March 25, 2022

RIHousing Recognizes Top-Performing Lender Partners of 2021

Following record-breaking year, lender partners honored

Providence, RI – After a strong year in mortgage lending, RIHousing announced its top-producing lender partners of 2021. Working with more than 30 lender partners throughout Rhode Island, the agency helped over 1,700 first-time homebuyers purchase homes last year.

“While the single-family market experienced increases in pricing and low inventory, we’re proud that in 2021 we were able to exceed our 2020 mortgage numbers and help more families put down roots in Rhode Island,” said Peter Pagonis, Director of Homeownership at RIHousing. “We couldn’t do the work we do helping families in Rhode Island without our Participating Lenders.”

Strong relationships with lender partners helped RIHousing increase loan production and close 2021 with the highest mortgage volume in the agency’s nearly 50-year history. Lender partners accounted for nearly 91% of RIHousing mortgage originations in 2021.

As part of its annual recognition of top lender partners, RIHousing announced Main Street Home Loans as the agency’s Participating Lender of the Year. In 2021, Main Street Home Loans funded more than $86 million in mortgage loans for 266 homes through RIHousing’s homeownership programs.

“We couldn’t help the number of first-time buyers without the innovative lending products offered by RIHousing,” said David Travers, Area Manager, Main Street Home Loans. “We take this achievement to heart because it means we are meeting our mission to help first-time buyers realize their dream of homeownership while supporting our community.”

In addition to celebrating its partnership with Main Street Home Loans, RIHousing is also recognizing the following for their contributions:

  • Top Producing Loan Officers:
    • Evelyn Perez, Guaranteed Rate Affinity (Gold Partner)
    • Juan Cerda, Shamrock Home Loans (Silver Partner)
    • Eric Maluk, Semper Home Loans (Bronze Partner)

Evelyn Perez, based in Cranston, has been the recipient of RIHousing’s Gold Partner Award for the past three years. She originated over $35 million in first mortgages with RIHousing and helped 117 Rhode Islanders achieve their dream of homeownership in 2021; the second year in a row she has broken records as a top RIHousing loan officer. As a person of Dominican descent, Evelyn takes pride in educating the state’s Spanish-speaking community on the steps to homeownership and building generational wealth.

“I am grateful to RIHousing for this recognition and also to the families I work with every day,” said Perez, Loan Officer, Guaranteed Rate Affinity. “Our partnership allows me to meet my professional goals while also helping first-time homebuyers along their journey toward homeownership, which is the most rewarding part of my job.”

Juan Cerda, based in Rumford, has offered RIHousing programs for over 20 years and attributes his bilingual team and focus on Spanish-speaking homebuyers as critical to his success. Cerda and his team originated more than $17 million in first mortgages with RIHousing last year, helping 59 households achieve homeownership.

“I love this award. We were able to help a lot of people last year because of RIHousing,” shared Cerda, Loan Officer, Shamrock Home Loans. “Almost 80% of my business utilizes the down payment and closing cost assistance offered by RIHousing. Our bilingual team paired with the down payment assistance have been the keys to our success.”

Loan Officer Eric Maluk, based in Warwick, originated more than $16 million in loans in 2021 and helped 57 families make Rhode Island their home. Maluk has been offering RIHousing programs for nearly 10 years.

“Honestly, my goal was to get on RIHousing’s top Loan Officer list for 2021,” said Maluk. “It’s rewarding to be able to help first-time homebuyers and also to be able to reach my own personal goal and get this recognition from a long-time partner agency.”

“With hundreds of loan officers using RIHousing Programs, the work of our top producing loan officers truly stands out,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “The pandemic has added some challenges to the homebuying process, and we are grateful that these lender partners have helped our buyers overcome those hurdles. We look forward to what the 2022 homebuying market has to offer.”

RIHousing offers an extensive line of loan options for first-time homebuyers, current homeowners and Rhode Islanders looking to improve their homes. Since 1973, RIHousing has helped approximately 82,000 families purchase a home. RIHousing loans are available through the RIHousing Loan Center and a network of participating lenders across the state.

About RIHousing
RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive 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 or follow us @RIHousing on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:
Christine Hunsinger