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Down Payment Assistance

The North Suburban Consortium (NSC) offers First Time Home Buyer (FTHB) Down Payment Assistance loans to income-eligible applicants purchasing a condominium, townhome or single-family property in one of the eight NSC communities. Down Payment Assistance loan can be used for down payment assistance and customary closing costs.  However, it cannot be used for:  reimbursement for previously paid earnest money down payment; funding monthly housing payment reserves requirements; prepayment of life insurance premiums; or to bridge the gap between purchase price and appraised value.  Applicant cannot receive cash back at closing. Applicant’s primary mortgage lender must fund the NSC FTHB Down Payment Assistance loan amount at closing.  Primary mortgage lender will be reimbursed after closing.

Loan amount:  up to $7,500.00 for a non-subsidized property; up to $3,000.00 for a HOME subsidized property (loan amount determined at completion of NSC underwriting process). NSC FTHB Down Payment Assistance is a 0% interest, no monthly payments, five (5) year term loan.  Owner must live in the property as their primary residence. 

The NSC does not subordinate Down Payment Assistance loans. If an owner refinances or sells the property before the end of the loan term, they will be required to pay back a pro-rated portion of the loan.  Each year, on the loan anniversary date, 20% of the original loan amount is forgiven.  After five (5) years, the loan is completely forgiven and the NSC will provide the owner with a discharge of mortgage for recording at the appropriate registry of deeds.

How Do I Qualify?

1.  Primary Mortgage Financing:  Applicant must obtain primary fixed interest rate mortgage financing from a lender.  Massachusetts Housing Partnership ONE Mortgage Program, Mass. Housing Mass Advantage, VA and FHA loans are all approved mortgage products.   Applicant should contact banks for pre-approvals and to obtain primary mortgage financing.  (Primary mortgage lender must fund the NSC FTHB Down Payment Assistance Loan amount at closing; the lender will be reimbursed upon NSC's receipt of original executed NSC Promissory Note and copies of recorded NSC Mortgage and closing Settlement Statement.).  Information about mortgage products, resources, buying a home, lenders and home buyer counseling can also be found on My Mass Mortgage  and HUD Homeownership Assistance websites.

2. Home Buyer Counseling:  Applicant is required to attend a FTHB counseling workshop.  The NSC sponsors workshops by Medford Community Housing and Chelsea Restoration Corporation.  For information on these and other workshops, check CHAPA's counseling workshop website.    

3.  Income Qualifications:  Applicant's combined household income (gross income) must fall at or below the income limits set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Income from all household members 18 years of age or over must be included, however, in certain circumstances, full time students' income may be excluded.  Income limits are:

HUD Income Limits 80% Median Family Income (MFI) (effective April 14, 2017):

1 person household: $54,750.00                         2 person household: $62,550.00
3 person household: $70,350.00                         4 person household: $78,150.00
5 person household: $84,450.00                         6 person household: $90,700.00
7 person household: $96,950.00                         8 person household: $103,200.00

4.  Other Qualifications: The property purchased cannot exceed the following Purchase Price Limits (effective March 1, 2017)

Existing or New Housing

  • Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop (Suffolk County):   1 Unit - $397,000.00
  • Malden, Medford, Melrose, Arlington, Everett (Middlesex County):  1 Unit - $376,000.00

Asset Limits: Applicant cannot have more than $75,000.00 in liquid assets.  Liquid assets include stocks, bonds, CDs, as well as cash, savings and trust funds (retirement accounts are not included).  

Credit Score:  Applicant must have a minimum credit score of 620 for a condominium, townhome or single-family property purchase.  If there is more than one applicant, the average of the applicants' credit scores must be a minimum of 620.

Inspection:  A housing quality standards inspection will be completed - at no cost to the applicant - to ensure the property meets state and federal housing codes.

Housing-to-Income Ratio ("HTI"):  Applicant can have a maximum HTI of 35% for a condominium, townhome or single-family property purchase. The HTI is the ratio of the applicant's complete monthly mortgage payment consisting of principal, interest, taxes, insurance and condominium fee ("PITI") to the applicant's total monthly household income. (Primary mortgage lender will issue a truth in lending disclosure or similar document which clearly shows the PITI payment.) 

