PROVIDENCE – Two Rhode Island organizations have received grants totaling $215,000 as part of the National Mortgage Settlement funding, R.I. Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced Tuesday.
The two grants will support mortgage foreclosure education and outreach to two community agencies. Progreso Latino will receive $155,0000 to expand the agency’s Better Living Project and HousingWorks RI will receive $60,000 to research and report on foreclosures and foreclosure prevention programs.
“As Rhode Island’s economy continues to remain stagnant and unemployment high, too many families struggle to pay their bills and many are in danger of foreclosure, particularly in immigrant communities” Kilmartin said in prepared remarks. “Progreso Latino has a strong connection to the Latino community and understands the challenges that community faces in connecting with available housing resources.”
According to a release, the Progreso Latino Better Living Project offers direct support counseling to individuals and families facing foreclosure, housing workshops, computer literacy and adult education and a public information campaign, which target minority and immigrant homeowners.
“We look forward to working with the community to develop an impactful grass-roots education campaign that makes a difference in the lives of those most in need,” Mario Bueno, Progreso Latino’s executive director, said in a statement.
HousingWorks RI will use the $60,000 to support its work analyzing foreclosures in Rhode Island municipalities as well as analyzing the affect these foreclosures are having on the surrounding communities.
“Just as important as getting resources to struggling homeowners is having data-driven analysis of the housing market and the foreclosure crisis in Rhode Island to guide policies on how to improve the market,” said Kilmartin.
“This $60,000 grant will enable us to offer up-to-date research and analysis on foreclosures throughout Rhode Island,” Nellie M. Gorbea, executive director for HousingWorks RI, said in a release. “This research is important not only for the state to recover from the current foreclosure crisis, but to inform policy discussions on how to prevent another in the future.”
HousingWorks RI is slated to release its first quarterly report on foreclosures in Rhode Island in March.