Gov McKee announces $50 million Homeowner Assistance Fund
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Governor McKee, Lt. Governor Matos, Congressional Leaders, Local Legislators, and RI Housing Director Carol Ventura announced the launch of the Homeowner Assistance Fund Rhode Island (HAF-RI).
The program is expected to provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners across Rhode Island who are struggling to pay their mortgage payments to avoid delinquencies, foreclosures, loss of utilities or energy services, and displacement.
Senator Reed brought in $10 billion in federal Homeowner Assistance Fund as a part of the coronavirus stimulus package last spring, Rhode Island received $50 million for struggling homeowners.
Eligible applicants can receive 24 months of assistance up to $50,000. The funds can cover mortgage arrearges, monthly mortgage payments, principal reductions, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and condominium association feed. Those who have qualified for mortgage assistance may also receive assistance for utilities, flood or mortgage insurance, or other mortgage expenses.
Eligibility requirements are outlined as such:
- Household must be below certain income limits, which varies by household size.
- Must own and occupy a 1 to 4-unit dwelling in Rhode Island.
- Must have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship after January 21, 2020.
- Original mortgage balance must have been less than $548,250.
Funding will be paid directly to mortgage, utility, or other entity owned housing services.
“I am incredibly proud to launch this program and provide Rhode Islanders who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 with the support they need,” said Governor McKee. “Another example of our state providing critical support directly to our residents, these resources help families in our state to stay in their homes and potentially prevents others from experiencing homelessness. We are grateful to our federal delegation for their advocacy and Senator Reed for his leadership to ensure that all Rhode Island residents have access to a safe space to call home.”
“I am incredibly grateful to our federal delegation for prioritizing Rhode Island homeowners as we find ourselves in the throes of a pandemic and unpredictable economic challenges,” said Lt. Governor Matos. “Every housing expert and advocate I talk to agrees that the best way to tackle homelessness is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. I am confident that these funds will go a long way towards alleviating financial hardships and providing peace of mind to many Rhode Island families.”
“I created this program to help prevent people from losing their homes. The application window is now open and I encourage Rhode Island homeowners experiencing financial hardship to apply as soon as possible. This is another example of the federal government giving states the resources to cope with impacts of the pandemic – in this case, averting further problems in our already stressed housing market. Getting this money out the door quickly is imperative if we want help families, neighborhoods, and communities,” said Senator Reed.
“After years of skyrocketing home prices and with a new variant causing fresh uncertainty, the Homeowner Assistance Fund created by our American Rescue Plan is here to help Rhode Islanders keep their homes,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Federal support is available to cover families’ mortgage and utility bills, and these funds do not need to be paid back. Homeowners having a difficult time making ends meet should contact RIHousing right away to find out if they qualify.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on homeowners, so my delegation colleagues and I fought hard to secure funding for the Homeowner Assistance Fund, ensuring Rhode Islanders are able to afford their mortgage payments and stay in their homes,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I want to thank RIHousing for their unparalleled efforts to expand access to affordable housing, reduce homelessness and foreclosures, and look out for the health and wellbeing of all Rhode Islanders.”
“In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, Rhode Islanders have faced incredible financial hardship through no fault of their own. The Homeowner Assistance Fund will ensure that Rhode Islanders who have worked so hard to own their own homes can continue to do so,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I encourage any Rhode Islander who needs assistance to apply today.”