Debt-to-Income Ratio ("DTI"):   Applicant can have a maximum total DTI of 50% for a condominium, townhome or single-family property purchase. The total DTI includes other debt such as student loans and consumer debt in addition to housing debt.  

Sufficient Cash Reserves (post-closing):  Applicant must have sufficient cash reserves on hand, including the amount of down payment assistance offered, to pay two months of PITI.

How Do I Apply?

Complete the NSC FTHB Down Payment Assistance Loan Application.  Submit completed application and required documentation to NSC community representative (representative contact information below) - by mail or hand delivery - no emails accepted.  ALL documents below must be submitted with completed application unless it is noted that the document will be prepared by the NSC or will be signed at closing.

  • Signed Purchase and Sale Agreement
  • Voluntary Sale Disclosure (to be signed by Seller prior to signing Purchase and Sale Agreement)
  • Right to Withdraw (to be signed by Seller if Purchase and Sale Agreement has been signed)
  • Primary (fixed interest rate) mortgage financing Loan Application
  • Primary (fixed interest rate) mortgage financing Commitment Letter from qualified lender
  • Form 1008 Uniform Loan Transmittal Summary issued by applicant's primary mortgage lender
  • Truth in Lending Disclosure or similar document issued by applicant's primary mortgage lender (detailing PITI)
  • Complete credit report (or credit reports if more than one applicant)
  • Certificate from FTHB counseling workshop (not more than two years old)
  • If self-employed, copies of current year-to-date profit and loss statement and copies of 3 years federal tax returns (ALL schedules)
  • Copies of 3 years most recent federal tax returns (ALL schedules) and 3 years of W-2s (ALL employers)
  • Copies of 3 months most recent statements for ALL accounts including stocks, bonds, CDs, cash, savings, trust funds
  • Copies of 3 months most recent statements for ALL 401K, IRA, stocks, bonds, retirement/pension accounts
  • Copies of 3 months most recent paystubs (ALL employers)
  • Copy of current Social Security award letter(s), including disability income, if applicable
  • Proof of "other" income sources including alimony, child support, welfare assistance, etc.
  • Divorce decree, if applicable
  • Evidence of permanent resident alien status or legal alien status, if applicable
  • Authorization for Release of Information Form
  • Zero Income Affidavit (a separate affidavit must be completed by every household member over 18 years of age who has no income)
  • Liquid Asset Certification
  • IRS Certification Forms
  • Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Disclosure
  • HOME Written Agreement (NSC will prepare - applicant to sign when NSC Commitment is issued)
  • Recapture Agreement (NSC will prepare - applicant to sign when NSC Commitment is issued)
  • Promissory Note (to be signed at closing)
  • Mortgage (to be signed at closing)

Lender and Closing Attorney/Settlement Agent Information:

For lender reimbursement, closing attorney/settlement agent must submit the following to the Malden Redevelopment Authority:
By USPS to Malden Redevelopment Authority, P.O. Box 278, Malden, MA 02148 ATTN: HOME Program Director
By UPS, FedEx or by hand to Malden Redevelopment Authority, 17 Pleasant Street, 3rd Floor, Malden, MA 02148 ATTN: HOME Program Director
Original NSC Promissory Note
Copy of Recorded NSC Mortgage
Copy of closing settlement statement (showing the NSC FTHB Down Payment Assistance Loan amount)

If the property being purchased will be subject to NSC affordable covenant ("covenant"), the NSC will provide the covenant to the closing attorney/settlement agent.  The covenant should be signed by buyers at closing for recording at the registry of deeds by the closing attorney/settlement agent and a copy of the recorded covenant should be returned to the MRA along with the NSC FTHB Down Payment Assistance Loan documents.  Note:  Recapture Agreement not necessary if the property is subject to an affordable covenant.


Revere, Winthrop & Everett: William Ash 781-286-8181,
Malden & Melrose: Maureen Taylor 781-324-5720 x 5730,
Chelsea: Chelsea Restoration Corp., Marilyn Garcia 617-889-2277,
Medford: Ashley Williams 781-393-2480,
Arlington: Laura Wiener 781-316-3091,