MassHousing Update, October 2021
Agency News
Chrystal Kornegay talks housing on Chronicle
MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay was on WCVB's Chronicle recently, discussing some of the challenges in today's housing market as well as MassHousing's programs for homeowners and first-time homebuyers. Watch it here.
Tony Richards joins MassHousing as VP of Equitable Business Development
Tony Richards recently joined MassHousing as Vice President of Equitable Business Development, a new position that works across the Agency to increase the impact and reach of our work, particularly with people of color. Mr. Richards' skills and experience, combined with the expertise of MassHousing's Diversity & Inclusion, Government Affairs and Innovation Policy teams, will strengthen and cultivate productive internal and external relationships that drive impact and grow revenue equitably.

Prior to joining MassHousing, Mr. Richards worked in the Massachusetts Governor's Office as Deputy Chief of Staff for Access and Opportunity and Director of Community Affairs. He also held various senior leadership roles where he fostered upward mobility for urban youth and families while expanding impact and positive key indicators related to housing stability, economic growth, sustainability and community development.

Mr. Richards holds a Bachelor's degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Master's in Public Administration from Suffolk University.
Technical assistance for neighborhood renewal available
The Neighborhood Hub - which supports the revitalization of neighborhoods with a high rate of vacant, abandoned, or underused housing structures - is looking for new partners.

The program provides equitable technical assistance to municipalities and their local or regional partners to support housing renewal initiatives. The Neighborhood Hub is administered by MassHousing and is made possible by funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

You can learn more about eligible grant activities, see previous case studies, and start the funding application process here.
Emergency housing payment assistance during COVID-19
Massachusetts has several programs that provide housing assistance to renters, homeowners and property owners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial hardships it has caused.

These programs include Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) and Subsidized Housing Emergency Rental Assistance (SHERA).

In today’s heated market, homebuyer education is more important than ever
MassHousing partners with non-profit homebuyer education agencies. Why? To set first-time buyers up for success! Two of these professional counselors recently shared some thoughts on the buying experience in our newsletter, Homebuyer Tips. Want Homebuyer Tips delivered free to your inbox? Go to and sign up!
Jose Cedanio, Somerville Community Corporation
"Each homebuying journey is unique. In our classes we stress the importance of building a strong team of real estate professionals, which include a real estate agent, lender, attorney and home inspector. Be sure to assemble a team that you can work with. Although the steps for buying a home are the same for everyone, the amount of time it takes can vary greatly from person to person. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen right away for you.”
Cathy Mercado, Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership
Three Tips for First-Generation Homebuyers

  1. Take a first-time homebuyer class from a trusted provider. A responsible, accredited homebuyer education provider will provide you with unbiased information and help you make smart and responsible homebuying decisions.  
  2. Take advantage of one-on-one counseling sessions. MVHP and other trusted providers offer one-on-one counseling sessions for attendees of homebuyer education classes. Over multiple sessions, they’ll provide an in-depth review of a homebuyer's finances, credit and budget, and will provide resources and advice for how to best move forward.  
  3. Research products and programs in your area. Look for local loan and grant programs in the cities and towns you're considering. For example, the city of Lowell covers closing costs for eligible homebuyers using a MassHousing Mortgage with Down Payment Assistance and offers its own down payment assistance programs. Many other communities offer grants and incentives, as well. 
Rental wrap-up
Recent Multifamily Closings
Franklin Park Apartments, Boston: MassHousing is providing $31.4 million in financing to help The Community Builders extend affordability and complete property improvements at this 219-unit, scattered-site development. The property was substantially rehabilitated in 2009, with $25 million in MassHousing financing. Read more…
Golda Meir House, Newton: $23.5 million in MassHousing financing will help 2Life Communities add 68 new rental homes for seniors to the existing 199-unit Golda Meir campus. The expansion was made possible by 2Life Communities being awarded development rights to a parcel of adjacent land owned by the City of Newton. Read more…
Moran Square, Fitchburg: Rees-Larkin Development will use $5.3 million in MassHousing financing to create 44 new affordable and workforce apartments as part of the ongoing Moran Square redevelopment in downtown Fitchburg. The project includes conversion of two historic buildings and construction of a new building. Read more…
Kuehn's Way, Tisbury: $3.8 million in MassHousing financing will support the nonprofit Island Housing Trust's development of a new, 20-unit rental community, the largest to be built on Martha's Vineyard in 15 years. The project is being built with modular units that will be shipped to the island and constructed into 10 duplex homes. Read more…
Groundbreakings and Ribbon-Cuttings
O'Shea House, Brookline: MassHousing's Chrystal Kornegay helped celebrate the completion of work at O'Shea House, where $25 million in MassHousing financing helped the Brookline Housing Authority complete renovations and extend affordability for 99 elderly and disabled households. Renovations included aging in place features and substantial energy efficiency improvements to reduce the property's carbon footprint.
Pitts Portfolio, Boston: MassHousing joined Mayor Kim Janey, local and state officials and residents for a ribbon-cutting event for the former Lorenzo Pitts Estate portfolio of affordable housing. MassHousing provided a total of $45.7 million in financing to help the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation acquire, renovate and preserve affordability in perpetuity for 201 units of affordable housing located in scattered sites in Dorchester and Roxbury.
Overlook Terrace/Orient Heights Groundbreaking: Work is underway on the final phase of Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights in East Boston. Phase 3 of the project will complete the redevelopment and revitalization of the 331-unit Orient Heights public housing community.
Richard Rothstein discusses impact of government policy on housing, health and educational outcomes for Black Americans
Richard Rothstein, Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, recently joined MassHousing's Multifamily Advisory Committee to discuss his book, "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America," and his other research on race, housing and education. Watch it here.
Housing Navigator MA rental search is now live!
Renters now have access to a powerful tool to aid them in their search for an affordable apartment in Massachusetts. Housing Navigator MA has more than 2,000 properties located in 267 communities listed on the site. MassHousing joined the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Mass. Housing Partnership and MassDevelopment in financing the Housing Navigator. More than 40 of the largest affordable housing owners in Massachusetts have verified listings on the site.

