PRESS RELEASE: MyMassHome joins Housing Navigator in next generation of accessible, affordable housing online search tools
After the success of affordable rental search website, Housing Navigator’s first year, MyMassHome launches today as the homeownership component in a suite of tools for hopeful affordable, accessible homebuyers. MyMassHome is a free website that serves as a one-stop portal with connections to all the resources homebuyers with low, moderate, and fixed incomes in Massachusetts need. These include a new search tool for affordable and accessible homes for sale, down payment assistance resources, first-time homebuyer education courses, and state-sponsored products offered by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and MassHousing. MyMassHome streamlines the homebuying process by bringing these resources — accessed before via four separate websites — to a centralized place with an improved user experience.
“Expanding access to affordable homeownership opportunities is critical, and MyMassHome will ensure a comprehensive, more modern, and user-friendly option for people searching for their next home,” said Rachel Heller, CHAPA’s chief executive officer. “By putting all the information together in one place, including the state investments that make affordable homeownership possible, sustainable homeownership is within reach for people who have been left out of the market. This is a step towards closing the racial homeownership gap so more families across the Commonwealth can thrive.”
Launched in 2021, the Housing Navigator Massachusetts transformed the process of searching for affordable rental housing, providing users the same experience as those searching for market-rate apartments have on familiar websites like Apartments.com and Trulia. The website attracted 100,000 users in its first year and over 1.6 million pageviews.
Together, the Housing Navigator and MyMassHome will replace the now outdated MassAccess Housing Registry, which has been the primary online resource for Massachusetts residents searching for affordable, accessible housing since 1996. Though a valuable tool for tens of thousands of residents during its lifetime, MassAccess had begun to show its age with an outdated design, difficult user navigation, and limited connections to other housing resources.
“Clear information plus the agency a 24/7 online resource provides are at the crux of easing housing access and ensuring fairness,” said Jennifer Gilbert, Executive Director at Housing Navigator Massachusetts, Inc. “In a year, 100,000 people have trusted our site to find an affordable home to rent in Massachusetts. We look forward to that same response to MyMassHome.”
With home prices and rents at an all-time high, connecting Massachusetts residents with low incomes and limited assets to affordable opportunities and supports increases housing stability across the Commonwealth. Websites like MyMassHome and Housing Navigator help lower barriers to entry for those most impacted by out-of-reach home prices — Black and Brown families, persons with disabilities, and households with low incomes — through resource and information sharing so more Massachusetts families can live without fear of displacement, build equity and enable generational wealth.
“Finding a place to live is difficult. Finding a place within your budget, accessible, and meets your disability needs is nearly impossible,” said Angelina Ramirez, chief executive officer of Stavros. “This is why it is so important that there are sites like MyMassHome and the Housing Navigator. Having the ability to search for a place to live using all the parameters makes it easier for a person with a disability to remain in the community.”
The launch of MyMassHome, sponsored by MHP and MassHousing, has been a collaborative partnership among CHAPA, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).
“MRC is grateful to be a part of this innovative way to connect people to available housing,” said Toni A. Wolf, MRC Commissioner. “Every person has the right to a safe, accessible, and affordable place to live. We are constantly working to make state government more convenient and accessible to the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
“As an organization that finances affordable multifamily apartments and helps first-time homebuyers with its ONE Mortgage Program, MHP appreciates Housing Navigator and CHAPA’s efforts to create greater access for renters and homebuyers,” said Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. “Capitalizing on Housing Navigator’s success at creating a universal affordable rental listing by adding an updated and modern companion portal for homeownership will be a big boost to the Commonwealth’s efforts to create better access to housing for all.”
“MyMassHome will be another important tool to help us confront the housing challenges facing the residents of the Commonwealth,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “Purchasing a home in Massachusetts, particularly for first-time buyers, has never been more competitive and MyMassHome will provide lower- and moderate-income homebuyers all the information they need about where homes are for sale, how to take a homebuyer education course, down payment assistance options and financing programs available in Massachusetts.”
CHAPA and MRC will hold informational meetings and webinars in the coming months to train community service organizations and share information about MyMassHome.
Citizens’ Housing & Planning Association (CHAPA) is Massachusetts's leading statewide affordable housing policy organization, bringing together housing and community development stakeholders to build consensus around solutions. Established in 1967, CHAPA advocates for increased opportunity and expanded access to housing so that every person in Massachusetts can have a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home. For more information, visit www.chapa.org.
Housing Navigator Massachusetts, Inc. connects people with places to call home. A Cambridge, MA-based nonprofit, it develops technology that promotes housing equity and develops data that brings transparency to the affordable housing market. www.housingnavigatorma.org
Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) is a quasi-public state organization that works with communities to create innovative policy and financing solutions that provide affordable homes and better lives for the people of Massachusetts. It has provided support and technical assistance to over 315 communities, has financed over 27,000 apartments, has helped over 27,000 low- and moderate-income households buy their first home, and supports state policy efforts to increase affordable housing through its Center for Housing Data.
MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided more than $27.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) envisions a Commonwealth that is open to all, where everyone can seize their true potential and contribute fully to our communities and the world. We work together to break down barriers and make a better state possible for people with disabilities—one that is truly equitable, accessible, and inclusive.