MassHousing Update, December 2022


MassDREAMS: Unprecedented grant program empowering more than 1,000 first-time homebuyers in a difficult market

Felipe and Ashley purchased a condo in Salem using a MassDREAMS grant and a MassHousing mortgage originated by Andres Benitez at Guaranteed Rate. "This program helped our dreams of owning a home come true. We couldn't be happier," said Felipe.

MassDREAMS (Delivering Real Equity and Mortgage Stability) was designed to address the racial homeownership gap, and to boost Massachusetts communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The impact has exceeded the program's high expectations. 

The program was launched in September, and due to popularity was suspended November 30. In just 79 days, MassHousing paired MassDREAMS grants with its affordable home mortgage loans to help hundreds of low- and moderate-income first-time home buyers – many of whom are people of color – purchase a home in Massachusetts. Many borrowers who received grants also benefitted from MassHousing's existing down payment assistance program

The program is meeting the ambitious goals. To date, 54% of the DREAMS grants approved by MassHousing have been for homebuyers who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color); 73% have been made to buyers with incomes at or below 100% of the area median income (AMI), and 43% went to buyers with incomes at or below 80% of AMI. 

Once all of MassHousing's applications have been reviewed, it is expected that more than 1,000 homebuyers will have been helped with a DREAMS grant.

Without the MassDREAMS grants, many of these buyers would still be priced out of the market due to rising interest rates, historically high prices and low inventory of homes for sale.

To date MassHousing has approved more than $22 million in DREAMS grants for 668 homebuyers. An additional 557 applications are still under review.

MassHousing has allocated all its existing MassDREAMS grant funds and is not accepting any new applications at this time. The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) still has MassDREAMS grant funds available.  

Prospective homebuyers interested in MassDREAMS grants should begin their journey at  

MassDREAMS grants were made possible by federal funds appropriated by the Massachusetts legislature. DREAMS grants are used by eligible homebuyers for down payment assistance, closing costs and other expenses related to the purchase of a home. The grants can only be used by homebuyers who obtain mortgage loans from MassHousing or the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and who live in one of 29 communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

Lori L. purchased a single-family home with a MassDREAMS grant and a MassHousing mortgage through Susana Neves-Coito at BankFive. Lori was also helped by a grant from the City of New Bedford (above left is Kevin Sullivan from the City of New Bedford) and a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. "I am very grateful for the grants as I would not be a homeowner if I did not have them to make my mortgage affordable,” she said. “I love my new home!"

Other forms of down payment assistance still available

MassHousing continues to offer down payment assistance (DPA) for homebuyers who meet certain requirements. 

Even though the MassDREAMS grants are not currently available through MassHousing, we offer several other DPA programs, including our Workforce Advantage, which features up to 10% of the home's purchase price or $50,000 (whichever is less) for eligible buyers who purchase in Boston or 28 other Massachusetts communities, and up to $30,000 for buyers in all other Massachusetts communities.

While this DPA is not a grant, the terms are still very favorable. The assistance is a second mortgage loan, and repayment is deferred until the sale, refinance or payoff of the first mortgage. There are no monthly payments required. 

Learn more about down payment assistance from MassHousing. Or, contact a lender that offers MassHousing loans, to see if you may qualify. 

Help still available for those behind on mortgage payments due to COVID hardship

The Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund (MassHAF) continues to aid homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments by at least three months due to a COVID hardship. 

To check eligibility and begin an application for assistance, visit

For more program details and to see a dashboard on the program's performance to date, visit

Rental Housing

MassHousing closes loans for rental housing in Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Attleboro and Cambridge

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

City Square Elderly Housing, Boston (Charlestown):

$31 million in MassHousing financing will help CSI Support & Development Services extend affordability and complete extensive renovations at the 120-unit City Square Elderly Housing, which was built around 1900 and renovated by CSI in 1985. Read more.

Admiral's Tower, Chelsea: CSI Support & Development Services will use $18.1 million in MassHousing financing to extend affordability and complete property improvements at the 100-unit Admiral's Tower in Chelsea. Read more.

