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It's no news to builders that the New England housing market has softened. Economic uncertainty, inflated prices, and a glut of homes are slowing sales. The slump is worst in the middle and upper ranges, and many a $200,000 spec house sits empty. However, starter homes, which were overlooked during the boom, are still in demand. Real estate agents and lenders expect such homes to move well if they can be made affordable to firsttime homebuyers. Establishing affordability is the goad of several governmentsponsored programs. Found in some form in every New England state, these programs help low and middle-income first-time homebuyers. As a builder and developer, you can't use these programs directly (except to buy your own home). However, knowing the programs and directing potential buyers