2018 Annual Report

Gina Raimondo




Rhode Island’s economy and housing market have experienced strong positive trends in recent years. I am proud to say that part of our economic comeback is a result of the work of RIHousing.

2018 was a strong year for the corporation. RIHousing pumped $780 million into the state’s economy, providing homes for Rhode Islanders that are within their financial reach while creating jobs, building strong communities and promoting economic development. These housing investments strengthen our workforce, boost our construction and real estate industries, and bring us closer to our goal of ensuring every Rhode Island family has a home within their financial reach.

For more than 45 years, RIHousing has helped generations of Rhode Islanders across the state find a place to call home. A range of stable housing options is essential to healthy families and sustainable communities. Working across the state, RIHousing provides crucial resources and programs to help residents find and keep good homes. Access to housing options also helps businesses attract and retain top talent.

As we look to the future, the corporation’s work is critical to ensuring housing is affordable to Rhode Island’s residents. RIHousing’s investments help young people become first-time homeowners, ensure families have a home where their children can grow, and allow seniors to age in place.

These are ambitious goals, but we have the energy and commitment to make them happen. Together, we can achieve great things for our state.

New opportunities
and a time to reflect
and refresh.








New opportunities
and a time to reflect
and refresh.

RIHousing: Invest. Build. Believe.

In reflecting on our 45-year history, RIHousing has much to celebrate and a solid foundation to build upon as we plan for the future. In 45+ years, we’ve helped define the housing landscape in the state, helping more than 72,000 families buy a home and financing the construction of more than 14,000 apartments for low- and moderate-income Rhode Islanders. During this same time, we’ve pumped billions of dollars back into the state’s economy and created thousands of jobs in the process.

Closing out one chapter and beginning a new one provides us with the opportunity to re-commit ourselves to our mission and message that commitment to Rhode Islanders with a new look and logo. At the start of 2019, we rolled out an updated logo and look for the agency with a tagline that reflects our deep commitment to Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders: Invest. Build. Believe.

This new messaging provides us with the opportunity to reflect on who we are, what we do and where we are going. As the State's housing finance corporation, RIHousing provides critical financing and resources to offer housing options to Rhode Islanders. We invest everything we earn back into helping Rhode Islanders, advancing the state's economy and enhancing programs and capacity.

As we transition into this new chapter, we will also be welcoming new leadership. In March, we said goodbye to Barbara Fields and thanked her for her four years of service to RIHousing as our Executive Director. Barbara’s direction helped transition RIHousing and position us to meet the needs of Rhode Islanders in an everchanging housing landscape.

What’s Next?

We will continue to pursue a mission that has endured for over 45 years as we help Rhode Islanders buy, keep, rent and build homes. We’re already making great progress in 2019. With even more tools to help Rhode Island homebuyers, additional funding for the creation and preservation of affordable homes, and strategic partnerships to move our state forward, we continue to support Rhode Islanders with innovation and pride.

We are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. Stay tuned while we continue to Invest. Build. Believe. in Rhode Island!

 2018outcomes RI map

impact on the RI economy

RIHousing invested $780 million into the State’s economy. This included $458 million in mortgages and assistance to homebuyers and homeowners, $139 million in financing to construct or rehabilitate 773 apartments and $183 million to help thousands of Rhode Island renters.

Total Jobs Supported

1,060 from mortgage lending activity

1,261 from construction financing


In Mortgages Provided

2,121 homebuyers

38 cities & towns

– highest closing volume in 45+ year history.

Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure

325 HelpCenter Assistance

175 HHFRI Assistance

foreclosure prevention, mediation counseling and Hardest Hit Fund assistance


Renters Helped

Administered $183M in Funding from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

$16M Housing Choice Voucher Program

$167M Project Based Rental Assistance


Provided in Financing

773 apartments developed or preserved

1,261 jobs created and supported

Economic Impact

Stimulating Positive Growth

“Housing is where jobs go to sleep at night.” Nicolas Retsinas, RIHousing Board of Commissioners


The production and availability of housing remains a necessity for economic development in the state. Since pulling out of the recession, Rhode Island’s economy and housing market have been experiencing strong positive trends. Steep declines in unemployment, foreclosures, distressed home sales, and increases in home sales and home values mean our state is making great strides.

