Two Dot banks sign onto veterans housing program

Two Dorchester community banks have signed on to offer low or no-down payment mortgages for veterans through a program sponsored by Mass Housing, the state program that develops and promotes affordable housing. The residential loan program "Home for the Brave" was crafted to assist veterans serving in current conflicts.

Under the program, veterans will have access to a low- or no-down payment mortgage. The two local lenders, Meetinghouse Bank and Mt. Washington Bank, have joined with 51 other lending Massachusetts financial institutions in committing $187 million in private funding. Fannie Mae has provided a $300,000 grant to assist with closing costs for the first 200 veterans who take advantage of the program, according to a release from Mass Housing.

Meetinghouse Bank was one of the first to sign on, said bank President Anthony A. Paciulli.

"Once we heard about this idea from Mass Housing about three months ago, we told them we definitely wanted to participate," Paciulli said. "We are very pleased to offer this program to veterans. It's tough to get started for the young service men and women coming home from the current conflicts. But with the current flat home prices, interest rates are good, and it could be a unique opportunity for returning veterans to become a homeowner."

"For all the sacrifices they make on our behalf, it is critical that we do everything we can to help Massachusetts' veterans reach the dream of home ownership," said Lt. Governor Tim Murray, who chairs the Governor's Advisory Committee on Veterans Services. "The Home for the Brave mortgage shows our appreciation to our veterans while also providing them with the peace of mind of knowing they will have assistance if they are redeployed."

Mass Housing stated that eligibility for the program is based on veteran status "as defined under Mass General Laws. Borrowers must also have good credit and meet other underwriting standards."