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CommonWealth Builder Program Guidelines

Across Massachusetts, the demand among moderate-income households for high-quality homes to
purchase outpaces the supply. This is particularly true in communities of color – including Gateway
Cities – where moderate-income households looking to purchase their first home well outnumber the
appropriate stock. In Massachusetts, the homeownership rate for people of color is approximately half
what it is for white residents – a statewide disparity that is currently the sixth greatest in the nation.
The lack of moderately-priced inventory in many communities is yet another obstacle that prevents
minority homebuyers from investing in a home of their own and may widen the racial homeownership
gap further still. Yet absent a market incentive, demand will likely continue to outpace supply in
communities of color and for moderate-income households across Massachusetts.
The CommonWealth Builder Program dedicates $60 million to create new affordable homeownership
opportunities for households earning between 70% and 120% of the area median income (AMI)1
. This
program will help increase the homeownership opportunities for households of moderate means, and
will support vibrant communities, a strong economy and a stable workforce in the Commonwealth.
MassHousing has established the program guidelines set forth below to ensure that program funds are
utilized to add to the supply of new workforce homeownership housing units and the long-term
availability of those units to eligible moderate-income households.
Although not intended to set forth all the terms and conditions of MassHousing’s funding, these
guidelines define program eligibility and certain requirements associated with the financing of these
units, including compliance with MassHousing’s enabling act, Chapter 708 of the Acts of 1966, as
amended. Individual projects that are consistent with the program goals may require deviation from
these guidelines; these will be reviewed by MassHousing staff on a case-by-case basis and will be subject
to approval by the Executive Director or Vice President of Multifamily Programs, in consultation with the
Project Advisory Committee (described below).