PROVIDENCE – Gov. Daniel J. McKee Wednesday announced a new statewide program aimed to create more homeownership for first-time homebuyers.
The new RI Statewide Down payment assistance grant offers $17,500 in down-payment and closing-cost assistance for eligible Rhode Island first-time homebuyers. R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. will manage the program.
The program is being funded with $30 million of the $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act state fiscal recovery funds earmarked to address housing issues in Rhode Island.
“This program is the fruit of the efforts of Gov. McKee and state leadership to address one of the largest barriers to homeownership in our state: the down payment,” said Carol Ventura, executive director of RIHousing. “As we see housing costs continue to rise, this program offers critical funding to support households that have been discouraged by a highly competitive housing market.”
Eligible applicants must be ﬁrst-time homebuyers purchasing a one to four family home or condominium in Rhode Island, meet income and credit score guidelines and must live in the home as their primary residence.
Homebuyers must also complete an RIHousing-approved homebuyer education class to prepare them for sustainable homeownership. The down-payment assistance is a grant that does not need to be repaid.
“Homeownership is one of the most important ways to build generational wealth, yet Rhode Island has one of the lowest homeownership rates in the country, largely because families and individuals cannot afford the down payment,” McKee said. “As we seize the moment to make significant investments in housing and in communities across the state, this down- payment assistance program is an important boost for families looking to make their home in Rhode Island.”
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