In the next issue: Visions II ribbon cutting
Feature FirstHomes100 (without mortgage insurance)
Around Town ............................... page 2
is a great fit for one family’s budget
House of Hope ............................. page 3 Rhode Island Housing’s new mortgage options are for families and individuals
Family Closes on a New Loan ....... page 4 who plan to move or refinance, as well as first-time homebuyers
Homebuyer Education ................ page 5
Community Resources ................. page 6
New Home Loan Options ............. page 7
Realtor of the Quarter .................. page 7
A letter from Richard Godfrey ....... page 8
Jessica and Joseph McGuire pose with their two children in the kitchen of their new home. In May,
they became one of the first families to close on Rhode Island Housing’s newest loan option, which
Mary J. Miller, second from right, the U.S. Department
came online in mid-April.
of the Treasury Under Secretary for Domestic Read the story on Page 4
Finance, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse,
New home loan options lower
Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline and
Tammy Miller, third from left, R.I. Office of Attorney
General, are guided on a tour of the Hardest Hit Fund
Rhode Island (HHFRI) by Richard Godfrey, far right,
Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. The officials
wanted to learn more about the foreclosure-prevention Rhode Island Housing works to restore the joy of homebuying
program at Rhode Island Housing because HHFRI has
been a leader in identifying innovative, flexible To help generate home-buying activity in the state and save R.I. homebuyers
approaches to preventing foreclosures and building some money, Rhode Island Housing has launched new mortgage options.
collaborative partnerships to reach families in need.
The U.S. Treasury has allocated $79 million to the Similar to its FirstHomes100 and FirstHomes100+ mortgage options, Rhode
state to help prevent foreclosures and stabilize Island Housing offers these new options through its lending partners and
the housing market. directly to consumers via its Loan Center.
Story continued on Page 5
Groundbreakings and Ribbon Cuttings
Richard Godfrey addresses the crowd at
the ribbon cutting for the Mary A. Longton
C3 Center in April. Located at 120
Northeast St., Woonsocket, C3 (stands for
College, Community & Career - a name
Photo by Al Weems Photographer
created by neighborhood youth who will
use the Center). NeighborWorks
Frank Shea, Executive Director at Olneyville Housing Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV)
Corporation, and Susan Bodington, Deputy Director for renovated the mill building on the
Programs at Rhode Island Housing, sit together at a press outskirts of the downtown commercial
conference where Governor Chafee announced $1 million in corridor on the historic Blackstone River.
funding for regional and local planning initiatives.
It contains a new youth learning
Fifteen regional and local planning projects center, an outdoor learning space
were selected from 33 proposals. The Photo courtesy of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
and six homes for the Community
announcement occurred in the atrium of the Builders-in-Residence program in which experts and educators provide 16 hours per week of
Department of Administration, and the recipients services to NWBRV's youth programs such as YouthRAP. "This is another successful example of how
were: Grow Smart Rhode Island; two KeepSpace Rhode Island Housing's Youth Resident Activities Program (YouthRAP) provides funds for children
communities, Pawtucket and Olneyville; the and teens living in our family apartments to gain key job-readiness expertise, employment
Cities of Newport, Woonsocket and Warwick; opportunities, leadership skills, self-esteem awareness and academic support," said Richard Godfrey,
the Towns of Exeter, Johnston, Tiverton, Smithfield Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. "Through YouthRAP, we have established important
and Warren; the Providence Plan; the University partnerships with community agencies such as NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley and helped
of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center/Rhode to strengthen the relationship between young people and the community."
Island Sea Grant; and Rhode Island Department
of Environmental Management.
