Twenty years ago, a determined group of women of color fought hard to reverse a decades-long pattern of racial discrimination in mortgage lending. These MAHA members successfully negotiated for the SoftSecond loan program, an innovative, affordable mortgage program for low- and moderate-income homebuyers that has changed the lending landscape in Boston and in Massachusetts. In 2013, the SoftSecond loan program was redesigned into a simpler, but still affordable loan, and is now called the ONE Mortgage Program. Through the end of 2013, some lenders will continue to originate the old SoftSecond loans but by 2014, all lenders will have switched to the new ONE Mortgage Program.
Today, MAHA members have lending agreements with Blue Hills Bank, Citizens, Santander, and Eastern for lending under the program. The program is administered by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and has helped over 17,000 homebuyers buy their first home. It has had a remarkable record of low delinquency and foreclosure rates performing better than mortgages to borrowers of all incomes.
How does it work?
You can save thousands with the ONE Mortgage Program, a low-interest rate, low down payment mortgage for first-time homebuyers. It features:
Low fixed interest rates - MAHA's partner lenders offer ONE Mortgage interest rates that are fixed for 30-years and below market rate.
Low down payment - The minimum down payment for a ONE Mortgage Program loan is 3% of the purchase price for condos, single and two-family homes and 5% for three-family homes; some of which can even be a gift or grant.
No PMI - Borrowers who qualify for a ONE Mortgage are not required to pay Private Mortgage Insurance - a savings of approximately $125 to $250 per month.
No points - "Points" are fees banks ask buyers to pay when they buy a home. One point equals 1 percent of the loan. Banks do not charge points for ONE Mortgage loans. Not paying points will save buyers $3000-$7000.
Subsidy available for qualified borrowers - Some ONE Mortgage buyers qualify for a zero percent interest subsidy payment from MHP.
Do I have to take a class?
Yes. In exchange for offering these great affordable products, banks and public agencies will require that borrowers attend certified pre- and post-purchase classes offered by MAHA and other non-profits. We recommend them too! You will learn a lot, meet other homebuyers going through the process, and will be connecting to a counselor that can help you each step of the way.