STASH First-Gen Home is a first in the nation matched savings program for first-generation first-time homebuyers in Massachusetts. This one-year program focuses on financial literacy topics that are essential to the homebuying journey. STASH First-Gen Home 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 approved) 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
- Must be mortgage ready, meaning:
- a minimum credit score of 640 and less than two adverse issues on credit report
- savings minimum of $3,000 with the capacity to save an additional $2,000 within 6 months, or savings of $5,000
Then once you are enrolled in the program you must attend 8 out of the 12 financial literacy sessions which are offered twice a month virtually via Zoom and save $2,000 from your own funds into the STASH savings account we open on your behalf with Cambridge Trust.
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. Participants must buy a home by December 2024.
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, and your spouse nor your spouse's parents ever owned a home in the US.
What documents do I need to apply?
- Photo ID
- Verification of income: one month's worth of 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)
- For self-employed applicants: Schedule C 1040 form net profit or loss statement (Previous 2-years 2021 & 2022)
How much is the match?
The matching grant is up to $40,000 in Boston, up to $25,000 in Salem, and up to $20,000 elsewhere in Massachusetts (depending on mortgage type, and other downpayment assistance received).
How does it work?
Participants attend two seminars a month over the course of six months on financial literacy topics, hearing from presenters and working towards their goal of homeownership in community with other first-generation homebuyers.
Why first-generation homebuyers?
STASH First-Gen Home 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 First-Gen Home 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 First-Gen Home?
The median income of participant households is $59,999 and the average household size is 2.5 persons. 95 STASH participants have purchased homes since 2019. The demographics of our buyers are: 59% Black, 22% Latinx; 10% multiple race; 3% white; and 6% Asian. Out of all the participants who have bought homes, 41% bought in Boston and 59% bought outside of Boston.
Applicants must be referred by one of our partner agencies: Housing Assistance Corporation Cape Cod, Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership, Way Finders Inc, NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, Harborlight Homes, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, and Urban Edge.
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.