Since 1993, Richard H. Godfrey has served as the executive director and CEO of Rhode Island Housing, a privately financed, public-interest corporation that provides safe, affordable homes for Rhode Islanders. It is a self-sustaining public agency, which generates its own operating income, without state funding.
It has invested $3.2 billion in the purchase, construction or restoration of homes and apartments in Rhode Island, helped more than 60,000 families buy homes and financed the creation of more than 14,000 low- and moderate-income apartments. It recently announced that seven new affordable homes with prices starting at $110,000 will be built on Edwards Lane in Charlestown.
PBN: Can you tell us about the affordable-housing project in Charlestown?
GODFREY: That project ends a six-year effort that started in 2006, when we purchased the six-acre property for $520,000. The land was subdivided into parcels of nearly an acre.
Four homes will be made available for those making 80 percent or less of the median income. The remaining three are for buyers making 60 percent or less of the median income.
Homes for first-time homebuyers will be priced starting at $110,000 and will be ready in 2013. But affordable housing is just one of the many things we do.
PBN: What are some of Rhode Island Housing's recent achievements?
GODFREY: We have spent a lot of time and effort with our HelpCenter and our Hardest Hit Fund. The fund is a federal fund originating from the U.S. Treasury to help prevent foreclosures by helping homeowners who cannot pay their mortgage due to a hardship such as unemployment.
The Hardest Hit Fund distributed almost $13 million in February to homeowners to prevent foreclosures and stabilize the market. A total of $80 million in foreclosure-prevention assistance was made available to Rhode Island. This program is designed to offer targeted assistance to help families who’ve been hit hardest by the economy stay in their homes.