MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. (MHIC) announced a partnership to launch and grow a $50 million Equitable Developers Fund.

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The move aims to diversify the state’s housing delivery system by providing enterprise-level financing to active developers from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds and communities, announced firm leaders.

“Our two organizations have intimate knowledge of the barriers of entry related to the Massachusetts affordable housing ecosystem,” said MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay. “Working together, we will help unlock new opportunities for housing growth, while creating a path for more developers to participate in confronting the state’s housing challenges.”

“Ultimately, we want to see more developers helping to solve the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts,” said MHIC president and CEO Moddie Turay. “Developing a public-private partnership that draws upon MassHousing’s and MHIC’s decades of affordable housing and community development financing experience provides the critical foundation upon which to establish the Equitable Developers Fund.”

The partnership between MassHousing, a state housing finance agency with more than $29 billion in total lending activity, and MHIC, a private, nonprofit housing and community development lender, combines MassHousing’s substantial reach with MHIC’s deep experience raising and deploying capital, as both a lender and an investor. The fund represents MassHousing’s largest partnership with a Community Development Financial Institution.

According to the leaders, with $50 million in public funding, the Equitable Developers Fund is the largest publicly led program to address growth opportunities for real estate developers that have been underrepresented in the real estate development industry. In addition to the capital that the fund will make available, MHIC plans to make at least $10 million available for loans for project-level predevelopment, acquisition, and construction financing to projects receiving assistance through the Equitable Developers Fund.

MHIC and MassHousing intend to expand the reach of the fund by raising an additional $25 million from private investors.

MHIC will lead day-to-day operations of the fund, including developing the fund’s financial products, evaluating and underwriting developer applications, and servicing loans. MassHousing will work with developers to provide technical assistance as it relates to understanding the state’s affordable housing development opportunities and financing sources. MassHousing and MHIC will collaborate on outreach to prospective borrowers.

The organizations expect to open funding applications in this spring.

Prior to launching the initiative, MassHousing conducted a statewide listening tour to understand disparities and identify opportunities to increase participation in the affordable housing ecosystem among developers from communities and backgrounds that are underrepresented in the industry.