Five Questions With: Carol Ventura

Carol Ventura is the CEO and executive director of the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp., the state’s housing finance corporation. She announced on Wednesday the availability of $10,000 in down payment assistance loans to qualified borrowers, who are buying their first homes.

The funds will be structured as a second mortgage for qualified borrowers. In an interview with the Providence Business News, she explained how the 10kDPA program works.

PBN: Can you explain the down payment assistance program? 

VENTURA: Our 10kDPA program … is a down payment assistance loan to qualified borrowers. The program is available statewide to first-time homebuyers that are purchasing a property they will live in. The property can be one to four units. The program also allows for condominiums. The loan provides a 30-year term. So, it’s deferred for 30 years unless you sell the property. It has a zero percent interest rate and there is no monthly payment.

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PBN: Is it restricted by the number of years a person owns the home?

VENTURA: Yes. The maturity date is 30 years. Whenever you sell it, you’re going to have to repay it. It is a loan. Although it is a silent loan.

PBN: Does this help people who have saved some money for a down payment but not enough to obtain a mortgage in today’s market?

VENTURA: Yes, we’ve seen across the state prices rising to buy a home. We believe this will help achieve just that, to help our traditional buyer with an additional $2,500 over our last program. It makes the difference of being able to afford what it costs to get into your first home. We think this is going to help our borrowers compete for homes in this price environment.

PBN: What is the funding source?

VENTURA: These funds are being deployed through mortgage revenue bonds. The [R.I. Housing] “Spring 7500” was just our operating dollars. These are bonded resources, which means the borrowers who receive this $10,000 must go through our mortgage revenue program to qualify for their first mortgage as well.

PBN: How has demand for housing changed through the pandemic? You mentioned rising prices. Do you see any change in that?

VENTURA: I don’t think there is going to be any change in prices rising. I don’t see any immediate decline in the market. There hasn’t been much of a decline in homebuying year over year. Since May, the market has significantly rebounded. Year over year, we’re up.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at MacDonald@PBN.com.

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