Low- and moderate-income homebuyers in Massachusetts have a new tool that will connect them with resources to manage different stages of the homebuying process.
Modeled after a site introduced last year to help renters find affordable housing, MyMassHome launched last week with a suite of tools to help homebuyers seeking affordable homes.
Sponsored by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and MassHousing, the new site was created through a partnership that included the Citizens’ Housing & Planning Association, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
“Expanding access to affordable homeownership opportunities is critical, and MyMassHome will ensure a comprehensive, more modern, and user-friendly option for people searching for their next home,” Rachel Heller, CHAPA’s CEO, said in a statement. “By putting all the information together in one place, including the state investments that make affordable homeownership possible, sustainable homeownership is within reach for people who have been left out of the market. This is a step towards closing the racial homeownership gap so more families across the Commonwealth can thrive.”
In a joint statement, the organizations pointed to the success of the online rental search website Housing Navigator Massachusetts that launched last year to help low- and moderate-income individuals and families find affordable rental housing. Housing Navigator had 100,000 users in its first year and over 1.6 million pageviews, the statement said.
“As an organization that finances affordable multifamily apartments and helps first-time homebuyers with its ONE Mortgage Program, MHP appreciates Housing Navigator and CHAPA’s efforts to create greater access for renters and homebuyers,” Clark Ziegler, executive director of the MHP, said in a statement. “Capitalizing on Housing Navigator’s success at creating a universal affordable rental listing by adding an updated and modern companion portal for homeownership will be a big boost to the Commonwealth’s efforts to create better access to housing for all.”
Housing Navigator and MyMassHome replace the MassAccess Housing Registry, which launched in 1996 as an online resource for Massachusetts residents searching for affordable and accessible housing. The statement said MassAccess had an outdated design, was difficult for users to navigate and offered limited connections to other housing resources.
Through MyMassHome, users will have access to a new search function for affordable and accessible homes for sale. The tool will also provide access to resources previously found at separate websites: down payment assistance information, first-time homebuyer education courses and state-sponsored products offered by MHP and MassHousing.
“MyMassHome will be another important tool to help us confront the housing challenges facing the residents of the Commonwealth,” MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay said in the statement. “Purchasing a home in Massachusetts, particularly for first-time buyers, has never been more competitive and MyMassHome will provide lower- and moderate-income homebuyers all the information they need about where homes are for sale, how to take a homebuyer education course, down payment assistance options and financing programs available in Massachusetts.”