Rhode Island Housing (RIH) established the First Down Program, a forgivable loan secured by a second mortgage that targets the six Rhode Island communities most affected by the foreclosure crisis: Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Warwick, Cranston and East Providence.

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First Down Program

Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in Rhode Island

In an effort to assist potential homebuyers afford the costs of buying a new home, Rhode Island Housing (RIH) established the First Down Program, a forgivable loan secured by a second mortgage that targets the six Rhode Island communities most affected by the foreclosure crisis: Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Warwick, Cranston and East Providence. The program aids first-time homebuyers with $7,500 in down payment assistance.

Eligibility Requirements
The First Down Program is available to eligible, first-time homebuyers who:
  • Are purchasing a one- to four- family home or condominium.
  • Meet Rhode Island Housing loan and income limits.
  • Are financing their first mortgage through a participating lender or Rhode Island Housing.
  • Plan to occupy the home as their primary residence.
Loan Limits
The down payment assistance of $7,500 is forgivable after five years of owning the home, as long as borrowers use it as their primary residence (i.e. buyers do not need to repay the amount if they reside in the home for five years). The maximum loan limit allowed is $424,100 for a one- to four-family home or eligible condominium.

Income Limits
n eligible first-time homebuyers’ annual household income must fall under the minimum of $87,360 for a 1-2 person household, or $101,920 for a 3+ person household.

The First Down Program is only available to borrowers financing their home with a Rhode Island Housing first mortgage, available through their network of participating lenders and the Rhode Island Housing Loan Center. RIH requires that a portion of First Down loan be repaid if buyers sell, refinance, or transfer their home within five years of closing the loan.

*The Rhode Island Housing determined the targeted areas that would be eligible for the First Down program by evaluating all communities in the state at a zip code level. RIH identified which areas had higher than average indicators of seriously delinquent mortgage loans, negative equity, distressed sales, short sales, foreclosure rates and vacant homes.

Down Payment Grants in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Housing (RIH) established the First Down Program, a forgivable loan secured by a second mortgage that targets the six Rhode Island communities most affected by the foreclosure crisis: Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Warwick, Cranston and East Providence.

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