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Massachusetts Launches MassDREAMS Program, Empowering First-Time Homebuyers in Communities Disproportionately Impacted by COVID-19
New program uses federal recovery funds to provide first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing cost grants
October 19, 2022

BOSTON – October 19, 2022 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration, MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) announced the launch of MassDREAMS, a new grant program to help residents of communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic achieve homeownership.

MassDREAMS (Delivering Real Equity and Mortgage Stability) grants will deliver up to $50,000 in direct assistance, including down payment and closing cost assistance, to income-eligible first-time homebuyers who reside in one of the 29 communities that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: Boston, Framingham, Randolph, and the 26 Gateway Cities. The program is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

"MassDREAMS will enhance ways the Commonwealth can help more working families achieve homeownership," said Governor Charlie Baker. "This new program complements our ongoing efforts to leverage federal ARPA funds to address the racial homeownership gap in Massachusetts and creates additional opportunities for residents across the state."

"The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of safe and affordable housing to individuals’ health and economic security," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Through this new program, we are putting federal recovery funds to work helping residents of disproportionately impacted communities build a better future."

"Massachusetts is leading the way nationally in directing ARPA funding to address longstanding housing needs," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. "From expanding homeownership opportunities, to strengthening our public housing stock, to constructing new units for families, seniors, and veterans, we are using these federal recovery funds to build a stronger Commonwealth."

"Sustainable homeownership helps lift up families and build strong neighborhoods," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "The MassDREAMS program will accelerate our work to address housing inequality, boosting homeownership in disproportionately impacted communities and building generational wealth."

"The MassDREAMS program is a major step forward for the Commonwealth,” said MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler. "It's providing relief to the people and neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID where historic barriers to home ownership have fueled racial inequity and intergenerational disparities."

MassDREAMS grants will help eligible residents purchase a first home, by providing eligible homebuyers with up to $50,000 in homebuying supports, including down payment assistance, prepaid mortgage insurance, prepaid closing costs, and interest rate reductions.

Funding is limited to first-time homebuyers who are utilizing a first mortgage from MHP or MassHousing, the state's two mission-driven providers of affordable mortgages. The grants will supplement -- and enhance the affordability of -- MassHousing's and MHP's affordable home mortgage loans. MassDREAMS grants may also be used in conjunction with other down payment assistance programs. While the MassDREAMS grant program is restricted to current residents of disproportionately impacted communities, recipients may purchase a home anywhere in Massachusetts.

The maximum grant amount is $50,000 for buyers with household incomes below 100% of area median income, and $35,000 for households with incomes between 100% and 135% of the area median income. Homebuyers must be approved for a home mortgage loan offered by a lender that partners with MassHousing or MHP.

Homebuyers seeking MassDREAMS grants must first complete an eligibility pre-screening at www.MyMassHome.org. Prospective homebuyers may also verify their eligibility for the program and connect with participating lenders by visiting www.MyMassHome.org.

The MassDREAMS program is funded through a $65 million legislative appropriation of ARPA state and local fiscal recovery funds. Program funds will be distributed as grants with no repayment requirements, in order to maintain consistency with ARPA requirements.

About MassHousing

MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided more than $27.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About MHP

MHP works with communities to create innovative policy and financing solutions that provide affordable homes and better lives for the people of Massachusetts. Its community assistance team has provided support and technical assistance to over 300 communities. Its rental financing team uses a variety of capital sources to provide permanent financing for affordable housing, including bank funds and lending programs offered by Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Since 1990, MHP has provided over $1.6 billion for the financing of over 26,000 apartments. Its homeownership team has helped over 24,000 low- and moderate-income households buy their first home through the SoftSecond and ONE Mortgage programs, resulting in $4.6 billion in mortgage financing. In 2017, MHP created the Center for Housing Data to support state policies that increase housing supply and affordability.

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