RIHousing is closely monitoring the latest news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and working hard to ensure there are no disruptions to service for our customers and partners.

Due to the current COVID-19 health emergency, RIHousing’s office building is currently closed to visitors until further notice.

RIHousing staff is available to assist you via telephone or email. Please see below for additional information for homeowners or renters facing a short-term housing crisis. Or please call 401-457-1234 or email scheduling@rihousing.com to seek further assistance from RIHousing.

If you need to submit paperwork or a payment, please mail to: RIHousing, 44 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903. If necessary, you can submit paperwork/payment via a mail slot located next to RIHousing’s main entrance on 44 Washington Street in downtown Providence.

Last Updated: September 14, 2020

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RIHousing Mortgage Customers

We understand that these are stressful times for homeowners who may be experiencing loss of income and other financial impacts related to the COVID-19 health crisis.  RIHousing is closely monitoring the latest news about COVID-19 and working hard to ensure that Rhode Island homeowners have the resources and information they need.

For more information, see our RIHousing Mortgage Customers COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.


For those who are able to make their mortgage payments, it is important that you continue to do so
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If you are facing reduced hours or job loss and are worried about making your mortgage payment this month, there may be resources that can help. The federal government is currently working on assistance for states and individuals. The situation is changing daily and we will communicate updates and additional information as it becomes available.

  • If you are a RIHousing mortgage customer and need assistance during this time, please reach out.
    Please note that the current call volume is extremely high, so we ask for your patience and understanding while we do our best to assist all customers. You may also reach us at servicinginfo@rihousing.com.
  • Mortgage customers who are experiencing reduced hours or job loss and are having difficulty making their mortgage payments should submit a forbearance request via email to prusso@rihousing.com. Requests must provide a description of the hardship.

 

RIHousing mortgage customers have the following options to submit mortgage payments:

  • Online using RIHousing’s Customer CareNet, a 24/7 portal to make online payments, view current loan activity and payment history, and update your personal information.
  • Pay by phone using our 24/7 voice response system (toll free: 1-877-849-7059).
  • Customers who are unable to use online or pay-by-phone options can mail payments to: RIHousing, Loan Servicing Dept., P.O. Box 113, Providence, RI 02903-0113.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for being a valued customer.

 

Homeowner Assistance

If you are facing a short-term housing crisis, please click HERE to learn about the HomeSafe Initiative.

 

Assistance for mortgage holders 

Many lenders are taking action to help homeowners impacted by COVID–19 to stay in their homes during this challenging time. Below are some things you can do if you are concerned about your ability to make your mortgage payment(s) due to the pandemic.

For more information and resources for homeowners, visit our COVID-19 Homeowner Assistance webpage.

 

CONTACT YOUR LENDER / MORTGAGE SERVICER

If you have experienced a disruption in your income, contact your lender/mortgage servicer to discuss your options and inquire about any special programs and/or delayed payment options they may offer. Some lenders have rolled out mortgage relief programs for those who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to a decline in income. Certain federally insured mortgage holders may be eligible for mortgage forbearance.

If they have not yet developed mortgage assistance programs specific to COVID-19, remain in contact with your loan servicer as they may develop them in the coming days/weeks.

  

RIHousing HelpCenter

RIHousing’s HelpCenter is available to assist Rhode Island homeowners concerned about their ability to make their mortgage payments. The HelpCenter is a HUD-approved counseling agency that provides free foreclosure prevention counseling services to all Rhode Island homeowners. Click here for more information or reach out to: 401-457-1130.

  • While we are no longer holding in-person meetings, staff are available via email and/or telephone as needed.
  • Mediation conferences and foreclosure counseling are now held via phone.

 

For those facing foreclosure

Foreclosures and evictions have been suspended through the end of December for certain federally insured mortgages. You should contact your mortgage servicer to find out if your mortgage is affected.

 

Homebuyers/ Homebuyer Education

 

Information for RIHousing Loan Center Customers

  • While we are not accepting visitors to our offices, staff are reachable by email and/or telephone.
  • If you have a loan in process, or have applied to be pre-approved, please reach out to your Loan Originator as needed. We are working to ensure there are no disruptions in service.

Homebuyer Education In-person Classes Suspended

Effective March 16, 2020 RIHousing is suspending all in-person Homebuyer Education classes though October 2020.

  • RIHousing is expanding online course options to include the Framework course offered by Fannie Mae.  The course features the same basic principles taught at the in-person class. 
  • The class is available free of charge at https://homeready.frameworkhomeownership.org and the Certificate earned upon successful completion satisfies the RIHousing homebuyer education requirement. 

For more information, see our Homebuyers COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Realtors

For COVID-19 information for realtors, please visit the Rhode Island Association of Realtors of website.

