PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Housing has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help provide aid to struggling homeowners, announced Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.
The $1.5M will go to Rhode Island Housing and the agency’s HUD-approved counseling center to provide professional support and education to help the state’s homeowners avoid foreclosure.
The HelpCenter was opened in the fall of 2007 to respond to the growing foreclosure crisis. According to a release from Kilmartin’s office, since its inception the center has helped more than 8,000 Rhode Island homeowners at risk of becoming homeless.
The counselors develop customized approaches and help struggling homeowners make sense of an existing mortgage, work with lenders and explore options to avoid foreclosure.
“Rhode Island Housing is often the first place struggling homeowners turn when needing assistance with their mortgages, and is our partner in connecting homeowners to available resources,” said Kilmartin in prepared remarks.
“In 2012 alone, the HelpCenter at Rhode Island Housing received 2,706 inquiries. The numbers don’t lie: the housing crisis in our state is far from over, and this grant to Rhode Island Housing will enable the HelpCenter to help more Rhode Island families stay in their homes,” added Kilmartin.
According to the release, preventing foreclosures is a primary goal of the HepCenter. The center, along with partners Money Management International and the nonprofit NeighborWorks centers in Providence and Woonsocket, is primary provider of foreclosure-prevention counseling and services in the state of Rhode Island.
“With the recent cut-backs and contraction of federal counseling funds, these new funds from the Attorney General will ensure that the HUD-approved counselors at our HelpCenter can continue to help Rhode Islanders at risk of losing their home receive counseling in a safe place,” Richard Godfrey, executive director of Rhode Island Housing, said in prepared remarks.
“Seriously delinquent mortgages remain high in Rhode Island, and we encourage Rhode Islanders to call the HelpCenter at the first sign of having difficulty making a mortgage payment. The sooner people come to us for help, the more options they will have,” he said.