the Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The Department of Housing and Community Development recognizes the value of homeownership in building strong, vibrant communities and supports the efforts of low- and moderate-income residents to purchase homes; and

Whereas, The Massachusetts Homeownership Compact is a public-private initiative created to enable low and moderate-income buyers to purchase their first home; and

Whereas The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Division of Banks provide foreclosure prevention information to Massachusetts homeowners and referrals to non-profit agencies for additional housing counseling; and

Whereas, First-time homeownership counseling programs and regional foreclosure educational centers assist homeowners by providing foreclosure prevention counseling services, including loan modification assistance, first-time homeownership counseling, and counseling for non-traditional or high-cost loans; and

Whereas, Massachusetts homeowners now have enhanced protections under regulations that require national and state lenders to conduct a net present value analysis and prevent them from foreclosing on a home if a modification costs less;

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim June 9 -13, 2014, to be,