Diversity & Inclusion
Look who’s doing business at MassHousing rental projects
Through our Diversity & Inclusion Division, MassHousing helps diverse businesses access the economic opportunities created by the housing we finance and oversee. Two such businesses are profiled below.
The Bald Hill Builders team with Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria (center) at St. Therese. From left are Bald Hill Builders' Dan Preininger, Matt Grosshandler, Brenda Laurenza, Nate Ploughman, Matt Blackerby and Lisa Moniz.

Bald Hill Builders 
Bald Hill Builders is an SDO-certified woman-owned commercial general contractor based in Walpole. Founded in 2008, the company specializes in preconstruction, construction management, general contracting and design/build construction. Two-thirds of the company's leadership team is comprised of women.

"We love technical projects—urban infill, tough logistics, sustainable buildings (Passive House, E+, NetZero, etc.), adaptive reuse, and occupied renovations," said company founder and president Brenda Laurenza. "There’s something about having to roll up our sleeves and figure out challenges that motivates us."

Bald Hill Builders works primarily in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Among their recent projects are St. Therese, a new 77-unit development for older adults in Everett; and construction of the community center at Olmstead Green in Boston (Mattapan).
One Way Development 
Founded in 2004, One Way Development is a general, mechanical and electrical construction company with experience and expertise in new construction and renovations of single- and multifamily housing. The company is an SDO-certified MBE; MassUCP-certified DBE; and SBA-certified 8a contractor. The company is also a certified Lead Safe Renovator.

Founder Abraham Gonzalez wanted One Way’s edge over its competition to be customer service, and has made that the company’s highest goal. In addition, One Way has helped many diverse contractors gain their footing in the construction industry by offering them back office support.

“We know they have the expertise to perform the tasks associated with the actual scope of work,” said Mr. Gonzalez. “Therefore, we allow them to concentrate their efforts on producing quality work, while we handle the administrative tasks associated with these projects on their behalf. This is a win/win situation for everyone.”

One Way has worked with a number of MassHousing partners, including recent involvement in TLee Development’s 191 Talbot Residences, the Boston Department of Neighborhood Development’s Violet/Norfolk Properties and Nuestra Comunidad's Alaska Street and Howard Harlow projects.
Community Services
MassHousing grants support local efforts to confront hoarding
MassHousing has awarded 12 Mannillo Grants totaling more than $53,000 to support the efforts of local and regional hoarding disorder networks across the Commonwealth. The awards help these organizations bring together local partners to plan, sponsor trainings and community education events; discuss and strategize around cases; develop, coordinate and provide services such as coaching, decluttering, sorting, discarding and cleanups; and organize professional and peer-led support groups.

The awards are named in honor of the late Lee A. Mannillo, a founding member and chair of the Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force who also worked with MassHousing to provide start-up assistance to many localities across the Commonwealth. Ms. Mannillo continues to provide inspiration in the communities and initiatives of hoarding teams, networks and collaboratives.