Wednesday, May 24, 2017

RI-Refi Program Helps Homeowners Refinance into a New Home

RIHousing’s new RI-Refi program is now available to help homeowners who owe more than the current market value of their home to refinance into a new loan. Eligible homeowners can get up to $75,000 (forgivable over three years) to reduce the amount owed on any mortgage.

In order to be eligible for the program, homeowners must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must owe more than 110% of the home’s current value
  • Live in the home as primary residence
  • Current on mortgage for the last 12 months
  • Qualify for a new RIHousing first mortgage
  • Meet RIHousing loan and income limits
  • Minimum credit score of 640
  • First and second mortgage balances are eligible

The RI-Refi program is available statewide through RIHousing’s network of participating lenders and the RIHousing Loan Center. Connect with one of them today for more details:

RIHousing Invests Federal Funding to Attract Private Investments for Communities Across RI

RIHousing recently announced the recipients of more than $2.4 million in federal HOME funding, as well as $2.9 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) to provide rental and homeownership opportunities in rural, suburban and urban communities. The funding is targeted to the development of  homes in Burrillville, Richmond, Charlestown, Barrington and Providence.

“The HOME program, combined with the use of LIHTCs, enables local developers to attract $28.8 million in private investment and build 137 much-needed homes across our state,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing. “I’m especially pleased by the geographic diversity of these developments, which offer a range of housing options throughout our state.”

Information about each of the developments can be found below:

Fernwood (Phase II)
Fernwood is a NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley development and was approved for a $485,436 HOME loan to construct eight new homes for first-time homebuyers. This is the second phase of 30 planned homes, which also received funding from USDA Rural Development.

Shannock Falls
Shannock Falls, which is being built on two sites in Richmond and Charlestown, was approved for a $500,000 HOME loan, as well as over $1 million in LIHTCs, which will leverage more than $9.2 million in private investment from Red Stone Equity Partners. The developer, Women’s Development Corporation, will build 32 apartments in Richmond and 11 homes in Charlestown. The project will support 77 construction jobs.

Palmer Pointe
Palmer Pointe, being built by East Bay Community Development Corporation in Barrington, was awarded a $775,500 HOME loan and $919,472 in LIHTCs, which will leverage more than $8.4 million in private equity from Red Stone Equity Partners. The project will include 46 apartments and create 58 construction jobs.

Maplewoods Apartments
Maplewoods Apartments is a SWAP, Inc. development located in the Manton neighborhood of Providence. RIHousing approved a $703,727 HOME loan, as well as $970,000 in LIHTCs, which will leverage more than $9.1 million in private equity from LISC’s National Equity Fund. The development will create 40 apartments and support 72 construction jobs.

First Down Program Offers $7,500 Down Payment Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers

RIHousing recently launched its First Down program, which provides $7,500 in down payment assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers purchasing any home in one of six Rhode Island communities.

The First Down program is structured as a forgivable loan and targets the six communities most affected by the foreclosure crisis: Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick and Woonsocket..

“For many prospective homebuyers, the biggest challenge is saving for a down payment,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing. “This forgivable loan eliminates yet another barrier to homeownership for working Rhode Islanders. We’re thrilled to launch the First Down program, which continues our work to strengthen Rhode Island’s economy.”

The down payment assistance is available to first-time homebuyers purchasing a one- to four-family home or condominium. The property must be the buyer’s primary residence, and buyers must obtain a RIHousing first mortgage through one of 35 participating lenders or RIHousing.
RIHousing estimates that more than 530 homeowners will be served through this program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Fields recently sat down with the Rhode Show to discuss the new program and who may be eligible. Watch the full interview here:

Click here to learn more about the First Down Program.

Monday, May 8, 2017

ICYMI: RIHousing Contributes $650 Million to Local Economy, Issues Record-Breaking 1,625 Mortgages

RIHousing recently released its 2016 Annual Report, which highlights the corporation’s record-breaking year.

With an overall economic impact of $657 million in the state's economy throughout 2016, RIHousing helped 1,625 Rhode Islanders purchase a home – the highest one-year total in its history and almost 30% higher than the previous year.

“Housing is a critical component of a healthy economy,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing.  “Housing investments strengthen our workforce, bolster our state's construction and real estate industries and ensure that every Rhode Island family has a home that meets their needs.”

“RIHousing is positioned to continue strengthening our communities and our economy in 2017,” Fields added. “We look forward to working with all our partners to assist more Rhode Islanders.  Investing in homes. Creating jobs. Retaining and attracting talent.”

Click here to read the full report.

RIHousing, Rep. Deb Ruggiero Talk with Seniors About Housing Issues

Rhode Island Housing Executive Director Barbara Fields and Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Jamestown, Middletown) recently visited Jamestown and Middletown senior centers to discuss Rhode Island’s growing housing shortage, as well as RIHousing programs available for seniors.

Fields and Ruggiero explained the state’s need for approximately 35,000 more homes over the next 10 years and how Rhode Island’s senior population is expected to see significant growth over the next decade – findings that were highlighted in Rhode Island Housing’s Projecting Future Housing Needs report.

“More and more seniors are looking to downsize into homes that are smaller or more accessible and our goal is to make that transition easier,” said Fields. “Educating Rhode Island seniors is particularly important given that this age group is one of the fastest growing demographics in the state. This is part of our ongoing efforts to keep seniors informed of the programs and resources available to them as the senior population continues to grow.”

More information about the senior programs that were featured at the presentations can be found below:

Thomas McNulty Named Treasury Manager

RIHousing recently welcomed Thomas McNulty as the agency’s Treasurer.

As RIHousing’s Treasury Manager, McNulty will be accountable for the development, implementation and general management of the treasury, risk management and corporate financial planning functions of the corporation.

“I am delighted to welcome Tom McNulty to the Rhode Island Housing team,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “His extensive treasury experience will be a valuable asset to the agency as we continue to create more housing opportunities for working Rhode Islanders.”

Previously, McNulty held a number of positions in treasury and financial advising throughout his 25-year career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) and its predecessor, FleetBoston Financial. McNulty also worked in treasury at Old Stone Bank in Providence before arriving at BAML. McNulty holds a degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts.

“I am excited to join the dedicated team at Rhode Island Housing,” said McNulty. “It’s an exciting time for the agency as more and more Rhode Islanders are understanding the key role housing plays in the state’s economy. I’m looking forward to working to continue creating more housing opportunities for Rhode Islanders.”

Going "Above and Beyond" to Help Our Families

At a recent RIHousing Board of Commissioners meeting, Nancy Boyd and Anne Reynolds were presented with "Above and Beyond" awards for their service to residents. 

This past summer Broadway Plaza, a development in Providence, had a gas line issue that resulted in residents being unable to cook for a week or more. Nancy, RIHousing's Leased Housing and Rental Services Officer, and Anne, the property manager, went above and beyond in their concern for the tenants. Nancy knew it was shortly after the first of the month, when many residents would have just stocked up on groceries and would have little to no money left to buy additional food or go out to eat. 

Nancy and Anne joined forces to mitigate the impact. Initially, they provided an on-site food truck for several days. However, Anne was both moved by the situation and enjoyed reconnecting with many of her residents, so she also scheduled a family pizza party for the development. In addition, she purchased individual electric burners for all 24 units, allowing tenants to cook on their own for the remainder of the gas outage.

RIHousing thanks Nancy and Anne for their compassion and dedication.