The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched the MassDREAMS (Delivering Real Equity and Mortgage Stability) grant program, which may help Malden residents achieve their dream of homeownership. The purpose of the program is to expand the sources of funding for down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers. Federally funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), MassDREAMS seeks to address housing security caused by the disproportionate economic impact of Covid-19.
Mayor Gary Christenson noted, “Any program that helps our residents unlock the doors to home ownership opportunities should be fully explored. Many of our residents experience housing instability because they are cost burdened. This new program with its sizable down payment offering may help them achieve their dreams of owning a home.”
The MassDREAMS grant, administered by MassHousing, currently has around $40 million worth of funding available. To see the list of lenders currently approved by MassHousing, please visit https://www.masshousing.com/en/home-ownership/homebuyers/massdreams.
The program requires the borrower to be a first-time homebuyer, which MassHousing defines as not having owned a home for at least three years. To qualify, at least one of the borrowers must currently reside in one of the 29 Disproportionately Impacted Communities also known as Gateway Cities. This includes Attleboro, Barnstable, Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester. There is no set limit for how long a borrower must reside in a Disproportionately Impacted Community, but they must provide documents for residency. Properties purchased - condos or 1-4 family homes - may be located anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to receive the grant but must be the homebuyer’s primary residence.
The borrower must receive a MassHousing or MHP first mortgage loan in conjunction with this grant program. The borrower may also layer MassDREAMS with the MassHousing Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program, Workforce Advantage loans, and other loans/ grants. To qualify for MassDREAMS, the homebuyer’s annual income must not exceed 135% Average Median Income (AMI). Assistance is available up to $50,000 if the borrower’s income is at or below 100% AMI, and up to $35,000 for incomes falling between 100.1%-135% AMI. Furthermore, the MassDREAMS grant is forgivable and does not require repayment.
The State also offers other down payment assistance payment programs. For more information about these programs and the MassDREAMS program, visit https://www.masshousing.com/home-ownership or https://www.mhp.net/one-mortgage/massdreams.