MassHousing Update, February 2023


MassDREAMS grants awarded to more than 1,100 first-time homebuyers

More than 1,100 first-time homebuyers have purchased homes in the last several months using MassHousing home mortgage loans paired with MassDREAMS grants of up to $50,000.

The grants made a huge difference for these buyers, many of whom would not otherwise have been able to purchase a home due to current prices and interest rates that have risen more than three percentage points in the last year. By helping with the down payment and other purchase-related costs, the grants helped to make the monthly payments more affordable and set the buyers up for success.

MassHousing awarded more than $36 million in MassDREAMS grants between September and November of 2022 after receiving an appropriation from the Legislature. 54% of the buyers were persons of color, and 74% of the grants went to buyers with incomes below 100% of the area median. MassHousing has allocated all its DREAMS funds. Another agency, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, also received DREAMS funds and is still awarding grants. Interested homebuyers should visit

Read a Boston Globe article about MassDREAMS.

First-time homebuyers share their MassDREAMS stories

A couple renting in Haverhill loved the city and wanted to stay but felt priced out. A family renting in Dorchester had been outbid three times while looking for a home outside the city. An East Boston family had been trying to buy their own home for seven years. A grandmother in New Bedford needed more space for the three grandchildren she is raising. These are just some of the first-time homebuyers who were able to purchase a home in recent months thanks to MassDREAMS grants, which helped to make the homes more affordable. Read their stories and others here.  

Behind on mortgage payments due to COVID hardship? Help is available

The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is still offering financial assistance for home owners who fell behind on mortgage payments by at least three months because of economic hardship caused by the pandemic. To learn more and start an application for assistance, visit

More information, and data about the HAF program’s performance to-date, can be found at

MassHousing staff made 223 presentations to more than 7,400 would-be homebuyers in 2022

Despite market challenges, interest in homeownership remains strong, based on the number of attendees at homebuyer education courses across the state. In 2022, MassHousing staff made 223 presentations about affordable home loans and down payment assistance to 7,407 people in classes offered by 37 nonprofit homebuyer education providers. Twenty-six classes were multilingual, in either Spanish or Haitian Creole. Find a homebuyer education provider near you.  

Rental Housing

Recent Rental Transactions

Here's a summary of multifamily transactions recently closed by MassHousing:

Beverly Village for Living and the Arts, Beverly: MassHousing financing is helping Beacon Communities and Harborlight Homes convert the former Briscoe School in Beverly into a mixed-use, intergenerational community. The project is the first affordable housing transaction to utilize funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Read more.

Riverside Towers, Medford: $13.5 million in MassHousing financing will help The Schochet Companies and Jonathan Rose Companies complete extensive renovations at this 199-unit rental community for senior citizens. In addition, Hebrew Senior Life will implement an enhanced resident services program. Read more.

St. Mary’s Plaza, Lynn: MassHousing has closed $12.4 million for the refinancing, renovation and preservation of affordability at this 99-unit rental community for senior citizens and residents with disabilities. The property was created in 1981 with the conversion of a former school and construction of a seven-story building. Read more.

MassHousing, MHP announce first Climate-Ready Housing awards

Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow (pictured above) and Hano Homes in Boston are the first affordable housing communities to receive funding through the state's Climate-Ready Housing Program. The $10 million pilot program is being administered by MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, with support from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC Boston). It aims to demonstrate how affordable housing owners can achieve deep reductions in energy use and carbon emissions in the refinancing, renovation, and preservation of their properties. A new funding round for the program is expected to launch in March 2023. Read more.

3 questions with Thomas Burns about sustainability in affordable housing

We asked Thomas Burns, MassHousing's Manager of Design and Construction, about sustainable development practices in affordable rental housing. 

Q: Every day there is more talk about the need for sustainable development practices in affordable housing. What are they and why do we need them? 

A: To give some context, according to Architecture2030, which promotes sustainable practices, the built environment generates 40% of annual global CO2 emissions. Building operations account for 27% of that, while building and infrastructure materials and construction are an additional 13%. Reducing the carbon footprint of housing is important in the climate change effort. In apartment operations and construction, MassHousing is financing an increasing number of apartments where the developers are using many different tactics: recycled materials, solar power, energy efficient appliances and systems, heat pumps, more efficient windows and more. Owners of existing developments are coming to us to finance renovations and newer more energy efficient systems. They are also looking to do things like deep energy retrofits, where extensive work is done, especially with sealing the building’s envelope and windows, so that energy reductions of 50% or more are achieved. 

Q: What are some good examples of affordable housing development that have undertaken some of these measures to reduce their environmental impact? 

A: Treehouse in Easthampton is a great example. This is an existing intergenerational housing community where residents 55 and over are helping to raise and mentor foster children. Treehouse has received a $750,000 grant from a new program called Climate Ready Housing. The owner, Beacon Communities, will use the funds to help pay for a deep energy retrofit. There will be improvements to the building envelope. Electrification of the heating and cooling systems will reduce energy use by 50 percent. And they will reuse existing vinyl siding and other building materials to minimize the project’s carbon impact.  

Several years ago, MassHousing helped to finance 191 Talbot Avenue in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. It was built to the Passive House standard, which means it is exceptionally energy efficient. WinnDevelopment is redeveloping a 177-year-old mill property in Lawrence into the first all-electric housing development in Massachusetts. These are all impressive projects.

