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FLEET LAUNCHES FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM

 FLEET LAUNCHES FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM
 BOSTON, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleet Bank of Massachusetts, N.A.,


has committed $8 million for a first-time homebuyers program designed to help low- and moderate-income Boston residents purchase a home.
 Developed by Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA), the program is administered by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) Fund. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the Executive Office of Communities and Development (EOCD) and the City of Boston through its Public Facilities Department, have each contributed $1 million of public funds to this program.
 "This program is a good example of a public/private partnership that can help solve some of the challenging problems facing our cities today," said Dennis M. Murphy, executive vice president of Fleet Bank of Massachusetts. "Fleet is pleased to put homeownership within the reach of Bostonians who may not have been able to afford a home. This program clearly demonstrates Fleet's commitment to the revitalization of Boston's neighborhoods."
 The Fleet First-Time Homebuyers "Soft Second" Program, which will be available July 1, helps low- and moderate-income buyers qualify for a mortgage by providing a conventional first mortgage plus a government- subsidized second mortgage. This allows homebuyers to mortgage up to 95 percent of the purchase price through a first mortgage of up to 75 percent of the property value and a subsidized second mortgage of not more than 20 percent of the purchase price which can be used as part of the down payment.
 This innovative, affordable mortgage program also offers an interest rate one percent below Fleet's standard 30-year fixed mortgage, features lower closing costs and no points. First-time homebuyers are defined as those who have not owned a home within the last three years.
 "MAHA is pleased to have Fleet as a partner in community reinvestment. Fleet has stepped forward and will be offering Boston's best mortgage program to many area residents who may not otherwise have had such an opportunity," said Adrienne Anderson, co-chair of the MAHA Home Buyers Union.
 Annual income for eligible prospective buyers under this program can be up to between $35,700 and $43,000 depending upon family size. Properties must be located in the City of Boston and must be a one-to- three family owner-occupied primary residence and/or an owner-occupied condominium in buildings where the investor concentration does not exceed 50 percent.
 "Home ownership is vital to healthy, strong neighborhoods. The Soft Second Program plays a major role in providing a financial resource that allows Boston residents to own their own homes. We thank Fleet Bank for its commitment to this important community investment," said Mary Nee, director, Public Facilities Department.
 Fleet plans to market this first-time homebuyers program aggressively through community newspapers, radio and television commercials, local realtors and their local bank branch network.
 In addition to the introduction of Fleet's First-Time Homebuyers Program, this summer the bank is sponsoring an education seminar for first-time buyers as well as a home improvement seminar part of its continuing commitment to community reinvestment.
 The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance is a statewide coalition of 140 groups which seeks to increase public and private support for affordable housing. MAHA organizes the Home Buyers Union, a grassroots group of low- and moderate-income tenants who work to remove the barriers to home ownership for first-time buyers.
 Fleet Bank of Massachusetts, with 140 branches statewide and $7 billion in assets, is a subsidiary of Fleet Financial Group, a diversified financial services company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FLT). Fleet Financial Group has approximately 1,300 offices nationwide. Its lines of business include commercial and consumer banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, asset-based lending, investment management, and student loan processing.
 -0- 6/20/92
 /CONTACT: Meg Pier of Fleet Bank of Massachusetts, 617-573-7733; or Hilary Frank of MAHA, 617-728-9100/
 (FLT) CO: Fleet Bank of Massachusetts; Fleet Financial Group ST: Massachusetts; Rhode Island IN: FIN SU:


DH -- NE001 -- 2162 06/20/92 11:30 EDT
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Date:Jun 20, 1992
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