 

Renters

 

If you are facing a short-term housing crisis, please click HERE to learn about the HomeSafe Initiative.

If you are facing eviction and behind on your rent as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, please click HERE to learn about the United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or are at risk of eviction as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, please click HERE to learn about RIHousing’s Emergency Tenant Based Rental Assistance program.

Eviction Moratorium: In an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced an emergency public health order which temporarily halts most evictions for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020. The moratorium went into effect on Friday, September 4, 2020. Under the order, renters who earn less than $99,000 annually (or $198,000 for a married couple household) are eligible for the moratorium. Renters must provide their landlord with an affidavit stating that they have sought government assistance for rent or housing; are unable to pay rent due to a substantial loss in income or because of extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; are making their best effort to make partial rent payments, and would be faced with homelessness or overcrowding as a result of the eviction.

The moratorium does not change the obligations of tenants to eventually pay their rent or any late fees that may accrue. More information on the moratorium is available in the federal register here or in this frequently asked questions resource.

 

Tenants of Multifamily Developments:

  • Social Distancing Measures: Many properties have adjusted their policies to address social distancing measures. It is at the property owner’s discretion to determine how they will implement these measures. Tenants should contact their property manager to obtain information on their development’s policies and procedures.
  • Rent Payments: We realize that some tenants may have difficulty paying rent due to a loss of income. RIHousing is encouraging properties to work with impacted residents to lessen the impact. At this time, no additional funding has been made available to assist tenants with rent.
  • Annual Recertifications: Currently, all annual recertifications are moving forward as usual. However, if you feel sick or have concerns about going into the office, please contact your property manager to discuss alternative options.

Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Families

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  • Payments: At this time, we do not anticipate any delay in rent or utility payments.
  • Initial move-in inspections: If you have found a unit that you would like to move into, please contact 401-457-1125. We are still conducting inspections as long as the unit is vacant.
  • Emergency inspections: If your home has a health or safety emergency please notify your landlord immediately and call RIHousing at 401-457-1125. The decision to conduct these inspections will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reduction or loss of income: If you experience a reduction or loss in income, please send documentation from your employer to COVID-19incomeupdate@rihousing.com. If you do not have documentation from your employer then please email us what the income reduction or loss is, along with your employer’s name and contact information. We will contact them to confirm.
  • HomesRI COVID-19 Fact Sheet on Evictions for Renters

Participants in the Continuum of Care program should contact their service provider directly.

 

July 1st 2020
On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This legislation provided the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the ability to waive statute or regulations to allow alternative requirements. This provided public housing authorities, such as RIHousing, with flexibilities necessary to respond to COVID-19. RIHousing has opted to use some of the waivers that were granted. Click here for details. 

 

 

Landlords and Property Owners/Agents

September 11, 2020
In an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced an emergency public health order which temporarily halts most evictions for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020. The moratorium went into effect on Friday, September 4, 2020. Under the order, renters who earn less than $99,000 annually (or $198,000 for a married couple household) are eligible for the moratorium. Renters must provide their landlord with an affidavit stating that they have sought government assistance for rent or housing; are unable to pay rent due to a substantial loss in income or because of extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; are making their best effort to make partial rent payments, and would be faced with homelessness or overcrowding as a result of the eviction.

The moratorium does not change the obligations of tenants to eventually pay their rent or any late fees that may accrue. More information on the moratorium is available in the federal register here or in this frequently asked questions resource.

Landlords with tenants who are having trouble paying their rent can work with them to find resources that may be available to provide rental assistance. These include:

  • Safe Harbor: Either landlord or tenant may apply. More information available here.
  • Home Safe: More information available here.
  • Emergency Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (E-TBRA): More information available here.

Landlords who are having trouble paying their mortgage, should contact their mortgage servicer to see what resources may be available to assist them. Owners of 1-4 unit properties who live in the property as their primary residence may also be eligible for mortgage assistance through the Hardest Hit Fund. More information on the program is available here.

July 1st 2020
On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This legislation provided the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the ability to waive statute or regulations to allow alternative requirements. This provided public housing authorities, such as RIHousing, with flexibilities necessary to respond to COVID-19. RIHousing has opted to use some of the waivers that were granted. Click here for details. 

 

Information for HCVP/Continuum of Care/RoadHome Landlords

  • Landlord Payments: RIHousing has designated essential staff to work remotely and ensure that rent payments are not interrupted. We have set up a designated email for families to report reduction in income related to COVID-19 so we can expedite the rent adjustments.
  • Normal Inspections: RIHousing will continue initial move-in inspections, so long as the unit is vacant. All other inspections (annual/bi-annual/special) will be postponed 60 days from this notice. If a tenant is reporting a 24-hour violation, we will accept videos and/or photos of the condition and will contact landlord immediately to have the condition addressed.
  • Tenant Complaint Inspections: The decision to conduct these inspections will be made on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be considered will include, severity of alleged issue (e.g. is it a life and safety issue), occupancy of the building (e.g. is the building age-restricted or otherwise occupied by particularly vulnerable populations), etc.

