Press Release

Two innovative programs created by Rhode Island Housing get national recognition

Posted 10/26/12

R.I.’s State housing agency wins prestigious Special Achievement Award for the agency’s comprehensive approach to foreclosure prevention & Communications Award for grassroots efforts and …

R.I.’s State housing agency wins prestigious Special Achievement Award for the agency’s comprehensive approach to foreclosure prevention & Communications Award for grassroots efforts and partnerships with members of the General Assembly

Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2012) – The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) on Monday announced that Rhode Island Housing, which strives to ensure that all people who live or work in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home, has received two of its awards for Program Excellence including the prestigious Special Achievement Award.

The competitors for the national awards, which are given out annually at NCSHA’s national conference, were each of the 50 states’ Housing Finance Agencies plus four territories and districts. There were a total of 18 categories.

The top award for Special Achievement honored Rhode Island Housing’s comprehensive approach to foreclosure prevention, which saluted the agency’s partnership with multiple community and government entities including the cities of Warwick, Cranston and Providence, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, the Urban League, community development corporations and Money Management International.

In addition, NCSHA’s Special Achievement Award acknowledged Rhode Island Housing’s efforts to forge human and electronic links with more than 60 lenders locally and throughout the country. Counseling, mediation, financial assistance and reinvestment are just a few of the tools deployed by Rhode Island Housing to keep Rhode Islanders in their homes.

“As we design and implement our programs, we are only thinking of meeting the needs of Rhode Islanders. Our greatest reward is helping Rhode Island families find and keep safe, healthy homes they can afford and, in doing so, create strong vibrant communities,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “It is an incredible honor to be recognized by our fellow HFAs and to be acknowledged by experts in our profession for creating some of the best housing programs in the country.”

Rhode Island Housing’s second top honor at NCSHA’s 2012 Annual Awards for Program Excellence in Orlando went to its Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) outreach efforts. HHFRI’s newsletters, targeted automatic phone messages and coordination with members of the R.I. General Assembly were rewarded for combining traditional communications with grass roots efforts to encourage R.I. homeowners at risk of losing their home due to a sudden financial hardship to learn more by attending a free informational meeting. As a result, Rhode Island has distributed HHFRI, federal foreclosure assistance, far more effectively than other states’ hardest hit funds.

“Many of Rhode Island Housing’s efforts yield tangible, highly visible and long – lasting outcomes such as the affordable homes we create throughout the state,” acknowledged Chair of Rhode Island Housing’s Board of Commissioners, Jim DeRentis. “Other initiatives may not be so apparent but are equally important, such as securing relief for a local borrower from a distant, hard to reach lender, saving thousands of homes – one home at a time.”

Board of Commissioners member Joe Monteiro, an assistant vice president for Navigant Credit Union who lives in East Providence, accepted the award along with Executive Director Godfrey of Barrington, Cranston’s Cathleen Paniccia, Director of Homeownership, Rhode Island Housing, and Barrington’s Faye Zuckerman, Communications Director, Rhode Island Housing.

About Rhode Island Housing Together with its partners, Rhode Island Housing works to ensure that all people who live and work in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. Rhode Island Housing uses all of its resources to provide low-interest 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, Rhode Island Housing is a privately funded public purpose corporation.