Saving Towards Affordable Sustainable Homeownership (STASH™) is a first in the nation matched savings program for first-generation first-time homebuyers in Massachusetts. This three-year program focuses on financial literacy topics that are essential to the homebuying journey. STASH™ equips graduates with confidence, knowledge, and resources to make informed choices about buying their first home. A cohort of participants is led through 12 seminar topics ranging from SMART goal setting for homeownership, establishing good saving habits, building a budget, managing credit, consumer rights, estate planning and more; all of which are essential to preparing for the home buying process and sustaining homeownership.
Who is qualified to participate?
To qualify you must:
- Be a first-generation homebuyer
- Be a graduate of MAHA's (or another CHAPA certified) first time homebuyer class
- Earn 100% of area median income and below for each household (”Household” Income limit cannot exceed 100% AMI based on household size and county in which you currently live)
- Earn a minimum household income of $45,000 per year
Then once you are enrolled in the program you must attend 8 one-hour monthly credit, budget, and asset management sessions virtually via Zoom video conference and save $2,000 from your own funds over the course of one year into the STASH™ savings account we open on your behalf with a participating bank.
You cannot have an offer on a home accepted or a home under a purchase and sale agreement when applying to the program or plan to secure a home before completing the minimum program requirements. The program is designed in a manner that allows participants to complete the program in as little as four months or a maximum of three years, depending on the applicant's own stage in the homebuying process.
What is a first-generation homebuyer?
If neither you nor your parents ever owned a home in your lifetime or lost it due to foreclosure in the US, then you are a first-generation homebuyer.
What documents do I need to apply?
- Two of the applicant's most recent pay stubs
- One recent pay stub, SSI/SSDI or retirement, court ordered child support for all other household members earning income
- One recent bank statement (Savings and Checking - assets not to exceed $75,000.00)
- 2020/2021 W2 statement received from an employer
- Schedule C net profit and loss statement for self-employed applicants (Previous 2-years 2020 & 2021)
How much is the match?
For STASH™ participants who buy in Boston, after saving $2,000 you can receive from $10,000 up to $20,000 in matching funds, depending on other assistance programs you are accessing.
How does it work?
If you qualify to participate, you can sign up for the monthly savings club. Once enrolled, you must:
- Make monthly deposits into your STASH™ account to reach savings goal of $2,000
- Attend 8 of 12 offered financial literacy seminars to graduate
- Use the matched funds towards your new home (pre-purchase or closing needs) once you have graduated from the program
- The program can be completed in as little as 4 months or up to 3 years
Why first-generation homebuyers?
STASH™ is an example of a race-conscious public policy. Massachusetts has one of the worst racial homeownership and wealth gaps in the nation. We need to be intentional about closing that gap and STASH™ can play a role. First-generation homebuyers do not have the "Bank of Mom and Dad" and STASH™ can be that resource to help put first-generation homebuyers on a level playing field with those that have intergenerational assets.
Who participates in STASH?
The median income of STASH™ households is $60,000 and the average household size is 2.6 persons. 350 STASH participants have saved over $856,118 and 75 have purchased. The demographics of our buyers are: 65% Black, 22% Latinx; 5% multiple race; 3% white; and 5% Asian. Out of all the participants who have bought homes, 40% bought in Boston and 60% bought outside of Boston.
Ready to enroll?
The program has a rolling admission. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Donate to STASH in Memory of Jesse Hubbell
Jesse Hubbell passed away suddenly and tragically on June 17, 2019 while working on location in Montana. Jesse was born and raised in Washington D.C., but it was Jesse's love of music and the Jazz guitar that brought him to college in Boston, and it was there he stayed to build a career in commercial and film production. Homeownership was also important to Jesse and his family and friends have joined together to raise money for MAHA's STASH™ program in honor of Jesse's life and his belief in the power of homeownership. Join Jesse's family and friends and donate to STASH™ today to help us reach more first-generation homebuyers and provide a direct savings match.