Homeowner Assistance Fund Rhode Island

Last Updated: 05/24/2022 2:40 p.m.

Thank you for your interest in the Homeowner Assistance Fund Rhode Island (HAF-RI) program.

As of Monday, March 14, 2022, the program has been suspended due to the high volume of applications received outpacing the available funds.

If you have not successfully submitted an e-signed application to the HAF-RI program and are a Rhode Island homeowner struggling to make your mortgage payments and/or facing foreclosure, there are several options available to assist you:

  • Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor or the RIHousing HelpCenter today. The sooner you reach out the more options you may have.  Housing counselors work with homeowners and their mortgage servicer to review and identify available options to avoid foreclosure. Options may include loan modifications, work-out agreements, repayment plans and/or referral to RI Legal Services.
  • Talk to your mortgage servicer about opportunities to restructure your mortgage.
  • Contact Community Action Agencies (CAP) about available utility assistance. Click here for a list of CAP agencies in Rhode Island.

HAF Program Eligibility Requirements

Homeowner applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for assistance:

  • Your household must be below certain income limits which varies by household size. Click here to view Income Limits.
  • You must own and occupy a 1 to 4-unit dwelling in Rhode Island
  • You must have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship after January 21, 2020
    – A financial hardship is a material reduction of income or material increase in expenses

  • Your original mortgage balance must have been less than $548,250.

HAF-RI Application Documentation

Required information for the applicant and each household member includes name, date of birth, social security number, employment status and relationship to the homeowner.

Applicants will be required to submit copies of the following:

  1. Government issued Identification – Acceptable forms of ID include:
  • Driver’s License
  • State Issued ID
  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • Permanent Resident Card
  1. Most recent mortgage statement
  2. Demand Letter or Foreclosure Notice from your Servicer (if applicable)
  3. Federal Tax Returns – A copy of your 2019, 2020, and 2021 Federal Tax Form 1040. This is typically the first three pages of your tax return. If you are self-employed, also provide a copy of your Schedule C.
  1. Household Income Documentation – you will be asked to upload income documentation for all household members 18 years of age or older if they are currently receiving income. Examples include:
  • Paystubs
  • W-2
  • 1099
  • Unemployment Award Letter
  • Social Security Award Letter
  • Pension/Retirement Statements/Letters
  • Disability (Temporary or SSDI) Award Letter
  • Worker’s Compensation Documentation

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for HAF-RI?

Homeowner applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for assistance:

  • Your household must be below certain income limits which varies by household size. Click here to view Income Limits.
  • You must own and occupy a 1 to 4-unit dwelling in Rhode Island
  • You must have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship after January 21, 2020
    – A financial hardship is a material reduction of income or material increase in expenses
  • Your original mortgage balance must have been less than $548,250.
What expenses can HAF-RI assist with?
HAFRI can be used to assist with a range of housing-related expenses including:

  • Mortgage arrearages
  • Monthly mortgage payments
  • Principal reduction
  • Property taxes, homeowner association fees, and condominium association fees
  • Payment assistance for utilities, flood or mortgage insurance, and other housing-related expenses if you receive assistance for one of the expenses listed above
How much assistance could I qualify for?
Homeowners may be eligible to receive up to 24 months of assistance not to exceed $50,000 across all HAF-RI programs.
Will I be guaranteed funding if I meet the minimum qualifications?

No.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has provided a limited amount of funds to the State of RI and requires that the majority of funds be dedicated to those whose income is 100% or less of the area medium income ($99,300 for a family of four in most parts of the State).

What if my delinquency amount is greater than the HAF-RI maximum amount?
If your delinquency amount is greater than the HAF-RI maximum amount of $50,000, that does not mean you are not eligible.

However, if the Maximum Per Household HAF-RI assistance is not sufficient to fully reinstate, eligible homeowners must demonstrate sufficient other funds to fully reinstate, or document an approved loss mitigation plan with their loan servicer regarding such shortfall, satisfactory to RIHousing. If the applicant is unable to reinstate the shortfall or come to a loss mitigation agreement with his or her loan servicer regarding such a shortfall, the applicant is ineligible for HAF-RI assistance.

