BHA Celebration of New Homeownership in 2023

BHA Celebration of New Homeownership in 2023

In 2023, Senior Advisor for Homeownership Programs Megan Ryan from the Boston Housing Authority asked me if I'd be willing to consult for her as she launched a new type of path to home ownership program.  I've been learning a lot about affordable housing and issues concerning affordability these days, so I was really curious to see what BHA was doing.  We also have quite the experience in-house, as our very own broker Phil Hou was presented the Landlord Fair Housing Award (BHA Landlord Wins Award) by Mayor Menino in 2015 after working closely with the BHA to help house a 14 person refugee family that required a handicap ramp to be installed and additional assistance due to the disabilities of two family members.  All our staff and several of our agents participated in helping BHA clients get into housing, including Alison, Fen, Joyce, Alex, and Niels.  

For all our joint efforts in 2023, it culminated in a wonderful ceremony hosted January 25, 2024 by Senior Advisor Ryan and the BHA, where they shared a promotional video and celebrated the new homeowners. I also got a little slice of publicity in the shared video at 3:51, where I got to convey my frustration at the way subsidies are sometimes viewed societally. 

To go into that a little deeper and from a deeper angle, here's an example of when a new client recently asked me to articulate all the various subsidies and grants available to people these days to help with getting into home ownership.  After some thought, I said to think of it as an incentive.  What do I mean by “incentive”? Think of it this way: we have fantastic neighborhoods and towns in the Boston area and it takes a certain level of industry to provide enough funds for local infrastructure and culture. However, the reason our towns are so desirable isn't because people want to live next door to a pharmaceutical executive or a programmer, but rather the great schools, modern infrastructure, shops, cafes, and other amenities.  All of these desirable characteristics are only possible because of the people that traditionally could afford to live long-term near their jobs and small businesses, or at the very least, in the towns they’re employed by.

All of these grants are incentives to convince our educators, government employees, and service industry people to continue to keep our towns desirable.  These aren't subsidies for lower income families, if anything they're subsidies for existing homeowners since affordable housing raises the desirability of the town and thus the equity that they have.  Not only that, affordable housing brings down costs of a new roof or a paint job by 50% or more by keeping middle class citizens near the towns they work in, and as mentioned above, it keeps up the quality of the schools as well as helping towns stay safe and clean.  

Back to the ceremony: some exciting highlights were shared about the BHA First Home Program for 2023:

  • 33 First Time Homeowners
  • 29 Buyers purchased in Boston
  • 25 BHA Section 8 HCV Buyers
  • 15 Citywide Voucher First Generation homebuyers selected via lottery
  • 8 BHA Public Housing Buyers

A big shift BHA hopes to continue is the use of Section 8 vouchers towards a mortgage, instead of towards rent. It’s astounding when you consider that only one Section 8 voucher participant bought a home through the program in 2022, compared to the twenty-nine buyers in 2023. WBUR recently published an
article on February 23, 2024 about the BHA grant and its success. 

Below are some photos from the BHA celebration ceremony.

Special thanks to Kathy Wentworth, VP, Residential Loan Originator at Leader Bank, who is a monumentally important part of the program.


Joyce Eden, one of our agents at Splice Realty helped dozens of people get into homes through this BHA program and navigated all the hoops and hurdles amazingly for her clients.

The team from Splice Realty: broker Mike Park, and real estate agents Joyce Eden and Fen Tung

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