MassHousing Update, July 2021
Agency News
Increasing opportunities for homeownership, wealth building among people of color
As part of its commitment to addressing the racial homeownership and wealth gap, MassHousing recently announced a number of 5-year targets to help the Agency better serve people of color in Massachusetts.

Communities of color have long been denied opportunities to buy a home and build the generational wealth that comes with homeownership. To remedy this, MassHousing has set a goal of increasing home mortgage loans made to people of color each year from 34% in FY 2021 to at least 50% in FY 2026.

Two programs in particular are designed to assist in meeting the 50% lending goal: MassHousing's down payment assistance and the CommonWealth Builder Program (highlighted below).

View all of MassHousing's 5-year goals, and learn more about our Racial Justice Housing Agenda.
FY21 lending summary
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a variety of challenging market conditions, MassHousing provided a more than $1.7 billion in financing to support affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in Massachusetts during the 2021 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

On the HomeOwnership side, MassHousing closed $894.4 million to help more than 3,000 households buy, refinance or improve their homes. This includes $17 million in down payment assistance and $1.6 million in financing to help existing homeowners remove hazardous lead paint, repair a failing septic system or make other improvements to their properties.

MassHousing's Rental business line closed a total of $855.1 million in financing to 33 multifamily developments with a total of 4,372 units, 4,048 of which are affordable. Developments are located in 18 communities, and range in size from the 7-unit Perlman House on Martha's Vineyard to the 500-unit Castle Square in Boston's South End.
Congratulations to our top lending partners in FY21!
MassHousing works with more than 100 lenders across the Commonwealth to make our affordable mortgage loans available to first-time homebuyers. Our HomeOwnership lending wouldn't be possible without the hard work and dedication of each of these partners.

We've just updated our lists of Top 10 Lending Institutions and Top Loan Officers. Over the last year, our lending partners have helped more than 3,000 homeowners obtain more than $894 million in MassHousing loans. View the Top Lender and Loan Originator lists.
Qualified homebuyers can now benefit from FHA insurance paired with MassHousing's down payment assistance of up to $25,000
First-time homebuyers in Massachusetts now have another affordable loan option: A MassHousing Mortgage combined with down payment assistance of up to $25,000 (in Gateway Cities and Boston) or $15,000 (for all other communities) and FHA insurance.

Prior to July 12, this FHA insurance option was not available.

The benefits to the borrower are:
  • Down payment assistance of up to $15,000; or $25,000 if a home is purchased in Boston or a Gateway City
  • Down payment assistance is only repaid upon sale, refinance or payoff
  • MassHousing FHA credit score requirements, which are more flexible compared to other insurers
  • MassHousing pays the FHA upfront mortgage insurance premium

These features and benefits, only available from MassHousing, make this loan the best option available for FHA borrowers in Massachusetts! To learn more about all of MassHousing's loan programs and down payment assistance, contact our Homebuying Team at 888-843-6432 or
HomeOwnership happenings
The State of the Market in Massachusetts, June 15: More than 250 lenders, Realtors, nonprofit and community partners attended this online seminar from MassHousing and Freddie Mac. The event provided expert analysis of the real estate market; insight into MassHousing's lending goals and efforts to increase homeownership rates among persons of color; and Freddie Mac's commitment to affordable lending in Massachusetts. View a recording of The State of the Market and access presentations here.
Division of Banks' Juneteenth Event: Mounzer Aylouche, MassHousing's Vice President of HomeOwnership Programs, was the featured speaker for "Words to Action: A Commemorative Juneteenth Conversation on Housing Equity in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," the most recent installment of the Division of Banks' ongoing DOB Connects series. View a recording here.
Freddie Mac LPA Training: More than 100 MassHousing partner lenders participated in an in-depth training on Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor (LPA). View a recording of the training, as well as slides and a job aid.
Home at Last in Mass. Podcast: Jamie Pollard, one of the top originators of MassHousing Mortgages, shared how his personal history inspired him to start a career helping people with modest incomes buy a home. Listen here.
Governor Baker announces first commitments from MassHousing's Commonwealth Builder Program
On June 17, 2021, Governor Charlie Baker, along with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay, announced the first project commitments under the CommonWealth Builder program, a new $60 million initiative intended to create homeownership opportunities and build generational wealth in communities of color.

MassHousing has so far committed a total of $3.35 million to four projects, located in Boston, Everett and Haverhill, which will support the creation of 33 new mixed-income homes, including 23 CommonWealth Builder units.

The initial round of project commitments is supporting the creation of 14 new mixed-income condominiums in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood; seven new affordable homes in Haverhill; and six new affordable townhomes in Everett. MassHousing is also funding the creation of two new CommonWealth Builder homes in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood as part of a broader eight-unit affordable homeownership development. Additional project commitments will follow in the coming months.

Rental property owners & managers: COVID-19 related rent arrearages at your developments? SHERA can help
SHERA (Subsidized Housing Emergency Rental Assistance) is Massachusetts' emergency rental assistance program for properties where low- and moderate-income residents have fallen behind on their rent due to COVID.

