MassHousing Update, March 2022
Agency News
FY22 Lending Update
Nine months through fiscal year 2022, MassHousing has closed more than $1.1 billion to support affordable homeownership and rental housing opportunities in Massachusetts. The lending total includes nearly $690 million in financing to create or preserve affordable and mixed-income rental housing in the Commonwealth, and $412 million for affordable mortgage loans and down payment assistance for Massachusetts homebuyers and homeowners. Fiscal year 2022 runs from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Stay tuned for additional lending updates.
New program provides funds to transform blighted properties
MassHousing has launched a new program to help transform abandoned or distressed properties into new or improved housing units. The Neighborhood Stabilization program allows municipalities, nonprofits, and community development corporations (CDCs) to apply for grant funds, up to $250,000 per unit. Funds can be used to transform blighted properties into 1–4-unit homeownership opportunities or to assist low- and moderate-income homeowners and non-profit owners of small rental properties in need of major health and safety code-related rehabilitation and repairs. Find everything you need to know here.
Mass HAF (Homeowner Assistance Fund) offers aid to homeowners three or more months behind on payments due to COVID
Mass HAF (The Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund) is accepting applications from homeowners who are at least three months behind on their payments due to a financial hardship they experienced because of the pandemic. If they are approved for aid, payment will be made directly to their mortgage servicer and their loan brought current. Certain restrictions apply. A screening questionnaire can help determine eligibility. The official Commonwealth of Massachusetts HAF application portal is Is your loan serviced by MassHousing? If so, then contact us at 1-888-843-6432 before applying.
Down payment assistance keeps first-time buyers competitive
First-time homebuyers may find the current market daunting. But they have tremendous buying power if they qualify for a MassHousing Mortgage with Down Payment Assistance. For those that buy in one of the Gateway Cities or Boston, MassHousing offers down payment assistance of up to 5% of the purchase price or $25,000, whichever is less. In other Massachusetts communities, qualified buyers can receive up to 5% of the purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less.

And coming soon from MassHousing: Expanded Down Payment Assistance with higher amounts and other benefits! 
CommonWealth Builder Program expanded to create more new housing
Mt. Washington Homes in Haverhill is among the developments supported by the CommonWealth Builder Program 

MassHousing has expanded its CommonWealth Builder Program to increase the number of projects that can qualify for funding. The new guidelines reflect MassHousing’s mission to confront the housing challenges of Massachusetts, and are made possible by additional funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

As it has since it was launched in 2019, CommonWealth Builder will continue to incentivize homeownership production opportunities in areas that have lacked new, high-quality development. The aim of the new guidelines is to broaden the range of eligible projects and expand opportunities for homeownership and wealth-building among historically marginalized communities.

Take a look at a few CommonWealth Builder-supported projects

The 8-unit Call Carolina in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood is now complete and fully occupied

Construction is underway at 25 Fountain Street in Boston (Roxbury), a new 40-unit, affordable condominium development being built on a formerly vacant parcel located near Nubian Square.

The 6-unit St. Therese Townhomes in Everett are nearing completion. The townhomes are part of the larger redevelopment of the former St. Therese parish property, which will also include 77 units of affordable rental housing for seniors.
New podcast episode helps first-time buyers think about their readiness to buy in Spring '22
The newest episode of MassHousing's "Home at Last in Mass" podcast provides straight talk about what a first-time buyer should be doing at this point to buy in the spring of 2022. And if they are not ready, how to get ready as soon as possible. Listen here or on Spotify, Google and Apple Podcasts.
New HomeOwnership platform improves experience for lenders, provides more options for homebuyers
MassHousing has launched a new loan origination, purchasing and mortgage insurance platform that improves efficiency and accuracy for the Agency's lending partners and allows more homebuyers to access a greater variety of home financing options.

