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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

State funds to help 1st time home buyers

$30M state grant program helps 1,300 first-time homebuyers

By Nancy Lavin, Rhode Island Current

More than 1,300 first-time homebuyers received grants to pay for the down payment and closing costs through a $30 million state program launched in partnership with RIHousing.

The Statewide Down Assistance Program, which opened in January, offered $17,500 apiece to first-time homebuyers to pay for down payment and closing costs. Paid for with a portion of the state’s share of stimulus funds under the American Rescue Plan Act, the grant program was among a series of state initiatives aimed at making housing more affordable. 

The program is now closed to new applicants, although RIHousing is still processing already submitted applications. The quasi-public agency estimates it will award grants to 1,650 homebuyers in total once it completes its review of pending applications. 

Of the people  already approved for grants, more than half are people of color, and nearly 50% are women-headed households, according to McKee’s office.

Applicants were required to be first-time homebuyers purchasing a one-to-four unit house or condominium in Rhode Island, along with meeting income and credit score guidelines and completing a homebuyer education class approved by RI Housing.

While the grant program has concluded, RIHousing offers other financial assistance programs such as down payment assistance and mortgage loans for first-time homebuyers and people buying homes that will need significant renovation.

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