My mortgage is in forbearance. Could I qualify for assistance?
You may be eligible for assistance if your mortgage is in forbearance or in deferred payment status.
Am I still eligible to receive assistance if I’m back at work?
Yes.

If you are back at work but still have outstanding housing related expenses you may be eligible for assistance. You may also be eligible if you have returned to work but are earning less than you used to.

Do I have to be behind on my mortgage payments to qualify for assistance?
No.

You may qualify for assistance even if you are current on your mortgage if you meet the program eligibility requirements.

I am in bankruptcy right now. Am I still eligible for assistance?

Bankruptcy does not make you ineligible for assistance. However, your Lender/Servicer will require approval from the bankruptcy court for you to participate in HAF-RI and receive assistance.

Speak to your bankruptcy attorney about requesting permission from the court.

Does this Program only assist borrowers with RIHousing mortgages?
No.

Any Rhode Island homeowner who meets the eligibility requirements above may be able to receive assistance.

I don’t need help with my mortgage, but I have fallen behind on my utility payments. Can I just apply for utility assistance?

To receive utility assistance through HAF-RI, a homeowner must also qualify for assistance with mortgage payments, arrearages, principal reduction, or other foreclosure lien.

If you are a homeowner seeking help for utility costs only, you may qualify for assistance under other programs such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Click here to learn more >

How do you define “household member”?
A household member is someone who lives in the household the majority of the time. Household members are not only family members but may also be friends or other individuals living in the property. Household members may or may not be contributing to the household bills). It is essential that everyone in the household is counted, as the program’s income limits vary according to household size.
Will I receive assistance directly?
Generally, program assistance will be paid directly to your mortgage servicer, utility provider or other entity owed housing related costs.
Are an applicant’s current net assets considered in addition to the income qualification for HAF?
No. Per U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance, with respect to qualifying each household applying for assistance, RIHousing may use adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 series for individual federal annual income tax purposes. There is not an additional net assets test applied.
Will HAF-RI assistance be considered taxable income by the IRS?
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has provided guidance that assistance received through HAF is not considered taxable income for federal tax purposes. You should consult your tax professional with any questions or concerns.
Will certain homeowners be deemed higher priority to receive HAF funds?
Yes.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has stipulated that HAF funds must be distributed to homeowners using certain criteria such as, but not limited to, their income and if they are socially disadvantaged in any way.

What is the definition of a “socially disadvantaged” individual?
The U.S. Treasury defines “socially disadvantaged” as:

“Socially disadvantaged individuals are those whose ability to purchase or own a home has been impaired due to diminished access to credit on reasonable terms as compared to others in comparable economic circumstances, based on disparities in homeownership rates in the HAF participant’s jurisdiction as documented by the U.S. Census. The impairment must stem from circumstances beyond their control. Indicators of impairment under this definition may include being a (1) member of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society, (2) resident of a majority-minor Census tract; (3) individual 3 with limited English proficiency; (4) resident of a U.S. territory, Indian reservation, or Hawaiian Home Loan, or (5) individual who lives in a persistent-poverty county, meaning any county that has had 20% or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years as measured by the three most recent decennial censuses. In addition, an individual may be determined to be a socially disadvantaged individual in accordance with a process developed by a HAF participant for determining whether a homeowner is socially disadvantaged individual in accordance with applicable law, which may reasonably rely on self-attestations.”

Can I get assistance for future payments?
Yes.

If you, or someone in your household are still unemployed or underemployed, you may be eligible for future payments. A review of your application is necessary to determine the duration of assistance.

I’ve recently been denied assistance from the HAF-RI program but feel this is in error. Is there a way to appeal the decision?
If you would like to appeal the decision of your HAF-RI application, please fill out the Decisions Appeal Form.  All appeals must be received within 30 calendar days of the decision. 

Decisions Appeal Form >

IMPORTANT: Please upload any documentation to support your appeal to the ‘Documents’ section of your application at www.haf-ri.com under ‘Underwriter Requested Documents.’

Decision Appeal

Click here if you would like to appeal the decision of your HAF-RI application.
All appeals must be received within 30 calendar days of the decision.

Recertification Form

Click here to download the Recertification Form. Sign and date this form to recertify HAF-RI eligibility.