Lift Up Homeownership Scheme Joined by Four Local Banking Entities
Four banking institutions, operating in the Franklin County and North Quabbin region, have been officially cleared to participate in the Lift Up Homeownership program. This pilot initiative by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston is designed to provide financial support for racially diverse individuals seeking to buy their first home.
The list of participating institutions includes Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Greenfield Savings Bank, Freedom Credit Union, and Athol Credit Union. These establishments will work towards enabling racially diverse individuals, who earn up to 120% of the area’s median income, to receive up to $50,000 in financial aid. This aid is intended to assist with down payments and closing costs related to purchasing their first home in New England. The program aims to serve Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander first-time homebuyers.
Greenfield Cooperative Bank, with a rich history of involvement in various Federal Home Loan Bank programs such as the Equity Builder Program and the Housing Our Workforce grant initiative, is eager to participate in the Lift Up Homeownership program. Jane Wolfe, Executive Vice President of Residential Lending at Greenfield Cooperative Bank, emphasized the importance of such programs in a statement.
She pointed out that “these programs are critical to assisting people who may be struggling with a down payment or with closings costs on a new home.” Wolfe further underscored the significance of being a community bank, adding, “We need to listen to the needs of our community and ensure that we’re serving those needs. Programs like these greatly assist people who have dreamed of owning their first home.”
Detailing the process at Greenfield Cooperative Bank and its Northampton Cooperative Bank Division, Wolfe explained that they accept mortgage applications and apply a standard underwriting process to each one. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, known for being a wholesale bank dedicated to housing finance in the six New England states, is in charge of reviewing and approving the grant component. The grant can be utilized either as a down payment or to offset closing costs in a home sale.