MAHA Statement on Funding for First-Generation Homebuyers in the Build Back Better Act Framework

Dorchester, MA — Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) incoming executive director Symone Crawford issued the following statement today after President Biden and Congressional leaders released the framework for the Build Back Better Act, which includes significant funding for affordable housing, including a first-generation down payment assistance program inspired by MAHA’s STASH matched savings program for first-gen homebuyers.

“Three years ago when we designed the nation’s first program for homebuyers without a family history of homeownership, we never dreamed the concept of targeting first-gen homebuyers would go from an idea in Dorchester to on the verge of reality in the halls of Washington DC in such a short time. What we have been doing to close the racial homeownership gap is not nearly enough and this down payment assistance in the hands of first-generation homebuyers – those without the Bank of Mom and Dad – will be a gamechanger for hundreds of thousands of homebuyers throughout the country. In Massachusetts we have one of the worst racial homeownership gaps in the country and we desperately need multiple strategies to assist families of color in building intergenerational wealth.”

“Housing IS infrastructure and we thank Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey for their outspoken advocacy on racial equity and insisting that the Build Back Better Act include strong housing funding including supporting first-generation homebuyers. We also recognize and thank Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) for their outstanding leadership in drafting and filing the Downpayment Toward Equity Act."