Almost thirty years ago, a determined group of women of color fought hard to reverse a decades-long pattern of racial discrimination in mortgage lending, and to make homeownership more affordable to people of all races and ethnicities. These MAHA members campaigned for two years and finally came to an agreement with Boston’s leading banks. Together they launched an innovative, affordable mortgage program that has changed the lending landscape in Massachusetts.
In 2013 the program, then known as the SoftSecond Mortgage Program, was redesigned into a simpler, equally affordable loan, and is now called the ONE Mortgage Program. Since 1990, the SoftSecond and ONE Mortgage have helped over 20,000 low- and moderate-income first time homebuyers and infused over $3.2 billion in capital into Massachusetts neighborhoods. 37 lenders currently participate.
How does it work?
First time homebuyers save thousands with the ONE Mortgage Program. It features:
Low fixed interest rates - Participating Lenders must offer ONE Mortgage at a discounted interest rate that is fixed for 30-years.
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. Half of the 3% must come from the homebuyer’s own funds and the other half can be a gift or a grant from a down payment assistance program. For three-family homes, 3% must come from the buyer’s own funds and 2% can 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 thousands.
Subsidy available for qualified borrowers - Some ONE Mortgage buyers qualify for a zero percent interest subsidy payment from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. This further reduces the monthly payments for the first seven years of ownership.
Do I have to take a class?
Yes. Lenders and public agencies require that ONE Mortgage Program borrowers attend certified pre- and post-purchase classes offered by MAHA and other non-profit organizations. We recommend them too! You will learn a lot, meet other homebuyers going through the process, and connect to a counselor who can help you each step of the way. Once you take a MAHA class, we will work with you until you get the keys to your new home, and then afterward to help you become a successful homeowner, condo association member, or landlord.