As interest rates approach new highs unseen in the last two decades and home inventories dwindle, affording a home in today’s market requires innovative programs to make homeownership more accessible and affordable. State housing finance agencies (HFAs) are critical in navigating market changes and designing new affordable housing programs for their communities. Framework is proud to provide a tech-enabled platform that provides homebuyer education to the many HFAs we partner and work with across the country.
Each year, the Awards for Program Excellence from the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) honor state HFAs annually for their outstanding public-purpose programs and practices across multiple categories. This year’s winners were recently announced, and we wanted to take a moment to recognize the impactful programs that created over 10,000 new affordable homes and homeowners within the homeownership category. These four programs increased access to stable homeownership during COVID-19, the aftermath of two destabilizing hurricanes in Puerto Rico, and the shrinking availability of affordable housing.
MassHousing Rebounds from COVID-19 to Create Opportunities for Communities of Color
MassDREAMS is a program that offers grants of up to $50,000 for down payment, closing costs, and mortgage insurance assistance to borrowers living in communities impacted by COVID-19 with enormous success in creating opportunities for borrowers of color.
One MassHousing borrower who received over $40,000 in MassDREAMS funds shared, “We were super excited to hear that we may be eligible for the MassDREAMS Grant. It was a tremendous help to us. I’m not sure how far we would’ve gotten without it. I am so happy to have a home for my kids to come home to and extremely grateful.”
Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority Assists Over 6,000 Homebuyers
The Homebuyer Assistance Program, funded with Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds, supports community sustainability and viability by increasing homeownership rates across Puerto Rico. By establishing partnerships, the PRHFA has developed an ecosystem that benefits program outcomes: increasing the level of homeownership on the island as part of the disaster and economic recovery of the island after hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Mr. Carlos Durán, a 29-year-old police officer in San Juan, purchased his first home through the HBA Program. Mr. Durán expressed: “It is a blessing to have my first home. It is a very important process in life that everyone wants to achieve. I feel very happy and proud.”
Minnesota Housing Makes Homeownership Affordable for Generations to Come with Community Land Trusts
To develop perpetually affordable homes, Minnesota Housing invests in and partners with community land trusts (CLTs). The CLT model is a shared equity homeownership model where homeowners and CLTs share ownership of a home. CLTs hold the property’s land in trust while selling the structure and improvements to the homebuyers. Through the Community Homeownership Impact Fund, Minnesota Housing is creating, preserving, and financing housing that is affordable for all Minnesotans.
California Housing Finance Agency Increases Home Inventory and Income Streams
The California legislature allocated $100 million in 2021 for CalHFA to develop and implement a program to incentivize the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (think basement or garage apartments, or detached buildings) by low-to-moderate-income homeowners. The grant provided up to $40,000 towards predevelopment and non-reoccurring closing costs associated with ADU construction. ADUs are not just an affordable housing solution; they also act as an additional form of income for homeowners that build them and do not require personal use of them.
The winners of the 2023 NCSHA Awards in the homeownership category have shown unwavering dedication to making homeownership more accessible to all. Their innovative approaches, community outreach, and commitment to affordability have transformed the landscape of homeownership in the United States. As we celebrate their accomplishments, we also recognize the collective effort required to ensure that the dream of owning a home becomes a reality for more individuals and families. These award recipients are the driving force behind a brighter, more inclusive future in which homeownership truly is attainable for all.
Interested in partnering? Provide your future homeowners the know-how to buy their first home with Framework® – the homebuyer education platform used by over 1.5 million homeowners.