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Mass. seeks 10,000 mortgages for new homebuyers

June 10, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — State officials are seeking a commitment from banks to approve at least 10,000 mortgages for first-time homebuyers over the next five years.

The Massachusetts Home Ownership Compact, announced by Gov. Deval Patrick and state officials on Monday, calls on lenders to originate mortgage loans for buyers with household incomes that fall below the median income in their geographical areas.

“By giving more young people and families the opportunity to own a home, we retain our talent pool and create sustainable long term economic growth,” Patrick said in a statement.

Representatives of several banks that have signaled support for the compact joined Patrick for the announcement at the home of a first-time homeowner in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The institutions include Citizens Bank, Sovereign Bank, Eastern Bank, Rockland Bank and Trust, Enterprise Banks and Blue Hills Bank.

The compact will be administered through the nonprofit agencies MassHousing and Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

In addition to setting the goal of 10,000 mortgage loans over the next five years, state banking regulators planned to announce Monday $1.3 million in grants to 11 regional foreclosure prevention centers and 10 centers that encourage individual and first time homeownership.

“The centers receiving these grants do critical work, providing valuable education to potential home buyers and aiding those who are underwater or may be at risk of foreclosure,” said Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Patrick has proclaimed the week of June 10-16 Commonwealth Housing Week, which will include a number of events focused on affordable housing and foreclosure prevention.

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