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Massachusetts residents hoping governor's proposed "Affordable Homes Act" can make owning a home more attainable

Mass. residents hope governor's proposal can make owning a home more attainable
Mass. residents hope governor's proposal can make owning a home more attainable 02:31

BOSTON - Housing continues to be the state's biggest challenge, Gov. Maura Healey said at her State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night. 

"You know the numbers. Rents and prices are high," said Healey. 

Many first-time homebuyers, like Jowanda Brown, couldn't agree more. 

"It's not affordable for the average working person," she told WBZ-TV. 

Brown is a single mother in Boston who's been struggling to find a single-family home in the area for about a year now. 

"Something that simple is $500,000 or more, easily, in Boston. I've been forced to look out to places like two hours or more," Brown explained. "It's really stressful. It'll be a year in May that I've been out looking for a home and it's just awful."

She's stressed by the unaffordable prices and interest rates that are hovering at around 6.5% for a 30-year fixed rate. 

"How are people who are able to just meet the bare minimum qualifications able to enter into the homebuying market?" Jamie Cholaki Pierre questioned. The Jamaica Plain renter has been looking for a home for more than two years. 

Healey's solution is the "Affordable Homes Act," a $4 billion plan that would pave the way for about 40,000 homes to be built with grants for first-time homebuyers like Brown and Cholaki Pierre. 

"I've lived in Boston all my life, worked hard all my life and I just want to buy a nice home for me and my children," said Brown. 

Healey's bill is far from becoming law and the dream of owning a home feels less than attainable for Brown the longer she waits. Her realtor, Nicole Vermillion, has this advice for those desperately on the hunt. 

"Because inventory is so, so low," she said. "Things are moving so, so fast and if you're not ready with a pre-approval, you're not ready with a good team behind you, you're not going to get the home," said Vermillion. 

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