Information for Owner/Agents of Multifamily Housing

HomeSafe Initiative

 

Through the below partners, RIHousing has launched the HomeSafe Initiative, which provides one-time temporary financial assistance to eligible Rhode Island residents facing a short-term housing crisis. Assistance is available for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 emergencies.

If you would like to learn more, or apply for assistance, please contact one of the below organizations. This information will be updated often, so please check back if the organization serving your community is not currently accepting applications.

 

Serving residents in Foster, Coventry, Cranston and Scituate:

Comprehensive Community Action Program
Currently accepting applications. To apply, call 401-467-7013

 

Servicing residents in East Greenwich, Warwick and West Warwick

West Bay Community Action Program
Currently accepting applications. To apply, please call or email the following:

lpereira@westbaycap.org or 401-921-5227
jgoves@westbaycap.org or 401-921-5165

 

Serving residents statewide:

Crossroads RI
Currently accepting applications.
CESteam@crossroadsri.com
(401)277-4316

Housing Network of Rhode Island
Currently accepting applications. Click here for more information. 

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
Currently accepting applications. Click here for more information. 

 

Serving residents in Newport:

Church Community Housing Corporation
Currently accepting applications. Click here for more information.
HomeSafe Flyer     Download Application (PDF)

Safe Harbor Housing Program

 

The Safe Harbor Housing program is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.

The $7-million initiative with the United Way of Rhode Island provides tenants with help paying back rent and securing legal representation, with a goal of reaching resolutions outside of the court and keeping people in their homes. For households that qualify, Safe Harbor can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation.

Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.

Click here to learn more.

 

LeadSafe Homes

 

 Information for Landlords and Property Owners

  • RIHousing’s LeadSafe Homes Program is postponing the lead safe and/or healthy homes work scheduled to occur at your property. The LeadSafe Homes Program’s mission is to create safe and healthy homes. At this time, we do not feel we can continue program operations while ensuring the health of property owners, tenants, lead inspectors and contractors.
  • Once we are confident that it is safe to resume work, RIHousing will coordinate with you and your contractor to reschedule the project at a mutually convenient time.

Information to Contractors and Inspectors

  • RIHousing’s LeadSafe Homes Program is temporarily suspending all property-related inspections and remediation work. This includes lead inspections, property assessments, walk-throughs, work progress inspections, and all interior and exterior projects.
  • We have communicated this information with any property owners you may currently be working with. The LeadSafe Homes Program’s mission is to create safe and healthy homes. At this time, we do not feel we can continue program operations while ensuring the health of property owners, tenants, lead inspectors and contractors.
  • Once we are confident that it is safe to resume work, RIHousing will coordinate with you and the property owners to reschedule the project at a mutually convenient time.

 

LeadSafe Homes Program staff will continue to work behind the scenes to ensure everything is ready to go once it is safe to resume work. If you have any concerns or questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact Erica Pistorino, LeadSafe Homes Program Coordinator, at epistorino@rihousing.com.

 

Partners

 

Message to Partners

 

As an agency whose mission is to provide safe and healthy housing options for Rhode Islanders, we take the health and safety of our customers, colleagues, staff and the general public seriously. We have taken several steps to ensure the well-being of our employees and to ensure that partners and customers have access to the services and support they may need.

RIHousing’s office building is currently closed and staff are working remotely. Our emails and phone systems are up and running, but we are asking partners to be patient as there may be delays in response time. We will inform you of any status updates as they occur.

We understand that these are stressful times for our partners, your customers and the communities you serve. We want you to know that we are here to help. RIHousing is closely monitoring the latest news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and working hard to ensure there are no disruptions to service for our customers.

We have notified our customers and clients of our office closure and will be sharing updates via email and posts to our website.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for being a valued partner.

 

Development Partners

 

Message to Development Partners

  • MEMO: COVID-19 guidance for Allocations of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits – 04.10.2020
  • July 1st 2020
    On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This legislation provided the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the ability to waive statute or regulations to allow alternative requirements. This provided public housing authorities, such as RIHousing, with flexibilities necessary to respond to COVID-19. RIHousing has opted to use some of the waivers that were granted. Click here for details. 

Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI)

HHFRI is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Assistance Unemployment Program. The program helps Rhode Island homeowners who experienced unemployment or underemployment due to the COVID-19 health crisis and are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Please click here for additional information and to apply.

Emergency Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (E-TBRA)

RIHousing announced a new rental assistance program for eligible Rhode Island renters struggling to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you need assistance, please reach out: 1-800-854-1180. We appreciate your cooperation.