Funded via $50 million through the federal American Rescue Plan Act Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), the new homeowner assistance program will provide much-needed financial assistance to eligible Rhode Island homeowners who have struggled to make mortgage payments and/or housing-related expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible applicants can receive up to 24 months of assistance, not to exceed $50,000. Applicable expenses include mortgage arrearages, monthly mortgage payments, principal reduction, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and condominium association fees. Those who qualify for mortgage assistance or assistance for other foreclosable liens may also receive payment assistance for utilities, flood or mortgage insurance, or other mortgage-related expenses. Generally, program assistance will be paid directly to the mortgage servicer, utility provider or other entity owed housing-related costs.
Eligible homeowner applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for assistance through HAF-RI:
- Household must be below certain income limits, which varies by household size.
- Must own and occupy a 1 to 4-unit dwelling in Rhode Island.
- Must have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship after January 21, 2020.
- Original mortgage balance must have been less than $548,250.