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New Down Payment Assistance Program Aimed at Increasing Homeownership

October 5, 2023 | BOSTON – Berkshire Bank, a leading community bank with financial centers in New England and New York, is proud to announce a new down payment assistance program to help first-time homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership. Rising home prices and low inventory are creating affordability challenges for potential homebuyers, especially those looking for their first home. The new offering from Berkshire will help make that dream a reality and the program can be combined with many local, state and federal down payment assistance offerings.

Berkshire provides a wide range of tailored solutions to help homebuyers including Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), Fannie and Freddie mortgage solutions. With the Berkshire Bank Down Payment Assistance Program, first-time homebuyers, specifically low-to-moderate income borrowers defined as those earning up to 80% the area median income or those purchasing a home located in a low-to moderate census tract, can be considered for the down payment assistance funds which are in the form of a grant and can be used towards down payment and closing costs.

Ellen Steinfeld, Sr. EVP, Head of Consumer Lending, stated, “With the price of homes so high, the experience of purchasing a home can be overwhelming. Berkshire Bank’s Down Payment Assistance Program was created to help first-time homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership and reduce the financial stress of the increasing down payment required to buy a home. Our experienced mortgage loan officers are here to educate and provide guidance to customers on the loan programs available to them from Berkshire Bank. Our goal is to make the mortgage process as easy as possible.”

Key elements for the Down Payment Assistance program include:

  • Eligible borrowers purchasing a home in a qualifying area may receive down payment assistance from $3,500 to $10,000 towards the purchase price.
  • The grant is considered a gift, and no lien is filed.
  • The Bank will consider an alternative credit if needed. (i.e., Rent statements, electric bills, phone bills) when applying for certain mortgage products
  • Programs are available on a first come/first serve basis

Eligibility requirements include:

  • The property must be located in an approved area of Massachusetts, New York,
    Connecticut, Vermont, or Rhode Island.
  • Primary residence includes a single-family (detached or attached), two-family,
    condos or properties located within homeowners’ associations.
  • Must be a first-time buyer or have not owned a home in the last three years.
  • Borrowers must complete a homebuyer counseling course.
  • Two-family borrowers must take homebuyer course and landlord training course.

In addition to the Down Payment Assistance Program, Berkshire also provides robust wrap around programs to educate and empower homebuyers including first time homebuyer programs. For more info on terms and conditions, contact your local Mortgage Loan Officer by visiting First-Time Buyers – Berkshire Bank (

About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Bank, founded in 1846, is becoming a high-performing, leading, community bank. It empowers the financial potential of its stakeholders by making banking available where, when and how it’s needed through an uncompromising focus on exceptional customer service, digital banking, and positive community impact. Providing a wide range of financial solutions through its consumer banking, commercial banking and wealth management divisions, the bank has approximately $12.1 billion in assets and a community-based footprint of nearly100 financial centers in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Headquartered in Boston, Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank. Named one of America’s Most Trusted Companies by Newsweek and America’s Best Midsize Employers by Forbes, Berkshire is also listed in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality. To learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook, X formerly Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Contact: Alicia Jacobs, AVP, Public Relations Officer,