The new platform offers a more robust, streamlined experience for partner lenders who offer MassHousing Mortgage loans, Down Payment Assistance and Mortgage Insurance with MIPlus. With the new system, lenders can

  • Access an enhanced MassHousing product line with greater underwriting flexibilities, including wider credit score ranges 
  • Obtain mortgage insurance quotes 
  • Complete all loan underwriting, delivery and purchase activities on a single platform

If you are a lender interested in learning more about the new platform or working with MassHousing, contact our HomeOwnership Relationship Management Team.
Rental Housing
New Climate Ready Housing Program launched
Public, nonprofit, and for-profit multifamily affordable housing sponsors take note: A new, Climate-Ready Housing Program has just been announced. It makes funds available to owners of existing properties that will undergo renovations to improve energy efficiency. The program will support 2-3 projects in its first year with a total of $1.6 million to facilitate deep energy retrofits or zero carbon emissions over time. For more information and to apply for funds, click here.
Rental Round-Up
Cote Village, Boston (Mattapan): Cardinal Sean O’Malley recently welcomed the first residents of Cote Village, a new 76-unit mixed-income rental development built on a long-vacant site formerly occupied by a car dealership. MassHousing provided $22.5 million in financing for the project, which is being developed by the Archdiocese of Boston's Planning Office of Urban Affairs.
Woodlands at Abington Station, Abington: MassHousing has closed $34.8 million in financing to Beacon Communities to preserve affordability and support renovations at this 192-unit community, which was developed in 2002 and is located steps away from the Abington commuter rail station. Read more…
Roslindale House, Boston (Roslindale): Rogerson Communities will use $13.2 million in MassHousing financing to extend affordability and complete a variety of property improvements at this 84-unit community for older adults. The property was originally a high school built in the early 1920s that was converted to affordable supportive senior housing in 1986. Read more…
Woodland Cove Phase 3, Wareham: MassHousing closed $6.5 million in financing to help Dakota Partners, Inc. create 24 new apartment homes, including 18 workforce units. MassHousing also provided $9 million in financing for Phase 1 of the three-phase, 150-unit project. Read more…
SHERA rental assistance program winding down but RAFT still available
The federal Subsidized Housing Emergency Rental Assistance (SHERA) program will stop accepting new applications on or around April 15, 2022. Households will still be able to apply for rental assistance from the more targeted, state-funded RAFT program. SHERA provides qualified owners of affordable rental housing and Local Housing Authorities with an expedited path to apply for federal Emergency Rental Assistance on behalf of income-eligible tenants. More than $25 million in SHERA funds have been approved to be paid to over 8,000 households.
Community Services
Rental housing management companies: Register your site for TAP, MassHousing's Tenant Assistance Program in 2022 to access resources, programs for residents and on-site staff
Rental housing isn't just about buildings. It's also about the residents and the professionals who keep it running. TAP helps to provide housing stability and to strengthen families and communities. Property management companies seeking programming for residents and trainings and workshops for their staff will want to register today. Learn more here.
Grants support affordable housing for individuals and families in recovery
MassHousing has awarded $245,845 in grant funding to support the creation and preservation of affordable sober housing and related programming in five communities. The grants were made through the Center for Community Recovery Innovations (CCRI), a nonprofit subsidiary of the Agency. Read more…
Partnership Delivers PPE for Residents and Management Companies
MassHousing and MWRA staff prepare for the final distribution of PPE 

Throughout the pandemic, MassHousing has been part of an inter-agency effort to provide masks to protect affordable housing residents and staff from COVID-19. Recently, the final 250,000 masks were distributed to 19 management companies and three community partners.

Overall, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency provided a total of 700,000 KN95 masks, which were stored at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority facility on Deer Island. Masks were distributed on four occasions (three in Boston and one in Western Mass.) to a total of 30 management companies and six community partners.
Staff News
MassHousing Staff News
MassHousing Vice President of Equitable Business Development Tony Richards was recognized with the 2022 Suffolk University Black Excellence Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the Sawyer Business School during Suffolk's 4th Annual Celebration of Black Excellence…Director of Community Services Thaddeus Miles was among the honorees at the 13th Annual African American Ball, which was themed "Setting an Example for New Beginnings."…Zan Bross, Design & Construction Manager, was named to the Massachusetts Commission on Clean Heat, which was created by Governor Baker to advise the Administration on a framework for long-term greenhouse gas emission reductions from heating fuels.