Celebrating our new office
in East Greenwich
We celebrated our expanded customer service with an
after-work networking event in late January at our newly
opened South County office at 2240 South County Trail in
East Greenwich. About 60 real estate agents, lawyers and
appraisers had an opportunity to network with our
Photos courtesy of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
underwriters, originators, processors and other Rhode
Island Housing staff. During the celebration, Rebecca Nearing completion as of early summer 2012 is NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley’s Marshfield Commons, which
"Becky" Moniz, Weichert, Realtors-Cress & Company in are 38 new affordable homes in North Smithfield. Inset photo shows the groundbreaking, from left, Richard Godfrey,
East Greenwich, and Dee Southerland, Williams & Stuart Executive Director at Rhode Island Housing; Kim Mclaughlin, Senior Vice President of Community Development
Real Estate in Cranston and the Realtor of the Quarter (see Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Dorene Conlon, Team Leader Community Development Banking at Bank of
page 7), conferred with Rhode Island Housing's Margy America Merrill Lynch; William Lovett, Director of Multi-Unit Residential at New England Construction; Frederick
Thurber about our expanded product offering Beyond Reinhardt, Chief Lending Officer at Navigant Credit Union; and Christine Rogers, Senior Community Investment
FirstHomes100. Manager at Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.
SUMMER 2012 3
All the right steps culminate
with a new home
After nine months of living out of his car, Bobby had had enough and wanted a
place to call home. He approached a social worker at a homeless shelter, and he
asked her: “What can I do to be able to move from this shelter to my own home?”
“Follow my steps and you will have a new home,” was what Bobby was told.
A few months later, Bobby, who never deviated from the social worker’s steps,
became one of the first residents to move into a one-bedroom home at the George
Galen Wheeler House in Warwick’s historic Pawtuxet Village. House of Hope CDC,
Rhode Island Housing, HUD, Department of Behavioral, Healthcare, Developmental
Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), Housing Resources Commission, the City of Bobby poses in his new home at the George Galen Wheeler House.
Warwick and other funder-partners helped create the five permanent homes for
formerly homeless adults and individuals with disabilities.
“This has turned my life around. I am so grateful to have a home,” said Bobby, a chef
by trade and now a landscaper. “I had hit rock bottom. It was scary.”
Inside his new home, candles were burning, and Bobby was busy displaying his
glass sculpture collection that he will use to decorate the walls of his new home.
He has taken advantage of the supportive services provided by the House of
Hope CDC, and in addition to being sober for the last three years, he worked with
a social worker on a diet and exercise program.
“I have lost 30 pounds and exercise every day,” he added. “If it wasn’t for the social
worker’s steps and advice, I would be in a real jam and not have a place to call
home,” he added.
Bobby speaks to the crowd during the ribbon cutting for his new home. The George Galen Wheeler House From left, HUD’s Barbara Fields, Rhode Island Housing’s Richard Godfrey,
was funded with support from HUD's 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, House of Hope’s Jean Johnson, Mayor Scott Avedisian, Housing Resources
HOME, Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI), City of Warwick and Thresholds. Commission’s Michael Tondra, Corporation for Supportive Housing's
Michelle Brophy and Craig Stenning, Department of Behavioral Healthcare,
Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), cut the ribbon on the
George Galen Wheeler House, built in 1875.
FirstHomes100 (without mortgage
insurance) is a great fit for one
Continued from front cover
Jessica McGuire of Cranston wrote in a “goal” journal at her place of work
that in 10 years she wanted to be a homeowner. “I always have wanted to
own my own home,” she recalled.
Some 10 years later, Jessica and Joseph McGuire, their two children and
Joseph’s mom, who is visiting from Scotland, sit in the modern kitchen of
their home where the newly finished wood floors reflect the sunlight. “This
is quite an upgrade for us,” Jessica noted looking around. “We were renting a
two-bedroom home, and our children shared a room.”
In their updated three-bedroom cape, the McGuire children have a room of
their own and a spacious backyard. “We can spread out,” noted Joseph.
On the first visit to their home on Aqueduct Road in the Eden Park section
of Cranston, both Joseph and Jessica knew this house was the right home
for them. It had all of the accoutrements of a good home – modern and
updated, good neighborhood, strong schools, many nearby families with
children and enough room to accommodate the family get-togethers they
like to host.
The home’s price was just slightly out of their reach, and the down payment
of 20 percent made buying the home even more elusive. Jessica, who works
full time at an insurance company, and Joseph who recently went on
disability because of a back injury he incurred from years of masonry work,
considered walking away.
Jessica's brother-in-law, a co-worker and Matt Patty, their real estate agent
with Coldwell Banker’s Warwick office, suggested they call the Loan Center Soon after completing the homebuyer coursework, Jessica and Joseph
at Rhode Island Housing. All had had good experiences there. They made heard from the Loan Center that they qualified for a FirstHomes100 – No
contact with Mortgage Originators Rob Rocchio and Ann Palmisciano, who Mortgage Insurance loan, and they were one of the first families to buy a
mentioned a new loan option that was being launched by Rhode Island home with the agency’s newly announced loan option.
