CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Federal Reserve has raised it’s key rate by 0.75 percent to fight inflation, as consumers across the nation are struggling with rising prices from energy bills to groceries.

“I very much would like to afford my existence, though I understand why this needs to happen,” said Alannah Brunt of Springfield. “Inflation’s really high, we gotta try to offset that. It’s just
going to make things a little harder… I wish there was a way to give life grace to people and folks who need it.”

Raising interest rates have made mortgages and other loans increasingly more expensive. 22News Spoke with ERA M. Connie Laplante Real Estate in South Hadley about the impact this is having on the housing market.

“So basically what we are seeing with the low inventory, buyers are sort of scrambling to buy because they know that the rates are going to continue to go up,” Steven Laplante explained. “We’re actually seeing sellers getting ready to put their homes on the market this year.”

Laplante says that first time buyers who reside in Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield could be eligible for financial assistance through the MassDREAMS program.

“The MassDREAMS grant gives you five percent of the purchase price and closing costs so buyers that qualify for MassDREAMS can basically buy with no money out of pocket,” said Laplante.

First time home buyers who meet the MassDREAMS criteria can receive up to $50,000 in assistance. MassDREAMS is a result of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.