Q: Do energy-efficient materials and practices add to the cost of affordable housing?  

A: In some cases, a so-called green building might cost more to build at the outset than one built with traditional materials, systems and methods. But costs are coming down as the technology improves and is used at scale. And, these buildings are more cost-effective over time because their energy usage is much lower. Investors are watching this closely and investment dollars are flowing in larger numbers to green buildings because ultimately, the return will be higher over time. And of course, the environmental benefits accrue to all of us.

Webinar: How Healthy Homes are Tackling the Housing and Climate Crisis, March 7

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), in partnership with MassHousing and CHAPA, will host a webinar on March 7 to highlight innovative affordable housing projects that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create healthy homes for Massachusetts residents. This webinar is for municipal planners, state and local policymakers, developers, and housing and environmental advocates interested in advancing housing and climate goals. Register for the webinar here


  • Karina Oliver-Milchman, Chief of Housing and Neighborhood Development, MAPC (Moderator)
  • Brooks Winner, Senior Clean Energy Specialist, MAPC (Moderator) 
  • Eliza Datta, President, E3 Development LLC
  • Cory Fellows, Vice President of Real Estate Development, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)
  • Christina McPike, Director of Energy and Sustainability, WinnCompanies 

Equitable Business Development

Online tool connects diverse businesses with opportunities at MassHousing rental developments

MassHousing's Business Opportunity feature allows property management companies and general contractors to create, post and update single or multiple business opportunities at MassHousing-financed projects in real-time. 

Opportunities can be created and managed by MassHousing's rental business partners by logging in to the portal. Once a business opportunity is created, it is immediately available on This allows Diverse Business owners to search for active opportunities and subscribe to alerts about opportunities in their service regions and fields of expertise.

Neighborhood Revitalization

Gateway Housing Rehabilitation Program launched

MassHousing and the Department of Housing and Community Development have launched the Gateway Housing Rehabilitation Program (GHRP), a $2.2 million effort to help address code violations and blighted conditions in residential properties in Gateway Cities and other similarly situated communities. Funds are available to emerging developers, nonprofits and municipalities to create new affordable homebuyer opportunities or to assist small landlords and homeowners struggling with major property repairs. Learn more about the GHRP

Planning for Housing Production application now open

Applications are now being accepted for grants through the Planning for Housing Production Program, which provides cities and towns with the technical capacity needed to implement local planning and transform priority development sites into new affordable homes.

Planning for Housing Production contracts with third-party consultants who are matched with municipalities based on their expertise and local needs. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. The program prioritizes the reuse and redevelopment of municipally owned properties; exceptionally positioned privately owned sites may also be eligible for funding.

Grant funds will support predevelopment planning activities that create development-ready sites, including technical assistance with a municipally led RFP process. In all cases, technical assistance funding will prioritize the robust public engagement needed to build pro-housing constituencies. Learn more about Planning for Housing Production.

Neighborhood Hub partnering with three new communities

The Neighborhood Hub, the Commonwealth's technical assistance program for comprehensive neighborhood stabilization, is partnering with three new communities: Chelsea, Pittsfield and Springfield.

The Neighborhood Hub will help Chelsea impact social infrastructure, housing stability, economic mobility, public health and gentrification in the Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood while also looking at scattered parcels across the city that may be right for affordable housing.

Pittsfield is partnering with the Neighborhood Hub to equitably combat high rates of vacancy in the Westside neighborhood, with a specific focus on the continued impact of redlining, segregation and housing discrimination.

Springfield is working with the Neighborhood Hub to increase developer engagement and strategic code enforcement across the city, while also focusing on infill housing and property rehabilitation in the Old Hill neighborhood.

All Neighborhood Hub projects require local partners and extensive community outreach and engagement. Learn more about the Neighborhood Hub.

Staff and Agency News

WBZ/CBS News Boston celebrates Chrystal Kornegay and other Black History Month Heroes

MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay was featured as part of WBZ and CBS News Boston's series honoring "Black History Month Heroes." The series, which has aired throughout February, recognizes "community leaders who are making a difference as we work toward building a greater Boston." Watch Chrystal's story.

Chrystal Kornegay to speak at national symposium on racial justice in housing on Feb. 28

On February 28, MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay will speak at the National Council of State Housing Agencies' second national symposium to take stock of where we are in creating a more racially just housing system in America and to illuminate leadership in areas of promise and potential, including: 

  • Establishing and scaling special purpose credit programs
  • Creating and preserving housing wealth in Black and Brown neighborhoods
  • Building credit, assets, and opportunity for low-income renters, and 
  • Empowering developers of color. 

Register for the symposium here.

MassHousing's Kate Zeliff recognized by MMBA

MassHousing's Kate Zeliff was honored as a Rising Star by the Mass. Mortgage Bankers' Association at the organization's annual meeting January 25. The MMBA recognized exceptional up-and-coming professionals aged 35 and younger who have been in the mortgage industry for fewer than 10 years. Among the factors considered by judges are business success, community and professional leadership, work ethic and drive. 

Career Opportunities at MassHousing

MassHousing’s staff works to ensure that all Massachusetts residents have a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home. We are looking for talented professionals to join our team in a variety of roles. If you share our commitment, we hope you will consider joining us.  

View current career opportunities.

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