Housing in mid-April. (See page 7 to learn more about our new mortgages.) The McGuires said they did the proverbial jump for joy. “The $165 we are
They explained that the new loans require no mortgage insurance, allowing saving per month allowed us to buy this home and do some additional
for lower monthly costs for well-qualified borrowers who have high credit improvements,” Jessica said. “We are lucky. This is a gift.”
scores. The new mortgages from Rhode Island Housing are also available to Just prior to moving into their new home, Jessica’s colleagues decided to
non first-time homebuyers who want to move to a new home or refinance update the company’s “goal” journal. They pulled out some old ones; Jessica
as well as first-time homebuyers who qualify. happened to grab one from 10 years ago. On one of the pages she found
Jessica and Joseph are proud of the effort they have made to maintain their her long-forgotten entry: "Be a homeowner by 2012."
high credit scores, and that requirement made them even more hopeful “I thought to myself, ‘10 years ago we were in no position to buy a home.’
that they would soon be closing on the home that was right for them. In Today, we are,” she added.
the meantime, Jessica, who is a first-time homeowner, attended the
homebuyer education classes. “This is a major investment, and I wanted to For more information on Rhode Island Housing’s mortgages and to get
know everything,” she said. “I enjoyed the class and still implement the tips prequalified, call Rhode Island Housing’s Loan Center at 401-243-0000 or
and information I learned there.” visit www.rhodeislandhousing.org.
SUMMER 2012 5
New home loan options lowers Rhode Island Housing
monthly costs 2012 Homebuyer
Continued from front cover
Rhode Island Housing is able to offer a loan option without mortgage insurance
thus ensuring homebuyers who qualify monthly savings. Many conventional To register call 401-457-1245
mortgages now require a down payment of at least 20% to eliminate the need Classes are FREE from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
for mortgage insurance. Rhode Island Housing’s new option will provide an
For Landlord/Tenant classes please contact
affordable alternative by offering a Loan to Value (LTV) of 100% to those who
are purchasing a home for the first time and an LTV of 97% to move-up buyers The Housing Network of R.I. at 401-521-1461
and refinancing to qualified customers. Now may be a good time to buy a home, if you buy
Rhode Island Housing held meetings in the spring with lending and real estate smart. Learn all you need to know about purchasing and
professional partners to inform them about this exciting new program, and other keeping a home at one of our homebuyer education
changes being instituted to make the lending products as affordable and accessible classes offered at several locations throughout the state.
as possible. Rhode Island Housing believes that these new offerings, in combination
with its existing programs, will help generate additional homebuying activity DATE LOCATION
throughout the state. The expansion at Rhode Island Housing was previewed 7/31 The Da Vinci Center
at the Home Show, the Business Expo and other trade shows where it received 470 Charles Street
a positive reception. Providence
8/6 Washington Trust
8/14 Warwick Police Station
99 Veterans Memorial Drive
8/20 The Da Vinci Center
470 Charles Street
8/28 Kent Washington Board of Realtors
2240 South County Trail
9/5 Bank Newport
12 Turner Road
Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing, introduces new
mortgage options during a breakfast in early April. These new loans will bring
lower costs to R.I. homebuyers who qualify. 9/10 Greenville Public Library
573 Putnam Pike
9/18 Warwick Police Station
99 Veterans Memorial Drive
9/24 Coventry Recreation Center
1277 Main Street
9/29 AAA Mortgage of S.N.E.
(9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) 110 Royal Little Drive
Richard Godfrey poses with R.I. General Treasurer Gina Raimondo who was the
keynote speaker at the Breakfast for Real Estate Professionals in spring 2012.
Rhode Island Housing launched the agency’s new loan options at the event.
Foreclosure prevention funds for R.I.
Rhode Island received $1.2 million in federal funding to continue providing
housing counseling to struggling Rhode Islanders through NeighborWorks
America’s National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program.