Stone Mill, Lawrence: MassHousing has closed on $25.8 million in affordable housing financing to WinnCompanies for the redevelopment of the historic Stone Mill in Lawrence into 86 units of new, highly efficient rental housing. The 177-year-old mill property will be the first all-electric housing development in Massachusetts. Read more.

Hillcrest Acres, Attleboro: The Retirement Housing Foundation and its consultant, the Schochet Companies, will use $18 million in MassHousing financing to extend affordability and complete extensive improvements at the 100-unit Hillcrest Acres, including the creation of accessible units. Read more.

1599 Columbus Avenue, Boston (Jackson Square): Financing is now complete for 1599 Columbus Avenue, where Urban Edge is creating a new 65-unit affordable rental housing community. The development is part of the ongoing Jackson Square redevelopment, which has created 487 mixed-income, transit-oriented rental homes while transforming the neighborhood into a vibrant and walkable community. Read more.

Rindge Commons, Cambridge: Just A Start will use $8.5 million in MassHousing financing to create 24 new units of affordable rental housing near the Alewife MBTA station. The property will also include 40,000 square feet of space to be used for Just A Start's new Economic Mobility Hub, which will include education and training facilities, and by the city of Cambridge as preschool classroom spaces with priority enrollment for residents. Read more.

St. Therese Everett: MassHousing joined staff from The Neighborhood Developers, CEDAC and WinnCompanies for a site visit marking the completion of St. Therese in Everett. Located on the former site of the St. Therese Roman Catholic Parish, the property includes 77 rental units, which MassHousing supported with $2 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and six homeownership townhomes, which received $900,000 through the CommonWealth Builder Program. The rental development is now complete and in lease-up, and five of the six homeownership units have been sold.

Equitable Business Development

New online tool connects diverse businesses with opportunities at MassHousing rental developments

MassHousing recently launched its newly improved Business Opportunity Feature, an online tool that allows property management companies and general contractors to easily 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 for alerts about opportunities in their service regions and fields of expertise. Learn more about the Business Opportunities Tool

MassHousing awards $143,332 for affordable sober housing in Massachusetts

MassHousing has awarded $143,332 in grants to help preserve 22 affordable sober housing units and provide supportive services for individuals and families in recovery. The grants were made through the Center for Community Recovery Innovations (CCRI), a nonprofit subsidiary of MassHousing, which has to date provided nearly $14 million in grants for the creation and preservation of more than 2,800 units of substance-free housing in 54 Massachusetts communities. Read more.

Second Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding round now open

Applications are now being accepted for funds being made available through MassHousing's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP addresses disinvestment and blighted conditions in Massachusetts communities by offering capital grant funds for redevelopment, reconstruction, renovation or repair of substandard and/or blighted properties to help stabilize neighborhoods across the Commonwealth. NSP funds are available to cities and towns, community development corporations and nonprofit organizations. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. Learn more about the NSP

Fire Sprinkler System Program offers grants to sober homes

The Fire Sprinkler System Program (FSSP) provides one-time grants to Massachusetts Alliance for Sober Housing (MASH)-Certified Sober Homes for the installation of sprinkler systems. FSSP grants provide the funding necessary to bring Sober Homes into compliance with MGL c. 148 s. 26H, as this new fire safety code is adopted by local cities and towns in Massachusetts. Learn more about the FSSP.

Staff News

MassHousing's Chrystal Kornegay (above left) and Tony Richards (above right) were on hand for Action for Boston Community Development's 2022 Community Heroes Celebration. Pictured above center with Chrystal and Tony is HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, the keynote speaker at the event, which marked ABCD's 60th anniversary…Chrystal Kornegay was named to the transition team for Governor-elect Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor-elect Kim Driscoll, and will serve on the Affordable, Abundant Housing Committee…MassHousing Director of Rental Management Henry Mukasa (below left) was recognized as the State Agency Staff Person of the Year by the New England Affordable Housing Management Association at the organization’s annual conference. 

LinkedIn  Twitter  Facebook