June 30, 2021

RIHousing Launches Pilot Program during National Homeownership Month

Program provides educational and financial resources to help homeowners succeed

Providence, RI – RIHousing today announced the launch of a new pilot program that provides a pathway to sustainable homeownership for first-time buyers. RIHousing’s HomeSecure Grant program offers educational and financial resources to support new homeowners and is offered in conjunction with a RIHousing mortgage. The program features a robust financial literacy program via a network of partner agencies as well as access to an emergency fund reserve to assist borrowers in the first three years of owning a home.

“RIHousing doesn’t just help people buy a home, we also provide the tools and resources to help buyers keep the home they worked so hard to obtain,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “New homeowners can have unexpected emergencies that make it difficult to make their mortgage payments. This new program helps prepare buyers to become successful homeowners and also acts as a ‘safety net’ if needed.”

The intent of the grant program is to encourage homeownership for first-time homebuyers and ensure that Rhode Islanders have access to credit and a stable and affordable primary residence. The grant provides an emergency fund reserve in the amount of three months of mortgage payments (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) for a period of three years from the closing on the first mortgage loan. Homeowners can access the reserve funds to make their mortgage payment(s) if they experience an emergency and/or temporary short-term event during the term of the grant.

“The grant program provides emergency funds to ensure homeowners have adequate money available in the event of an unforeseen financial outlay,” said Peter Pagonis, RIHousing’s Director of Homeownership. “Coupled with an extensive homebuyer and financial literacy curriculum, the reserve funds are a critical resource in helping homeowners avoid mortgage delinquency.”

The program is being rolled out in partnership with a network of partners who provide pre-purchase homebuyer education and financial literacy courses. Grant recipients must meet certain eligibility requirements and income limits in order to qualify for a mortgage loan via the RIHousing Loan Center.

Grant recipients must also:

  • Complete a Financial Literacy Course offered by a designated RIHousing Community Partner prior to applying for the first mortgage loan;
  • Be a first-time homebuyer;
  • Have income that does not exceed $97,646 for a 1-2-person household or $112,393 for a 3 or more-person household;
  • Complete RIHousing’s Post Purchase Counseling prior to the first payment due date for the first mortgage loan; and
  • Enroll in RIHousing’s automatic mortgage debit payment program.

“Financial literacy is key to successful homeownership,” said Ventura. “Partner agencies will help prospective buyers understand the importance of budgeting, examining their spending habits, how to purchase and finance a home, and how to plan for their financial future.”

Interested homebuyers should begin by reaching out to one of the partner agencies offering the homebuyer education/financial literacy courses: Community Action Partnership of Providence County; Financial Opportunity Center in Providence; Pawtucket Central Falls Development; Providence Housing Authority; SWAP, Inc. and West Elmwood Housing Development Corp.

Program details and contact information for each partner agency can be found online at www.RIHousing.com/Home-Secure.

About RIHousing

RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live in Rhode Island can afford a healthy home that meets their needs. RIHousing provides loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no state funding for operations. For more information regarding RIHousing, visit www.RIHousing.com or follow us @RIHousing on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact 
Christine Hunsinger