The federal NeighborWorks America program awarded $545,782 to Rhode
Island Housing; $63,540 to West Elmwood Housing Development
Corporation; and $25,020 to Community Works Rhode Island (CWRI) to help
neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure and economic crisis.
The grant funds will provide counseling for homeowners facing foreclosure;
train foreclosure counselors; and assist with expenses related to
implementing the NFMC program to help Rhode Islanders navigating the
Senator Jack Reed announced Project Rebuild at 367 Friendship Street, where SWAP mortgage-modification system.
Inc., a nonprofit community development agency, recently renovated a distressed
“Our HelpCenter, which is staffed by experienced HUD approved and HHFRI
historic home into new affordable rental homes. From left, Nellie Gorbea, Executive
certified counselors, is a safe place where Rhode Islanders at risk of losing
Director of HousingWorksRI, Carla DeStefano, Executive Director of SWAP, Richard
Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing, Senator Reed and Michael their home can go for counseling,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director
Tondra, Executive Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development/ of Rhode Island Housing. “The services at the HelpCenter are free and we
Housing Resources Commission. encourage Rhode Islanders to call 401-457-1130 at the first sign of having
difficulty making a mortgage payment. The sooner people come to us for
Senator Reed unveils
help, the more options they will have.”
$33 million federal grant HHFRI keeps at-risk R.I.
to help stabilize neighborhoods homeowners in their home
Senator Jack Reed, SWAP, Inc. (Stop Wasting Abandoned As of early July, the Hardest Hit Fund Rhode
Property), Rhode Island Housing and partners, in early Island (HHFRI), a service of Rhode Island Housing,
March held a press conference to announce a new plan to registered nearly 3,685 R.I. homeowners and
create jobs, stabilize neighborhoods and rehab vacant and some 2,045 have been approved for assistance.
foreclosed homes and businesses. The plan, called the Since December 2010, HHFRI has helped to
Project Rebuild Act, could provide Rhode Island with $33 prevent foreclosures in every R.I. county — the
million in targeted assistance to renovate vacant residential majority of the program’s participants live in Providence and Kent counties
and commercial properties and help communities recover where homeowners have been the hardest hit by the economic downturn.
from the foreclosure crisis. Efforts to spread the word about how HHFRI can help struggling
homeowners with their mortgage payments include a series of free
Project Rebuild, an expansion of the bipartisan Neighborhood
informational meetings throughout the state. Visit www.HHFRI.org for the
Stabilization Program, would offer new grants for fixing up
latest list of community meetings.
vacant commercial properties and strives to complement the
abilities of private developers. It would also increase support Homeowners who are unemployed and believe they may qualify can now
for “land banking.” Land banks work with communities to contact the HHFRI Center, 401-277-1500, directly to get an appointment to
buy, hold and redevelop distressed properties as part of a begin the HHFRI application process. Homeowners with hardships other than
long-term redevelopment strategy. unemployment will continue to seek out assistance from a HUD approved
and HHFRI certified counseling agency such as the Rhode Island Housing
SUMMER 2012 7
Rhode Island Housing’s newest loans offer options to more Rhode Islanders
Not just for first-time homebuyers
FirstHomes First-Time Homebuyer Refinance NEW
100 • 100% financing (97% financing for 2- 4 family homes)
• Funds for closing costs
For well qualified borrowers
• Up to 97% Loan to Value (LTV)
• Lower monthly costs • Lower monthly costs
No Mortgage Insurance Required
For well qualified borrowers
No Mortgage Insurance Required
Income and Purchase Price:
FirstHomes First-Time Homebuyer, Homes
Many Rhode Island families are eligible for Rhode Island
Needing Repairs Housing’s low-interest loans and products, as well as the
• 100% financing to purchase property many benefits and options we offer. Eligibility is based
(96.5% financing for 2- 4 family homes) on household income and the purchase price of the home
you want to buy. Visit www.rhodeislandhousing.org for
• Finance purchase AND repairs in current income and purchase price limits.
one loan up to 110% of completed value
To find out if you qualify or to apply for a FirstHomes loan,
• Funds for closing costs
or for more information, contact Rhode Island Housing at
• Includes distressed properties and foreclosed homes 401-243-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Move-Up (non first-time homebuyers) NEW
For well qualified borrowers Purchase price and income limits are subject to change.
