MassHousing Update, January 2021
To our partners, customers and stakeholders
MassHousing remains open and will continue to provide mission-critical business during this unprecedented period of time. View COVID-19 information and resources for homeowners, renters and multifamily business partners.
MassHousing Launches CommonWealth Builder to Expand Homeownership and Wealth-Building Opportunities in Communities of Color Across Massachusetts
MassHousing, together with the Baker-Polito Administration, has launched the $60 million CommonWealth Builder Program, a landmark initiative to address the racial homeownership gap in Massachusetts by creating new homeownership and wealth-building opportunities in communities of color. It is the largest state-level program of its kind in the nation.

The program will provide market-based subsidies to support the construction of new, moderately priced single-family homes and condominiums in the state's 26 Gateway Cities, the City of Boston and Qualified Census Tracts throughout the Commonwealth. Homes will be restricted to moderate-income homebuyers with incomes between 70 percent to 120 percent of their Area Median Income (AMI).

MassHousing will also provide mortgage financing for homebuyers, down payment assistance loans, mortgage insurance with job-loss protection at no added cost, and targeted marketing in the Gateway Cities to ensure that borrowers of color are made aware of this new opportunity for homeownership.

FY21 Mid-Year Lending Update
Six months into the 2021 fiscal year and MassHousing has already closed more than $1.1 billion in financing to support affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in Massachusetts.

Multifamily lending is leading the way, providing $642.5 million in financing for 22 developments with a total of 3,074 units, 2,901 of which are affordable. That lending total includes $160 million in financing to extend affordability and support repairs and improvements at the 500-unit Castle Square in the South End, one of the largest transactions in Agency history.

On the HomeOwnership side, MassHousing has provided a total of $526.3 million in financing. This includes $517.3 million in first mortgage loans to help 1,879 Massachusetts households purchase or refinance a home in the Commonwealth; and 728 down payment assistance loans for $8.9 million.

Stay tuned for additional lending updates as FY21 continues.
3 Questions about Mortgage Insurance for Lisa Fiandaca
Q: Mortgage insurance is something homebuyers try to avoid, since the buyer pays for it but usually it is the lender that is protected. How is MassHousing's mortgage insurance different?

Lisa Fiandaca: That is correct, mortgage insurance typically protects the lender, and this is where MassHousing is very different. MassHousing's mortgage insurance has a unique benefit for the borrower. It's called MIPlus®, because it is mortgage insurance plus payment protection for the borrower. It is available on all MassHousing-insured loans. If you are a borrower, become unemployed and are collecting benefits from the Department of Unemployment Assistance, MassHousing will help you make your mortgage payment. It does not cost extra, and you don't pay us back! That is a lot of peace of mind during an unsettling time.

Q: The job loss protection with MassHousing's mortgage insurance would seem to be very beneficial during the COVID pandemic. How many people have benefitted since the pandemic began?

LF: Unemployment continues to effect so many families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People who never thought they would lose their job have lost their job and do not know when they can return to work. MassHousing has been there and continues to be there, paying over 1,000 claims for more than $1 million!

Q: Can a homebuyer obtain MIPlus with job-loss protection benefits anywhere else?

LF: No. MIPlus is a benefit available on all MassHousing-insured loans, but is not available outside of MassHousing. So, not only can we help you buy your home with a low-cost mortgage loan and down payment assistance, but we'll also be there to help you if you lose your job. No other mortgage loan can offer you all that!

-Lisa Fiandaca is MassHousing's Director of Home Ownership Production.
Finch Cambridge Complete
Congratulations to all involved in the completion of Finch Cambridge, a new 98-unit mixed-income housing community developed by Homeowner's Rehab., Inc. MassHousing provided $24.7 million in financing for the project, which is the largest affordable housing community to be built in Cambridge in 40 years. The property was built using sustainable materials, energy efficient equipment, and a resilient structure to meet Passive House priorities, and also meets Active Design priorities, facilitating a healthy living environment for all residents. The development team also included NEI General Contracting, ICON Architecture and the management agent, WinnResidential.
Recent Rental Transactions
Powdermill Village, Westfield: Nonprofit Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Inc. will use $26.4 million in MassHousing financing to complete a major rehabilitation of this 248-unit property, including one building damaged in a 2018 fire. Improvements will include new roofing, siding, doors, flooring and community space, as well as the addition of two fully accessible units. Read more...
North Commons at Village Hill, Northampton: $4.5 million in MassHousing financing will help The Community Builders construct a new, 53-unit property that will complete the redevelopment of the Northampton State Hospital. The community will be built to meet highly efficient Passive House standards and will feature significant open space areas. Read more...

School House Brookledge Cummins, Boston (Dorchester): MassHousing is providing $14.8 million in financing to extend affordability for lower-income households and senior citizens at this 90-unit development by at least 28 years. Read more...
Now Available: Down Payment Assistance of up to $25,000
Did you know: MassHousing now offers down payment assistance of up to $25,000 for eligible homebuyers in Boston and the 26 Gateway Cities, and up to $15,000 in all Massachusetts communities?
Management Companies, Construction Firms at MassHousing-Financed Apartments Spent More Than $177 Million with Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses in FY20
MassHousing's Diversity & Inclusion team works in partnership with property managers and construction contractors who work at MassHousing-financed rental communities. The goal is to connect these companies with experienced diverse businesses. It is all part of MassHousing's long-standing commitment to leverage economic opportunities in the affordable and mixed-income housing industry.
Compiled data from Fiscal Year 2020 (which ended June 30, 2020) shows that out of more than $563 million spent by management companies and contractors, over $177 million was spent with minority- and/or women-owned businesses.
In addition, MassHousing works with contractors to measure the workforce hours of minority and women workers. We analyzed the 973,000 workforce hours at rental communities financed by MassHousing, which revealed the following results:
MassHousing Grants Support Affordable Sober Housing Opportunities across Massachusetts
MassHousing will provide $391,164 in grants to support affordable sober housing opportunities and related programs for men, women and veterans in recovery in Massachusetts. The grants were made through the Center for Community Recovery Innovations (CCRI), a subsidiary of MassHousing that helps nonprofit organizations create and preserve affordable housing opportunities for individuals in recovery.

This round of grants will create 68 new units and preserve 51 existing ones in Boston, Framingham, Gardner, Springfield, Westfield and Worcester, and will help to fund supportive programming in Boston, Brockton, Leeds and Lynn.

"I can't thank you and the folks at CCRI/MassHousing enough for your continued support and trust in the work we do," said Janelle Wilson, Executive Director of Jeremiah's Inn in Worcester, one of the CCRI grant awardees. "This project really means a lot to me and will have an incredible impact on those we serve and the community as a whole. This funding makes it possible."

To date, CCRI has awarded more than $12 million in grants to create or preserve nearly 2,600 units of affordable sober housing in 54 Massachusetts communities.

Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit (STAR) Program Webinar, January 28
The Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit (STAR) Program is a new campaign to install 1 megawatt of solar across Massachusetts affordable housing organizations. Join the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), and Resonant Energy for a kick-off webinar on Thursday, January 28, to discuss available grants, technical assistance, and financing available to help affordable housing portfolios achieve their renewable energy targets.