April 1, 2024

Adult man and woman holding moving boxes with a girl holding a plant and a boy standing in front of them as they walk into a home.

FHLBank Boston Offers Homeownership Assistance Program for People of Color

FHLBank Boston is pleased to announce it will again offer Lift Up Homeownership, a Special Purpose Credit Program, to financial institutions in New England to provide down-payment and closing-cost assistance to people of color purchasing their first home.  

FHLBank Boston's Lift Up Homeownership Program

Lift Up Homeownership is part of a suite of homeownership assistance programs that FHLBank Boston offers to their bank and credit union members to help income-eligible borrowers of all races and ethnicities in the communities they serve purchase a home. 

FHLBank Boston member financial institutions are eligible to apply to participate in Lift Up Homeownership, which offers people of color earning up to 120% of the area median income purchasing their first home with up to $50,000 in grant funding. Grant recipients must purchase a home in New England and complete a homebuyer counseling program prior to receiving a grant. The Bank defines a person of color as someone who is Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and/or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

After conducting research on racial inequities in housing and legal and regulatory reviews, FHLBank Boston launched Lift Up Homeownership with unanimous approval from the bank’s board of directors as a way to address the racial homeownership and wealth gaps that exist in New England. As a Special Purpose Credit Program, Lift Up Homeownership allows the bank and its members to provide enhanced down-payment and closing-cost assistance to people of color without violating the Fair Housing Act.

In addition to Lift Up Homeownership, FHLBank Boston offers Equity Builder Program and Housing Our Workforce, programs that offer down-payment and closing-cost assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers regardless of their racial or ethnic backgrounds. 

“Homeownership offers a pathway to upward mobility, stability, and positive outcomes for individuals and families. Many of our members embraced Lift Up Homeownership last year and are eager to participate in it again as it provides an important mechanism to help address racial homeownership and wealth gaps in the New England communities our members serve,” said Timothy J. Barrett, FHLBank Boston president and CEO. 

“Homeownership is one of the primary ways people build wealth but the high cost of living in New England makes it difficult for first-time homebuyers to afford down payments, closing costs, and monthly mortgage payments. This challenge is exacerbated for people of color as exemplified by their significantly lower rates of homeownership and accumulated wealth. FHLBank Boston designed the Lift Up Homeownership program to narrow the racial homeownership gap in New England,” said Elizabeth Bridgewater, executive director of the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust in Vermont and a member of FHLBank Boston’s Advisory Council. 

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