Housing Development

Affordable Housing Development and First Time Homebuyer programs.

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CAI Housing Development

The CAI Housing Development office administers several programs, including:

  • First Time Homebuyer Education
  • Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance
  • Affordable Housing Development
  • Affordable Housing Lotteries

CAI Housing Development is located at 3 Washington Square, 4th Floor in Haverhill, MA. 978-373-1971 ext. 225. 

Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Classes

No events

Community Action constructs affordable housing for first time home buyers on land secured by donation of municipally owned parcels or by other means. The homes are built for low to moderate- income families and are sold to residents through a lottery.

Completed projects include: 2 units on Varnum St., 4 units on Temple St. and 2 units on Atlanta St. in the City of Haverhill. Currently the program is suspended due to the high cost of land and the lack of donations or sale of reduced cost properties by municipalities or lending institutions. 

This program serves the greater Haverhill, Massachusetts area. To qualify, income must be less than 80% of area median income. To donate or sell property to Community Action for affordable housing development please contact:
 Richard Lynch, 978-373-1971 ext. 225

Currently down payment funds are available to residents who are purchasing their first home or condominium. Sources of assistance include the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Soft Second Program; Pentucket Bank, Haverhill Bank, and the Align Credit Union through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; and the City of Haverhill through federal Home funds. Down payment assistance loans and grants up to $10,000 may be available to qualified buyers.

This program serves the Greater Haverhill, Massachusetts area. Income requirements vary per program and generally may not exceed 80% of the area's median income. Some programs may be more restrictive. Call for information. Recipients may also be required to complete a home buyer training program.

Home buyer education classes are offered to area residents who are interested in learning how to purchase their first home. The classes are offered over three nights and total 9hours. The program is certified by the Massachusetts Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) and Mass Housing and includes training in obtaining a mortgage, budgeting, credit, housing search, appraisals, condominium purchase, legal issues, insurance, housing law, tax advantages, home inspection and many other topics related to home purchase. Residents who receive FTHB Certification may be eligible for special financing programs and housing lotteries.


Eligibility Requirements:

There are no income restrictions. This program serves residents state wide. There is a $60 registration fee (per household). Download Registration Form.


Program Support

The FTHB program is supported by local and regional banks including: Pentucket Bank, Haverhill Bank, Santander Bank and Wells Fargo.



  • Classes are offered six to eight times per year in Greater Haverhill area.
  • View our Community Calendar for upcoming workshop dates or call for times and locations.


Participants Receive

  • Comprehensive information offered by housing professionals including bank lenders, buyer/seller real estate brokers, housing attorneys, insurance agents home inspectors and credit counselors;
  • Individual household mortgage pre-qualification;
  • Information regarding foreclosure sales;
  • Information regarding area affordable housing lotteries and services of a buyer broker;
  • Information about down payment assistance programs and reduced interest loans.

A Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative approved certificate is awarded after completion of the three-night course. The program is also approved by MassHousing.

For more information, please contact: Richard Lynch, 978-373-1971 ext. 225 or Susan Collins, 978-317-8998


CAI currently owns and manages one apartment located adjacent to CAI’s Head Start Center in Newburyport. The three-bedroom apartment is leased to families who have a good financial and rental history. The apartment is currently rented. There are no income requirements. Tenants with Section 8 or other rental subsidies are encouraged to apply when available. This program serves Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Administer affordable housing lotteries for state and local purchase housing programs including 40b comprehensive permit projects, over 55 communities and City of Haverhill housing ordinance. Projects completed to date include: 11 units at Meadow Brook Estates in Haverhill, 2 units at Moseley Village and 2 units at Ocean View in Newburyport. 

Under Haverhill Local Housing ordinance, units include; 1 unit on River St.,1 unit on Locust St., 2 units at Riverside Place on Washington St. in Haverhill, and 4 units located on the Fairways, an over 55 years of age community located near the Haverhill Country Club.

Income requirements vary for each lottery and the service area where the units are built. Income limits generally range from 50% to 80% of area median for a family of four. Lottery winners may often be eligible for down payment assistance programs. This program serves the Greater Haverhill, Massachusetts area.

Eligibility, service area and income guidelines

Eligibility and service areas vary based on program/service.

Most CAI Housing Development programs serve the Greater Haverhill, Massachusetts area. The First Time Homebuyer program is available to Massachusetts residents state-wide.

Apply for Housing programs

To apply or register for programs provided through CAI Housing Development please contact:

Richard Lynch, Deputy Director of Asset Development
Community Action, Inc. 
3 Washington Square, 4th Floor 
Haverhill, MA 01830
978-373-1971 ext. 225 


First Time Homebuyer Program

Full contact info and map