MAHA Announces Eastern Bank’s Increased Participation In State’s Most Affordable Mortgage Plan

BOSTON – February 16, 2022 – Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) today announced a 500 loan commitment over a five-year period from Eastern Bank that that will more than double its lending in the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s ONE Mortgage program. Eastern has been a long-time participant in the program, and MAHA has successfully reached 23,600 low and moderate homebuyers with 60% of those being persons of color through the overall program. Eastern’s goal will be to fund at least 100 ONE Mortgage loans each year from 2021-2025.

“Eastern recognizes the importance of taking specific steps to close the state’s racial homeownership gap and is committed to helping all of us do more if we are going to make progress in narrowing the racial homeownership gap,” said Symone Crawford, MAHA’s executive director. “We applaud Bob Rivers, Quincy Miller, John Brodrick  and the entire team at Eastern for their outstanding leadership in helping to ensure safe and affordable housing becomes a reality for many more homeowners in the Commonwealth.”

“Homeownership is one of the most effective means to help families and individuals build long-term wealth and we are focused on doing our part to help make this a reality for people across Massachusetts,” said Bob Rivers, CEO and Chair of the Board of Eastern Bankshares, Inc. and Eastern Bank. “We thank the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance for making a real difference in our communities.”

ONE Mortgage is offered by participating Massachusetts banks and credit unions. The program was developed in 1990 by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Bankers Association, MAHA, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth. The program breaks down barriers that prevent creditworthy families from buying a home: inadequate consumer education, high interest rates and fees, excessive down payment requirements, compulsory mortgage insurance, and a bias against 2- and 3-family properties. Those are barriers that affect everyone, especially families of color.

“There is no other bank-financed mortgage program in the country that has achieved comparable community impact or loan performance, much less at this scale or over this long a period of time,” said Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

"I applaud Eastern Bank for its continued commitment and latest leadership to address the racial homeownership wealth gap, said Boston City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune. “We need more banks to step up, participate in these programs, and match Eastern Bank's commitment to correcting the deep historical barriers in lending that have stymied wealth-building in marginalized communities, especially Black and Latinx communities."