Four local banks participating in Lift Up Homeownership program

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 07-13-2023 12:06 PM

Four banks and credit unions with branches in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region have been approved to participate in the Lift Up Homeownership program, a Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston pilot program that provides financial assistance to people of color purchasing their first home.

Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Greenfield Savings Bank, Freedom Credit Union and Athol Credit Union are taking part in the program, enabling people of color earning up to 120% of the area median income to get up to $50,000 in down-payment and closing cost assistance to buy their first home in New England. Eligible borrowers are Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

“Greenfield Cooperative Bank has been participating in the FHLB’s Equity Builder Program and Housing Our Workforce grant program for several years. We have found that these programs are critical to assisting people that may be struggling with a down payment or with closings costs on a new home,” Jane Wolfe, executive vice president of residential lending at Greenfield Cooperative Bank, said in a statement about participating in the Lift Up Homeownership program. “Being a community bank means that we need to listen to the needs of our community and make sure that we’re serving those needs. Programs such as these greatly assist people who have dreamed of owning their first home.”

Wolfe explained Greenfield Cooperative Bank, and its Northampton Cooperative Bank Division, takes in mortgage applications and follows a standard underwriting process for each one. She said the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, a wholesale bank for housing finance in the six New England states, reviews and approves the grant portion, which can be used as a down payment or to help with closing costs in a home sale.

Contact Greenfield Cooperative Bank Loan Originations at 413-772-5000, ext. 490, or email loaninfo@greenfieldcoopbank.com to learn more about applying for homebuying assistance through the Lift Up Homeownership program and other programs Greenfield Cooperative Bank offers.

Repeated attempts to contact representatives from Greenfield Savings Bank, Freedom Credit Union and Athol Credit Union were unsuccessful.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.

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