• 97% financing
• Lower monthly costs
No Mortgage Insurance Required
Dee Southerland receives
Realtor of the Quarter Award
Dee Southerland of Williams & Stuart Real Estate in Cranston,
Do you want to receive our Community received the Realtor of the Quarter Award for the second time
Matters newsletter electronically? during the first quarter of 2012.
Visit our website, www.rhodeislandhousing.org and The award is presented to the realtor who has helped the most
click on the newsroom to sign up to receive first-time and now non first-time homebuyers connect with the
upcoming issues of Community Matters via email. Rhode Island Housing Loan Center. Cathleen Paniccia, Director Award Recipient Dee Southerland
of Homeownership for Rhode Island Housing, said they “rely on
realtors like Dee to help homebuyers navigate the complicated process of buying a home.”
Rhode Island Housing has opened a new
“To be awarded this honor for a second time is even more amazing. It validates the
office in East Greenwich to better service our
dedication that I have to represent first-time homebuyers, and now many non first-time
customers, real estate agents and partners. homebuyers, to the best of my ability,” Southerland said. “With the launch of Rhode Island
2240 South County Trail, East Greenwich Housing’s amazing new program, I can be even more successful in my efforts to place
buyers in a new home.”
For more information, contact
She added: “I feel I share this award with the buyers who have benefited from the
Margy Thurber, 401-450-1310 or
opportunities Rhode Island Housing has provided, and with staff members in the Loan
Center who helped me day in and day out.”
44 Washington Street
Providence, RI 02903-1721
learn more at
Community Outlook Rhode Island Housing unveils
a new window display along
by Richard Godfrey Washington Street
We were thrilled and honored by the June visit of Treasury In June, Mayor Angel Taveras joined Richard
Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Mary J. Miller. Treasury Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island
has been a key partner of Rhode Island Housing and our Housing, community partners and staff
affordable housing mission for decades, especially during members at Rhode Island Housing to
the housing and economic crisis of the past few years. celebrate the agency’s new whimsical
window display along Washington Street.
Tax exempt bonds to create affordable apartments and
The windows enliven a city block of
mortgage revenue bonds to provide funds for first-time
DownCity with a motif of Rhode Island
homebuyers have been major programs that lie in Treasury.
depicting our state from its urban core to
Likewise, the housing credit program provides major capital
its seaside communities.
subsidies for the affordable apartments that our partners have
used to rebuild urban neighborhoods and create wonderful Hidden throughout the mural (in the same
housing opportunities across the state. vein as the book series Where’s Waldo?) are 10
familiar State of Rhode Island icons (such as a
Over the past 3 years Treasury has intervened with three major HFA programs to help
Rhode Island Red, the Independent Man and
distressed homeowners, to fill the gap when housing investors fled the tax credit market
a quahog). Stop by our lobby and ask for a
and to purchase our bonds. With Treasury’s assistance we have been able to assure that
card listing all of the icons. Then, search for
thousands of Rhode Islanders could still buy homes, build new homes and keep their
them in our block-long display.
homes during the once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis that started in 2007. While we still have
a long way to go toward full recovery, our families and communities are in much better For more than 20 years, Rhode Island
shape because of Treasury’s stimulus and recovery programs. Housing has been committed to a well-
maintained and attractive streetscape in the
However, we are also looking to Treasury to lead the country forward with a new and
DownCity community. Since 1995 the
permanent housing finance system. While the prior system crashed badly during the first
agency has directly financed or assisted with
few years of the new century, before that it helped create an America with better homes for
the financing of the restoration of DownCity
more of its residents than in any country at any other place or time in history. As we recover
buildings such as the Dreyfus Hotel, the
from the turmoil, we need a robust but safe housing finance system. While a reasonably
Mercantile Block, Smith Building and
regulated private sector can finance good homes for many Americans, the myriad and
complex financial burdens placed on young and hard-working individuals and families have
made obtaining and keeping a decent home even more difficult.
We must all offer our thoughts, support and encouragement to the President, Treasury and
especially our Senators and Congressmen as they mold a new system to finance the diverse All photos courtesy of Gretchen Ertl Photography unless
shelter needs of all Americans. otherwise labeled.
Photo by Scott Kingsley