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Cityscape: Volume 22 Number 1 | Housing Tenure and Financial Security


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Housing Tenure and Financial Security

Volume 22 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Building Wealth through Homeownership: A Comparative Study of MHP’s ONE Mortgage Program and FHA

Jake Interrante
Elliot Schmiedl
Massachusetts Housing Partnership

This article compares actual wealth building outcomes in the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s (MHP) subsidized ONE Mortgage Program to hypothetical outcomes for a borrower who received a comparable Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage with the same loan amount. We find that ONE Mortgage loans had much lower monthly payments than the FHA loans, resulting in greater overall benefits to borrowers. Although ONE Mortgage loans delivered slightly lower levels of equity accumulation at time of sale, the net financial outcomes still overwhelmingly favored the ONE Mortgage loans. These findings are concerning given the large market share of FHA loans among low-and moderate-income (LMI) and minority homebuyers in Massachusetts. If these borrowers could have qualified for the ONE Mortgage program but instead received an FHA loan, our analysis suggests that they would have lost out on significant benefits. For the first time, this article quantifies the scale of that potential loss to Massachusetts’s LMI first-time homebuyers.

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