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Jacobson honored by Mass. Lawyers Weekly

Posted on March 2, 2017

Jacobson (center) with Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Lisa Alberghini of the Planning for Urban Affairs.

BOSTON --- MHP Deputy Director and General Counsel Judith S. Jacobson was honored with a Leaders in the Law Award at the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly annual awards dinner on Thursday, March 2 at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel.

Jacobson was recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments in affordable housing and community development.

A practicing attorney since 1985 and in-house counsel at MHP since 1991, Jacobson created the legal framework for MHP’s one-of-kind $1.2 billion bank-funded loan pool and its $3.4 billion mortgage program for low-income homebuyers, which is funded by participating banks and credit unions. 

Both programs are the only state-administered programs of their kind in the U.S. Together these programs have financed more than 22,000 affordable rental apartments and nearly 20,000 first-time home purchases by low-income buyers.  

In addition, Jacobson has worked tirelessly to simplify the development process and create more affordable housing opportunities. These efforts include:

  • In the late 1990s, she launched OneSource, which brings MHP together with private lenders to use standardized loan documents, closing attorneys and construction inspectors.  
  • In the mid-2000s, she led efforts to create MassDocs (, an online platform that generates shared closing documents used in conjunction with a shared closing attorney. This system is used by four state agencies and 47 participating cities and towns.  
  •  At the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, she co-chaired a task force that guided state policy that resulted in a $22 million Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund.
  • When she learned that subsidized apartments were sometimes sitting vacant in Boston for nine months or longer, she brought city officials together with property management companies to revamp the tenant selection process and reduce vacancies by more than half. 
  • She is currently working with stakeholders to standardize the inconsistent manner that property taxes are assessed on deed-restricted affordable housing units across the Commonwealth.  

Jacobson is also active in her hometown of Newton.  She was a member of the Newton Community Preservation Committee and served as its chair. She served as a member of the Newton Housing Partnership, and served on a committee that guided the disposition of city-owned land on Austin Street into mixed-use development that includes affordable housing.  

Within the legal community, Jacobson is always ready to help others and advance the profession.  She co-chaired the Affordable Housing Committee of the Real Estate Bar Association for several years, guest lectures at law school classes, and has been a presenter at national ABA conferences.  Perhaps most importantly, Judy she been a mentor to many young attorneys. 

Jacobson received her bachelor's degree from Clark University and her juris doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law.