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 six communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis: Cranston, East Providence, 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
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 $424,100 for a one- to four-family home or eligible condominium.
To be eligible for the First Down Program, your total annual household income must be less than $87,360 (for a 1-2 person household) or $101,920 (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.
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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.