Renewed Homes Program Frequently Asked Questions

Responses to the most frequently asked questions about Rhode Island Housing's Renewed Homes Program.


 

A: The Renewed Homes down payment assistance program targets those communities in the state that were most impacted by the state’s foreclosure crisis. Those communities are: Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, West Warwick and Woonsocket.


A: The property must be a single-family home, a condominium, or a two to four family dwelling unit, of which one unit is to be occupied by the borrower as his or her primary residence.

An “Eligible Property” is a residential property that has been the subject of any of the following “Qualifying Events”: a mortgage foreclosure, receivership or other state or municipal property disposition program, transfer by deed in lieu of foreclosure, or approval for short sale by a mortgage lender. The homebuyer(s) must occupy the property as their primary residence, and be the first owner(s) to have occupied the property since the “Qualifying Event.”


A: Yes, you must be a first-time homebuyer. For the purposes of this program, a first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has never owned residential real estate. The home must be financed with a Rhode Island Housing first mortgage from a Participating Lender or through the Rhode Island Housing Loan Center.


A: Yes. You may be eligible to combine the Renewed Homes Program with a closing cost assistance product. However, you cannot combine the program with the Ocean State Grad Grant, an amortizing second mortgage, or any other down payment assistance programs.


A: If you remain in your home for at least 5 years, there is no requirement to repay the assistance. Please refer to the chart below.

Renewed Homes Program Chart 


A: The Renewed Homes Program is a forgivable second mortgage. The lender will record the second mortgage in Rhode Island Housing’s name as security for repayment of the financial assistance being provided. If the buyer sells, refinances, or ceases to occupy the home as the primary residence within the first 5 years after closing the loan, a portion of the second mortgage would need to be repaid as represented above.


A: Your credit score, among other factors, would be considered when you apply for a mortgage. One of our Participating Lenders or Mortgage Specialists are able to answer any questions you may have regarding your specific situation. Borrowers must be credit-worthy and meet Rhode Island Housing’s underwriting guidelines, as well as applicable agency (FHA, VA, USDA-RD) or Fannie Mae requirements.


A: The Renewed Homes Program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The program funds are expected to assist approximately 135 households.


 
Q: WHICH COMMUNITIES SERVE AS TARGET AREAS FOR THE RENEWED HOMES PROGRAM?

A: The Renewed Homes down payment assistance program targets those communities in the state that were most impacted by the state’s foreclosure crisis. Those communities are: Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, West Warwick and Woonsocket.


Q: WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR AN ELIGIBLE PROPERTY?

A: The property must be a single-family home, a condominium, or a two to four family dwelling unit, of which one unit is to be occupied by the borrower as his or her primary residence.

An “Eligible Property” is a residential property that has been the subject of any of the following “Qualifying Events”: a mortgage foreclosure, receivership or other state or municipal property disposition program, transfer by deed in lieu of foreclosure, or approval for short sale by a mortgage lender. The homebuyer(s) must occupy the property as their primary residence, and be the first owner(s) to have occupied the property since the “Qualifying Event.”


Q: DO I HAVE TO BE A FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RENEWED HOMES PROGRAM?

A: Yes, you must be a first-time homebuyer. For the purposes of this program, a first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has never owned residential real estate. The home must be financed with a Rhode Island Housing first mortgage from a Participating Lender or through the Rhode Island Housing Loan Center.


Q: CAN I COMBINE THIS PRODUCT WITH OTHER RHODE ISLAND HOUSING HOMEBUYING PRODUCTS?

A: Yes. You may be eligible to combine the Renewed Homes Program with a closing cost assistance product. However, you cannot combine the program with the Ocean State Grad Grant, an amortizing second mortgage, or any other down payment assistance programs.


Q: AFTER I CLOSE ON MY HOME, DO I NEED TO REPAY THE RENEWED HOMES ASSISTANCE?

A: If you remain in your home for at least 5 years, there is no requirement to repay the assistance. Please refer to the chart below.

Renewed Homes Program Chart 


Q: HOW IS THE PROGRAM STRUCTURED?

A: The Renewed Homes Program is a forgivable second mortgage. The lender will record the second mortgage in Rhode Island Housing’s name as security for repayment of the financial assistance being provided. If the buyer sells, refinances, or ceases to occupy the home as the primary residence within the first 5 years after closing the loan, a portion of the second mortgage would need to be repaid as represented above.


Q: WILL MY CREDIT SCORE AFFECT MY ABILITY TO QUALIFY FOR THIS PROGRAM?

A: Your credit score, among other factors, would be considered when you apply for a mortgage. One of our Participating Lenders or Mortgage Specialists are able to answer any questions you may have regarding your specific situation. Borrowers must be credit-worthy and meet Rhode Island Housing’s underwriting guidelines, as well as applicable agency (FHA, VA, USDA-RD) or Fannie Mae requirements.


Q: HOW LONG WILL THE PROGRAM BE AVAILABLE?

A: The Renewed Homes Program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The program funds are expected to assist approximately 135 households.


 

For More Information


Call our Customer Service line at 401-457-1180 or contact one of our Participating Lenders.