Owners or property managers apply on behalf of their eligible residents (those with incomes at or below 80% of AMI who are behind on rent because of COVID between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021).

Owners or managers submit applications for funds through a dedicated SHERA on-line portal, which handles claims efficiently with a minimum of human intervention by staff.

"We operate in 23 states where we work with 60 different emergency rental relief programs," said Trevor Samios, Vice President of Connected Communities for Winn Companies. "SHERA is hands down the most efficient of them all."

Key statistics for SHERA so far:
  • Average turn-around time from application for funds to reimbursement is just 20 days 
  • Average assistance per unique household is $2,571 
  • Average arrearage months paid per claim is 4.51. 

Rental Wrap-Up
Harborwalk/Harbor 125, East Boston: Chrystal Kornegay joined Boston Mayor Kim Janey to help WinnCompanies celebrate the completion of 52 units of homeownership and rental housing at the former Clippership Apartments. MassHousing provided $11.2 million in financing for the project. Read more…
Bergen Circle, Springfield: Work is underway at Bergen Circle in Springfield, where $21.2 million in MassHousing financing is helping The Michaels Organization complete extensive renovations to the 201-unit property. Read more… 
571 Revere, Revere: The ribbon was recently cut at 571 Revere, where $7.9 million in MassHousing financing helped The Neighborhood Developers create a new, 51-unit mixed income rental property located a short walk from Revere Beach and the Wonderland MBTA station.
Sycamore on Main, Brockton: MassHousing was on hand to help Neighborworks Housing Solutions celebrate the completion of Sycamore on Main, a new 48-unit mixed-income housing community in downtown Brockton. MassHousing provided $4.7 million in financing for the project, which is located just blocks away from a commuter rail station.
Anchor Point, Beverly: MassHousing joined local and state officials to help Harborlight Community Partners celebrate the start of work on the 77-unit Anchor Point in Beverly. MassHousing provided $1 million in financing through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Read more... 
Dracut Centre School, Dracut: Construction has begun in Dracut, where the former Dracut Centre School is being converted into nine units of affordable housing for veterans. MassHousing provided $900,000 in financing for the project through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and Community Scale Housing Initiative. Read more… 

Enterprise Center, Brockton: MassHousing has closed $19 million in financing to Trinity Financial, which is developing the 111-unit Phase Two of the Enterprise Center in Downtown Brockton. The larger redevelopment effort will bring 224 new rental homes to the city. Read more…
Community Scale Housing Initiative: The Baker-Polito Administration and MassHousing announced $7 million in grants to create 66 new rental homes for residents across a range of incomes in Hamilton, Holyoke, Somerville and Tisbury. The awards were made through the Community Scale Housing Initiative, which supports the creation of smaller affordable housing developments in Massachusetts cities and towns. Read more… 
Housing Navigator moves closer to launching breakthrough online search tool for affordable rental housing
Housing Navigator Massachusetts is working toward launching a new, statewide online search tool to make it easier for renters to find affordable units, and to make it easier for property managers to publicize their vacant units. Housing Navigator just marked a major milestone by announcing that 21,530 units have been verified on the site. They look forward to launching soon. In the meantime rental housing managers are encouraged to work with Housing Navigator to get their properties into the searchable database.

Save Water and Turn 'Drips to Dollars'
Water and sewer costs are typically one of the most expensive utilities for multifamily properties. The video above, created by New Ecology, Inc. and LISC Boston with support from MassHousing, helps multifamily property owners and managers turn 'Drips to Dollars'!
Community Services
Supportive Housing Opens in Lowell
MassHousing joined Lowell Mayor John Leahy, residents and community members to help Lowell House Addiction Treatment and Recovery celebrate the opening of the Transitional Apartment Program at Zack's House. MassHousing provided $75,000 through the Center for Community Recovery Innovations (CCRI) to help convert a garage into a new 2-bedroom apartment for individuals in recovery. CCRI—a nonprofit subsidiary of MassHousing that supports the creation of affordable housing and related programs for individuals and families in recovery—also provided a $75,000 grant for the original Zack’s House property in 2016.
Staff News
Two MassHousing Staff Members to Receive Emerging Leaders Awards from Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA)
Congratulations in advance to MassHousing's Francis Jhoan Goyes Flor, a Policy Innovation Associate and Neighborhood HUB Manager, and Monique Gibbs, a Policy Innovation Associate, who will receive the Emerging Leader Award from CHAPA at the nonprofit's annual dinner on October 24, 2021.

At MassHousing, Francis oversees The Neighborhood Hub, the Commonwealth's new technical assistance program for supporting Gateway Cities and their residents in the repair of their homes and communities.

Monique develops innovative policies and programs to support MassHousing's mission. Her work involves quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, program development and interdepartmental collaboration.

Congratulations to both Francis and Monique for their recognition.
Join the MassHousing Team!
MassHousing is seeking committed professionals to join our team in the following roles:

  • Attorney 

  • Asset Manager 
  • Design & Construction Risk Engineer 
  • Relationship Manager and Originator
  • Rental Underwriter
  • Technical Assistant 

  • Customer Service Analyst 
  • Senior Retention Specialist