With goal of raising $100 million fund for STASH program, MAHA calls contribution a vote of confidence in the innovative program to stabilize BIPOC families and communities,and create generational wealth.
June 30, 2021 (Dorchester, MA) – Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) today announced that the developers of Dorchester Bay City, a joint venture of Accordia Partners, LLC and the Real Estate Group of Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES), have committed $10 million to fund its STASH program for first generation homebuyers. “Saving Towards Affordable & Sustainable Homeownership” (STASH) provides homebuyer education and matched savings for a down payment on a house in Massachusetts. Launched in 2019, the program is the first of its kind in the country and serves a population, first-generation homebuyers that is not widely recognized by the public or policy makers.
“Massachusetts' historically racialized home mortgage market and resulting racial wealth inequalities indicate a need for programs like STASH, which creates equitable homeownership opportunities for families of color,” said MAHA Director of STASH and Homeownership Operations Symone Crawford, a Mattapan homeowner and herself a first-generation homebuyer seventeen years ago. “Our goal is to create a $100 million fund to support the STASH program and dramatically expand the number of qualified first-generation homebuyers we can support. Dorchester Bay’s commitment is a significant step toward this goal and should incentivize others to consider similar contributions to address risk of displacement and gentrification associated with new development projects.”
Located at the former Bayside Expo Center site, the mixed-use Dorchester Bay City project is anchored by commercial development and includes housing, retail/restaurant and open space. The team is considering every aspect of the project – from the development team and construction partners to the long-term economic development and housing opportunities – through the prism of wealth generation for communities of color and residents of the nearby Dorchester and South Boston neighborhoods.
“Though this project is primarily comprised of commercial space, we wanted to maximize the opportunities for nearby residents to buy homes in their neighborhoods,” said Kirk Sykes, Accordia Partners. “We are confident that the unique aspects of the STASH program and MAHA’s relationship with countless potential homebuyers, many of whom are people of color, and other partner non-profits means that these commitments will make an immediate and meaningful impact.”
“We are excited to further Dorchester Bay City’s commitment to creating housing opportunities for neighborhood residents across both for rent and for sale alternatives. DBC is thrilled to support the enablement of Dorchester residents to share in positive long-term economic growth through MAHA’s STASH Program. This endeavor aligns well with Ares’ commitment to sustainability and efforts to drive prosperity for our stakeholders and within our communities,” said Andrew Holm, Partner, Ares Real Estate Group.
Dorchester Bay City has been in detailed conversation with MAHA members for nearly 18 months, with a focus on identifying programmatic opportunities that would best support wealth generation and home ownership goals important to the community. MAHA member Ruthzee Louijeune assisted with the drafting of the commitment and led discussions on what it would entail. MAHA members Acia Adams-Heath, Geneva Cooper, Donna King, Kathy Glynn, Segun Omolade, and Felicia Richard, along with Louijeune, led a team of more than 250 Boston residents that met with Accordia executives on four separate occasions during 2020 and 2021.
"I appreciate the continued creativity of the Dorchester Bay City team in partnering with local organizations to maximize the positive local impact of Dochester Bay City in our community," said City Councilor Frank Baker. "Although this is just one of the many economic benefits DBC offers Dorchester, South Boston and the broader city, it is an important step towards advancing home ownership by local residents."
To achieve homeownership opportunities for people of color and build wealth via home equity, MAHA currently utilizes a down payment assistance approach for STASH. The program provides homebuyer education and structure for participants to save at least $2,000 of their own money in a STASH-specific savings account. Upon completion of at least eight monthly homebuyer education sessions and successfully closing on a new home, participants currently receive up to a 2 to 1 savings match towards the down payment and/or closing costs. This funding, once received by MAHA, will allow for the scaling of the program up to a 10:1 match. 96% of STASH participants are people of color. Median household income is $56,500, and the average household size is 2.6 persons; 90% are current Boston residents and 38% are currently Dorchester residents.
“Down payments are a large barrier to low-to-moderate income households in buying a home, particularly in the high-cost Boston market,” said MAHA’s Symone Crawford. “This program is a force multiplier in local residents’ abilities to overcome this barrier. Dorchester Bay City has already been an outstanding partner and we also expect to maximize connections between our program participants with the workforce opportunities associated with the commercial development at the site.”
MAHA is a Dorchester-based nonprofit organization that educates and mobilizes to increase affordable homeownership opportunities, break down barriers facing first-time and first-generation homebuyers, and close the racial wealth and homeownership gaps. Since 1985, our campaigns have resulted in affordable mortgages for over 23,000 homebuyers and over $10 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing. Our comprehensive homebuyer and homeowner education programs have graduated nearly 40,000 individuals, more than any other organization in the state.
About Accordia Partners
Accordia Partners, LLC (MBE) was formed in September 2014 to pursuing large, complex, urban real estate development projects within Boston. Led by partners Kirk Sykes and Richard Galvin, Accordia Partners has a combined 60 years of development experience in the Boston market. A core component of Accordia's mission is to leverage the scale of these urban projects in order to increase the level of inclusion and diversity within the real estate, design, and construction industries. Accordia's projects create opportunities in equity, employment, and education for all of Boston's citizens.
About Ares Management Corporation
Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES) is a leading global alternative investment manager offering clients complementary primary and secondary investment solutions across the credit, private equity, real estate and infrastructure asset classes. We seek to provide flexible capital to support businesses and create value for our stakeholders and within our communities. By collaborating across our investment groups, we aim to generate consistent and attractive investment returns throughout market cycles. As of March 31, 2021, including the acquisition of Landmark Partners, which closed June 2, 2021, Ares Management’s global platform had approximately $227 billion of assets under management with more than 1,600 employees operating across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.aresmgmt.com. Follow Ares on Twitter @Ares_Management.
About Ares Real Estate Group
The Ares Real Estate Group manages comprehensive public and private, equity and debt strategies with approximately $17.1 billion of assets under management and approximately 85 investment professionals, as of March 31, 2021. The real estate team maintains a time-tested and consistent investment approach across equity and debt strategies focusing on major property types that have value creation opportunities, located in liquid markets with diversified economies.