Rhode Island Housing’s new Down Payment Assistance Program – the First Down Program – is designed to help strengthen housing demand and increase home ownership opportunities for first-time home buyers. The down payment assistance is structured as a forgivable loan secured by a second mortgage. Buyers who remain in homes purchased with the assistance for at least 5 years are not required to repay the loan. If the buyer sells, refinances, or no longer uses the home as their primary residence within the first 5 years after closing, a portion of the loan would need to be repaid.

Property must be located in one of the five communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis: Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, and Woonsocket.


To qualify for the First Down Program you must:

  • Be a first-time home buyer purchasing a 1-4 family home or condominium
  • Meet Rhode Island Housing loan and income limits (see below)
  • Obtain a Rhode Island Housing-funded first mortgage through a Participating Lender or Rhode Island Housing
  • Occupy the home as a primary residence

Loan Limits

The down payment assistance of $7,500 is forgivable after 5 years of owning the home, and you must maintain it as your primary residence. The maximum loan limit allowed is $431,250 for a one- to four-family home or eligible condominium.

Search Properties in Rhode Island

Income limits

To be eligible for the First Down Program, your total annual household income must be less than $93,623 (for a 1-2 person household) or $107,667 (for a 3+ person household).


The First Down Program is only available in conjunction with a Rhode Island Housing first mortgage, available through our network of Participating Lenders and the Rhode Island Housing Loan Center.

Limited Funds – Act Now!

For More information contact us below

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.

More about the program here.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP   Contact a Participating Rhode Island Housing Lender or Mortgage Specialist today to find out more about other program offerings such as the FirstHomes Tax Credit, a great option to help new home buyers save a little extra money.

Take a Homebuyer Education class
Our Home buyer Education classes are a perfect resource to help first-time home buyers learn everything there is to know about buying a home. We offer both in-person and online classes to meet the unique needs of each home buyer. You can register online or contact us for more information.
Contact a Participating Rhode Island Housing Lender or one of our Mortgage Specialists
Once you have taken some time to look through the options available to you as a first-time home buyer, and are ready to discuss the next step on your path to home ownership, contact one of our Participating Lenders or Mortgage Specialists today.