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Learn about RIHousing, including Featured News, Key Projects, and The Team.
RIHousing is a self-supporting public agency created by the General Assembly in 1973 to provide financing to increase the supply of affordable housing for families with low or moderate incomes.
Pursuant to its enabling legislation, RIHousing is authorized to issue bonds and other obligations to fulfill its corporate purpose. In addition to its bond programs, the corporation administers the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program, the HOME Investments Partnership Program, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, as well as other state and federal programs.
The corporation supports its staff and operating expenses through bond fund earnings, federal grant administration fees and interest income. RIHousing does not receive state appropriations for its operating budget.
Providence, RI – Today, after successfully helping more than 1,700 Rhode Islanders stay in their homes, RIHousing announced its Homeowner Assistance Fund Rhode Island (HAF-RI) program is closing to new applications.
“We’re proud to have helped many homeowners across Rhode Island keep their homes in the wake of the pandemic,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “While our HAF-RI program is now closed to new applications, RIHousing remains committed to helping homeowners in need through other existing resources, like our HelpCenter, which provides free counseling to Rhode Islanders facing foreclosure.”
Launched on January 10, 2022, HAF-RI provided much-needed financial assistance to eligible Rhode Island homeowners who struggled to pay their mortgage and/or other housing-related expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded via the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund that was approved as part of the American Rescue Plan Act in spring 2021, Rhode Island received $50 million in program funds. Administered by RIHousing, HAF-RI helped prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities and home energy services, and displacement of homeowners.
While this program is closing, Rhode Island homeowners who are currently struggling to make their mortgage payments and/or facing foreclosure have several assistance options available:
Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor such as the RIHousing HelpCenter. Dedicated housing counselors work with homeowners and their lenders to review and identify available options to avoid foreclosure. Options may include loan modifications, work-out agreements, repayment plans and/or referral to RI Legal Services. A list of HUD-approved counseling agencies is available online at: hud.gov/findacounselor. The RIHousing HelpCenter can be reached via the agency’s website at www.rihousing.com/homeowner-assistance or 401-457-1130.
Directly contact their loan servicer about opportunities to restructure their mortgage.
Contact a local Community Action Agency (CAP) about available utility assistance programs. A list of Rhode Island CAP agencies is available at: ricommunityaction.org.
Providence, RI – This month, RIHousing launched its new online database search system to better connect Rhode Islanders to available affordable housing units.
During the 2022 session, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed legislation (H-7944A/ S3051) calling for the creation of this new online database to be managed by RIHousing. The online searchable database, which went live in June, includes information on low-income rental units across the state, including contact information for developments, application information as available, and information relative to key populations a development may serve, such as residents who are elderly or disabled, or families impacted by domestic violence.
“The legislature is committed to providing the tools necessary to assist individuals and families have better access to affordable housing,” said Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi. “I’m so pleased that RIHousing has completed this database, which will enhance our collective efforts to connect Rhode Islanders with the housing opportunities they need.”
The database includes helpful information for tenants such as pictures, a map of the development when available, rent level, unit characteristics, and site amenities. The site also features an affordability calculator and list of community resources.
“Affordable housing is one of the most important issues facing our state,” said Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist.4, North Providence, Providence). “I was proud to support this effort to provide more readily available information to the public about affordable housing availability and development.”
The online database (housingsearchri.org) is an expansion of the pre-existing housingsearchri.org, a platform originally launched by RIHousing as a free resource for renters to look for housing in the state and for landlords and property owners to advertise available units. The bolstered site now includes a targeted search tool focused on connecting families to low- and moderate-income units.
“Too many families already face barriers to accessing a home that’s affordable – finding basic information on available units throughout our state and how to apply shouldn’t be one of them,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “I want to thank Speaker Shekarchi, President Ruggerio and Representative Corvese for their leadership role on legislation that spurred the development of this technology tool to help Rhode Islanders access affordable housing.”
The database is available in English, Spanish, and additional languages. Learn more at Housingsearchri.org or call the toll-free call center for assistance at 1-877-428-8844 (open Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 8:00pm).
Providence, RI – RIHousing, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and Rhode Island Energy (RIE) today announced the extension of the 2023 Zero Energy for the Ocean State (ZEOS) Program. The extension will allow additional developers to submit proposals for a competitive round of funding for grants of up to $500,000 to design and construct affordable, energy efficient housing for low- and moderate-income Rhode Islanders. Applicants will now have until 5:00 p.m. on August 31, 2023, to submit a proposal.
The deadline extension will allow additional time to raise awareness and encourage participation in the ZEOS Program to stimulate innovative, replicable solutions that utilize cost saving and clean energy technologies in homes. Qualified teams are encouraged to submit proposals to design and construct affordable, energy efficient Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs).
ZEBs utilize technologies such as solar, air-source heat pumps and encourage use of systems to reduce energy consumption during peak demand to reach zero net energy consumption. The total amount of energy used by ZEBs annually is less than or equal to the renewable energy created on site.
Established in 2019, the ZEOS Program has supported the development of 186 Net Zero housing units in Rhode Island. In its most recent round of funding, three projects in Tiverton, Providence, and East Greenwich received funding to produce homes with innovative designs for several income levels.
This program is the result of a public-private partnership between RIHousing, OER, and RIE to stimulate innovative, replicable solutions that utilize cost saving and clean energy technologies in homes. Program partners are seeking proposals from qualified teams to design and construct affordable, energy efficient Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) that use technologies such as solar, air-source heat pumps and encourage use of systems to reduce energy consumption during peak demand.
The extended Request for Proposals will be publicly posted on the RIHousing website www.rihousing.com/rfps-rfqs on May 30, 2023. Eligible units may be new construction and/or renovation projects in 1-4-unit properties or larger multifamily homes. The ZEOS grant award will be limited to $17,000 per unit for 1-4-unit properties and $7,000 per unit for larger multifamily developments. Buildings must meet ZEB standards and participate in RIE’s Residential New Construction Program. The total award cannot exceed $250,000 for any individual project. Previously funded ZEOS projects are not eligible for this grant.
The program leverages multiple sources of funding, including a $250,000 grant from RIHousing, $250,000 in state Renewable Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds, and available utility-administered incentives. Individual organizations or teams composed of a lead organization and partner organizations are welcome to apply. Individual homeowners are not eligible to receive direct funding under this grant. Complete details on the program and RFP can be found online at: www.rihousing.com/rfps-rfqs.