BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Some potential home buyers will be getting a leg up to cover expensive down payments.

MassHousing announced a new program Monday that would cover up to 3 percent of a down payment for cash-strapped first-time buyers.

For many Massachusetts residents dreaming of owning a house in an overcrowded market, small down payments are difficult to afford.

Income-eligible buyers using a MassHousing mortgage to purchase their first home will be able to finance 100 percent of the cost. They will also have to meet hurdles including a minimum credit score, homeownership class and household income that matches or is below their area’s median income.

The value of the home can’t exceed $400,000, with the top down payment assistance package being $12,000.

“By boosting the buying power of low-, moderate- and middle-income households, MassHousing will support investment in neighborhoods, help the state’s workforce remain rooted in Massachusetts, and advance the Agency’s mission of confronting housing challenges facing the Commonwealth, to improve the lives of its people,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay in a written statement.

The down payment would be paid back through a secondary mortgage.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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