New pilot program could give first time homebuyers in Rhode Island an opportunity to buy their first home

Rhode Island governor Dan McKee announced a new program last week that could help first time homebuyers buy their first home.

The program is called FirstGenHomeRI. It is only available in select communities right now but if you are a first generation, first time homebuyer, you could be eligible for up to $25,000 towards a down payment.

The program could be very helpful for first time homebuyers who may not have the money to put towards a down on their first home. As I mentioned, the program isn’t available in all communities but McKee is hoping to invest $50 million in the program next year. That would make the program a state wide program.

Rhode Island has one of the lowest home ownership rates in the country. There are a variety of reasons for that. According to McKee, people’s inability to afford a down payment is one of those reasons.

Currently, the program is limited to people who live in urban areas that are considered socioeconomically distressed. The program is available in Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and parts of Providence.

It is important to point out that RIHousing already offers down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers in the form of an “extra assistance” It provides up to $15,000, or 6% of a home’s purchase price, whichever is lower.

Given the current situation in real estate, buying a home is still challenging, especially for first time but a program like this is certainly a step in the right direction. A lot more needs to be done however.