In 1989-90, a determined group of women of color fought hard to reverse a decades-long pattern of racial discrimination in mortgage lending. These MAHA members successfully negotiated for the SoftSecond loan program, an innovative, affordable mortgage program for low- and moderate-income homebuyers that has changed the lending landscape in Boston and in Massachusetts. Today, SoftSecond has been redesigned from a two-mortgage structure to the ONE Mortgage Program, offering borrowers the same affordability and financial security that generations of SoftSecond homeowners have benefited from, in a new, simpler structure.
Research on the SoftSecond/ONE Mortgage Program
ONE Mortgage - A Model of Success for Low-Income Homeownership: A May 2017 paper for the Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice co-authored by Clark Ziegler and Elliot Schmiedl of MHP and Thomas Callahan of MAHA.
From Living Rooms to Board Rooms: A chapter by Thomas Callahan in the book "Organizing Access to Capital" that describes the grassroots organizing efforts of MAHA's Homebuyers Union that resulted in the SoftSecond/ONE Mortgage and other initiatives.
The Struggle for Community Investment in Boston: A chapter by Jim Campen in the book "From Redlining to Reinvestment" that describes the events from 1989-91 that led to the launch of the SoftSecond mortgage program and other initiatives.
Boston's SoftSecond Program: A paper by Jim Campen of UMass Boston's Economics Department and Thomas Callahan of MAHA that provides a detailed case study of this "remarkably successful" program in the City of Boston.
Expanding Homeownership Opportunity - The SoftSecond Loan Program 1991-2006: A report by Jim Campen of the Gaston Institute at UMass/Boston for the Massachusetts Community Banking Council which looks at SoftSecond loan activity and performance statewide.
Regaining the Dream: Case Studies in Sustainable Low-Income Mortgage Lending: A case study on the SoftSecond program in a 2012 book by the University of North Carolina's Center for Community Capital which explains what really caused the foreclosure crisis and recommends how to rebuild the U.S. housing finance system to ensure broad access to mortgage credit while minimizing risk.
Life's Expensive When We're Connected: A report on Bank of America's Massachusetts mortgage lending from 2004-2014