FirstGenHomeRI

Helping first generation homebuyers become the next generation of homeowners

FirstGenHomeRI opens the doors for first-generation homebuyers with $25,000 in down payment and/or closing cost assistance.

The FirstGenHomeRI program is a pilot program with limited funds. The funds will be extended on a first come, first-served basis to qualified homebuyers who have a Loan Commitment and a fully-executed purchase and sales agreement.

Eligibility

  • Qualify as a first-generation homebuyer*
  • Currently reside in the following communities:
    Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Providence (excluding residents in zip code 02906), Newport (residents in census tract 44005040500 only)**
  • Be a first-time homebuyer purchasing a 1-4 family home or condominium anywhere in Rhode Island
  • Have a minimum credit score of 660
  • Meet RIHousing Price and Income Limits
  • Complete a HUD-approved first-time homebuyer education course (see below)
  • Obtain a RIHousing-funded first mortgage through RIHousing’s Loan Center
  • Purchase and occupy the home as your primary residence

*A first-generation homebuyer is defined as any person whose parents or guardian never owned a home during the homebuyer’s lifetime or lost the home to a foreclosure or short sale and does not own a home now. Anyone who lived in foster care also qualifies as a first-generation home buyer.

**Are you a Newport resident? Click here to check whether your current residence is located within an eligible census tract.

Eligibility

  • Qualify as a first-generation homebuyer*
  • Currently reside in the following communities:
    Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Providence (excluding residents in zip code 02906), Newport (residents in census tract 44005040500 only)**
  • Be a first-time homebuyer purchasing a 1-4 family home or condominium anywhere in Rhode Island
  • Have a minimum credit score of 660
  • Meet RIHousing Price and Income Limits
  • Complete a HUD-approved first-time homebuyer education course (see below)
  • Obtain a RIHousing-funded first mortgage through RIHousing’s Loan Center
  • Purchase and occupy the home as your primary residence

*A first-generation homebuyer is defined as any person whose parents or guardian never owned a home during the homebuyer’s lifetime or lost the home to a foreclosure or short sale and does not own a home now. Anyone who lived in foster care also qualifies as a first-generation home buyer.

**Are you a Newport resident? Click here to check whether your current residence is located within an eligible census tract.

Terms and Conditions

  • Zero percent (0%) interest
  • No monthly payments
  • Forgivable after 5 years of owning and residing in the home***

*** The down payment assistance is a grant that does not need to be repaid if the homeowner keeps their home for five years as their primary residence.

Terms and Conditions

  • Zero percent (0%) interest
  • No monthly payments
  • Forgivable after 5 years of owning and residing in the home***

*** The down payment assistance is a grant that does not need to be repaid if the homeowner keeps their home for five years as their primary residence.

Get Educated.

Homebuyer Education is available via a network of HUD-approved counseling agencies. Please visit one of our partner agencies’ websites to learn more about the HUD-approved homebuyer education classes they offer and to register for a class.

Get Educated.

Homebuyer Education is available via a network of HUD-approved counseling agencies.
Please visit one of our partner agencies’ websites to learn more about the HUD-approved homebuyer education classes they offer and to register for a class.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the program available only to first-generation homebuyers?

Barriers to homeownership exist for many low income and minority borrowers, and especially for first-generation homebuyers. Traditionally, these borrowers compete with peers who may be able to tap into family wealth to purchase a home and benefit from the financial literacy that comes from growing up in a home your family owns rather than an apartment.

Why is the program only available to residents of certain communities?
The program is targeted to communities with the highest level of need for increased homeownership opportunities with a particular focus on increasing the homeownership rate among minority populations. Factors such as median housing costs, household size, and income were used when determining eligible communities. Eligible communities have roughly similar or higher concentrations of minority populations when compared to the state average and a higher percentage of median incomes below 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
Why is eligibility based on where someone currently resides?
The program is targeted at opening doors and creating opportunity for first-generation Rhode Island homebuyers and is available in communities that are socioeconomically distressed and have experienced declines in population and housing. Locations are primarily concentrated in urban areas, including Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, and parts of Providence (excluding residents in zip code 02906) and Newport (residents in census tract 44005040500 only).

Click here if you are a Newport resident and want to check whether your current residence is located in an eligible census tract. >

The program aims to boost the long-term, economic outlook for families who have historically not pursued homeownership, many of which may currently reside in eligible communities, which are composed primarily of renters.

If I'm a first-time homebuyer but my fiancée is not a first-time homebuyer, can we use the $25,000 FirstGenHomeRI program?
If you are purchasing the home on your own, you may be eligible for the program. If your fiancée will be a co-borrower on your mortgage loan, then you will not be eligible as applicants must be first-time buyers who meet the program’s eligibility standards.
Are there restrictions on how I use the FirstGenHomeRI funds?
Yes, you may use funds for the property’s down payment and/or mortgage closing costs.
Why do homebuyers need to complete the HUD-approve Homebuyer Education in order to receive the down payment assistance?
Studies and our experience suggest that Homebuyer Education is the first step toward successful homeownership. These HUD-approved classes – taught by trusted community partners – provide an in-depth look at the responsibilities of homeownership and help buyers prepare for homeownership. Our goal is to help people buy a home and have the resources and knowledge to keep it.
I don’t currently reside in any of the targeted communities. Are there resources available to help me buy a home?
Yes, RIHousing offers an array of mortgage programs to help first-time homebuyers, including down payment assistance. Visit: https://www.rihousing.com/buyers/ for more details.
Do I also need to take RIHousing’s HBE education?
No. You will only need to take one of the HUD-approved Homebuyer Education courses offered by one of our partners.

If you are purchasing a multi-family unit or purchasing through our Homebuyer Renovation 203(k) Loan, you must also complete the Landlord-Tenant or the 203k Homebuyer Education required by the loans.
Click here to learn more about these classes > 

I already took RIHousing’s Homebuyer Education class. Do I need to also take one offered by the list of HUD-approved counseling agencies?
Yes. Homebuyer education is a critical first step to ensure homebuyers are successful homeowners. The classes offered by our trusted partners provide a more extensive level of education on the homebuying process, financial literacy and responsibilities of owning a home and include a one-on-one counseling component.
Can I go to a Participating Lender?
No, the program is a pilot and currently only offered via RIHousing’s Loan Center.

Other questions about the program?

Reach out to 401-457-1211.

Ready to buy that home?

RIHousing Loan Center

Contact one of our Mortgage Originators.