Monday, October 16, 2017

RI Leaders Address Senior Needs at Health & Housing Forum

RIHousing, along with HousingWorks RI and LeadingAge RI, recently held a Senior Health & Housing Forum to discuss innovative ways for health care and service providers to collaborate with housing providers.

Over the next ten years, Rhode Island’s senior population is expected to grow significantly – which has important implications for our state. Particularly as Baby Boomers age, their needs and expectations are different than the seniors of previous generations.

Seniors today are not drastically slowing down their lives when they reach age 65. Rather, they are remaining active, staying in the workplace longer and living longer, and, more seniors are choosing to “age in place,” or remain in their homes. To meet the needs of this growing demographic, Rhode Island must plan now to find solutions for senior housing, healthcare and services.

A full capacity crowd heard insights from Marianne Raimondo, Executive Director of the Institute for Education in Healthcare at Rhode Island College, which provides cross-disciplinary education and learning opportunities for the health care workforce in Rhode Island. Keynote speaker Linda Couch, LeadingAge's national Vice President of Housing Policy, discussed the rapidly changing landscape of senior care and how changes at the federal level will impact our states. Attendees also participated in breakout sessions to share best practices on housing and healthcare for seniors.

For more information on the Forum, including materials and other related resources, click here.

New Housing Search Portal Now Online

RIHousing is pleased to announce the launch of HousingSearchRI.org,  a free online rental listing service that links people to the housing they need.

The site allows Rhode Islanders to list and search for available rental and for-sale homes free of charge. Detailed listings can include pictures, maps, eligibility requirements (if applicable) and much more. The quick and easy-to-use interface allows for both simple and detailed search queries.

Benefits to property owners and landlords
  • Receive more qualified inquiries
  • Log in 24/7 or call the toll-free call center to update, add or remove listings
  • Register, post and update your listings anytime, anywhere
  • Remove properties immediately after renting/selling to reduce unwanted calls
Benefits to homebuyers and tenants
  • Search by price, amount of rent, size, location, proximity to your work and more
  • Detailed, up-to-date listings with photos
  • Homes for sale, market rentals, subsidized housing and special-needs housing included
  • Additional tools such as a rental affordability calculator and checklist of things to look for when searching for a home, as well as links to helpful resources
HousingSearchRI.org is available online 24/7 and supported by a toll-free, bilingual call center at 1-877-428-8844, Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 8:00 pm EDT.

Record-breaking Quarter for Mortgages

RIHousing funded an all-time high 531 mortgages during the third quarter of 2017. Totaling over $106 million, this represents RIHousing’s highest single-quarter mortgage volume in the corporation’s 44-year history.

“We are thrilled that more people are putting down roots in Rhode Island,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing.  “This is a great win for our communities and economy.”

The corporation’s mortgage volume rose steadily during each month of the quarter:





Comparatively, RIHousing’s average monthly mortgage volume throughout 2016 was approximately 135 first mortgages.

“RIHousing’s success is a direct result of the strong relationships we have cultivated with our partners,” Fields added. “40 broker and lender partners offer a wide array of programs that are helping Rhode Islanders achieve the dream of homeownership.”

RIHousing offers an extensive line of loan options for first-time homebuyers, current homeowners and Rhode Islanders looking to improve their homes. Since 2007, RIHousing has helped approximately 10,000 Rhode Islanders purchase a home.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Congratulations to Peter Walsh!

After almost eight years with the RIHousing team, the agency would like to congratulate Deputy Director Peter Walsh on his impending retirement.

Peter has served as the Deputy Director for Homeownership and Administration, where he has overseen the corporation’s Homeownership origination and servicing, the RIHousing HelpCenter and the Information Technology, Human Resources, Communications and Facilities functions within RIHousing. 

“Peter has been an outstanding member of the senior team at RIHousing. We have benefitted enormously from his business acumen as well as his commitment to the communities and people of Rhode Island,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing. “We will miss Peter tremendously – particularly his unique style and sense of humor – but wish him all the best in his next chapter..”

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director in June 2015, Walsh served as Director of Homeownership and Customer Service at the corporation, where he oversaw a dramatic increase in the number of mortgage originations administered by RIHousing and its partners. Peter joined the corporation in 2009 as Director of External Relations, following nearly three decades in the banking industry with Citizens Bank and Bank RI. 

RIHousing Preserves Historic Mill, Creates 65 New Apartments

RIHousing will help preserve the state’s second-oldest mill and create 65 new apartments, recently approving $9 million in financing for Lippitt Mill Apartments in West Warwick was Listed on the National Register of historic places, Lippitt Mill is currently vacant and uninhabitable.

The $15.9 million project received $2.1 million in Rebuild RI tax credits and rebates from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and will support 117 jobs.

Lippitt Mill was built in 1809 and has withstood the turmoil of the Civil War and hundreds of New England winters to evolve from a cotton mill, where workers toiled by candlelight, to a 21st -century operation that dyed delicate laces for international commercial clients. At the time of its closing in 2010, Lippitt Mill was the longest continually-operating mill in the country and is believed to be one of the oldest timber-frame mill buildings still standing.

Rhode Island First State to Join ConnectHome Nation

RIHousing, in partnership with the RI Office of Innovation, was selected as one of 30 communities participating in the ConnectHome Nation initiative, which aims to end the digital divide in public housing across the United States. Rhode Island is the first state to join the initiative.

“ConnectHome and now ConnectHome Nation is a first of its kind, public private partnership that is committed to ending the digital divide in public housing across the United States,” said Chike Aguh, chief executive officer of EveryoneOn, the national nonprofit implementing ConnectHome Nation. “We are so excited to welcome Rhode Island to this new cohort of communities who are committed to changing the life trajectory of some of the most in need in our country.”

In May 2017, EveryoneOn announced the expansion of the ConnectHome pilot initiative, which launched in 2015 in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was created to bridge the digital divide in 28 pilot communities. Rebranded ConnectHome Nation, the goal of the initiative is to expand to 100 communities and connect 350,000 people living in HUD-assisted housing by 2020.

To learn more about ConnectHome Nation, visit www.connecthomenation.org.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Brenda Hayden Named Assistant Director of Homeownership

RIHousing recently announced that Brenda Hayden will manage the corporation’sresidential mortgage loan programs as Assistant Director of Homeownership.

“Brenda’s extensive experience in mortgage banking will be a valuable asset to the corporation as we move forward in our efforts to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to housing that meets their needs,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing. “We are excited to welcome Brenda to the RIHousing team and look forward to working with her.”

Hayden will oversee the day to day underwriting operations and ensure that a wide range of loan programs are developed and implemented. She will also manage RIHousing’s Homebuyer Education program to help homebuyers learn about the buying process and make more informed decisions regarding mortgage options.

Hayden comes to the agency with over three decades of experience in housing finance and most recently served as a Vice President at the Washington Trust Company. Prior to her time at Washington Trust, she held mortgage banking positions at Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation and AmericaFirst Home Loans.