The economic benefits of housing development and mortgage lending are far-reaching and have a significant impact on Rhode Island. For every dollar RIHousing invests, there is a ripple effect felt across the state. In 2018, we leveraged federal resources with private funds to finance more than $139 million in housing development and redevelopment – meeting critical housing needs while putting Rhode Islanders to work in communities statewide. Collectively, our 2018 investments sent $82 million in wages and spending into the state’s economy and provided both one-time and long-term jobs.*

*Data: Job estimates include jobs supported in construction and related activities on a one-time and ongoing basis


Overall Investment

Jobs Supported

Construction Financing

Mortgage Lending


State & Local Public Revenue


Income for Owners & Employees


Making Homeownership a Reality

Generations of Rhode Islanders have found a place to call home with RIHousing’s homebuyer programs.


RIHousing’s mortgage lending activity continues to soar. In 2018, we achieved our highest mortgage volume in our history. More and more homebuyers, realtors and lender partners are looking to us for mortgage lending, down payment assistance and homebuyer education. Through our network of Participating Lenders and the RIHousing Loan Center, over $445 million in mortgages were made to 2,121 families, generating 1,060 jobs and infusing millions of dollars into the Rhode Island economy. In fact, our 2018 mortgage volume eclipsed the previous high of $371 million recorded in 2017 by 20%.

Increasing home values, a tightening inventory of available homes, and minimal housing production mean Rhode Islanders need more opportunities to help them achieve their dream of homeownership than ever before. That’s where RIHousing steps in. With innovative financing programs, competitive interest rates and a statewide partnership of lenders and real estate professionals, RIHousing programs respond to the needs of Rhode Island homebuyers. In fact, more than 80% of our mortgage customers also receive extra assistance in the form of down payment and closing cost assistance.

2018 Highlights:



937 FirstHomes Tax Credits,

which could generate an estimated

$1.9 million in federal income tax savings

for homebuyers in the first year alone



$18.5 million 



90 homebuyers

for purchase-rehab (203k) loans



Continuing Education Class for realtors

with the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®



Keeping Rhode Islanders in their homes
and ensuring those homes are safe

Supporting families, enriching neighborhoods and helping build Rhode Island’s economy are at the heart of RIHousing's homeownership programs.


RIHousing supports homeowners as part of our mission to help Rhode Islanders buy AND keep a home. Our customers benefit from local loan servicing and customer service teams that understand the challenges Rhode Island homeowners face. Housing counseling services and foreclosure assistance help homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. Our LeadSafe Homes and Healthy Housing programs help property owners and landlords ensure their homes are safe and free of environmental hazards.

But we don’t do it alone. We provide expertise and capacity to state and community partners who help provide services, funding and support for homeowners.

With some of the oldest housing stock in the country, Rhode Island homeowners need resources to ensure their homes are safe, healthy and properly maintained. RIHousing addresses this need in a variety of ways:

  • LeadSafe Homes for landlords and property owners
  • Community Lending programs for Septic and Sewer improvements and upgrades
  • Access Independence II for accessibility modifications for families of people with developmental disabilities
  • Home Repair loans help homeowners make enhancements to reflect their changing needs

    2018 Highlights:


    Utilized almost

    $15 million in Hardest Hit Funds

    to provide foreclosure prevention assistance and first-time homebuyer loans to

    1,531 homeowners



    foreclosure prevention 


    mediation counseling 


    325 households


    Helped bill sponsors Senator Metts and Representative Messier extend the

    RI Foreclosure Mediation Act

     for another

     5 years,

    ensuring Rhode Island families have assistance finding alternatives to foreclosure


    Increasing Housing Options

    Meeting the housing demands of the growing and changing renter population is one way RIHousing's investments create jobs and spur economic development.


    Rhode Island’s growing economy and shifting demographics are driving changes in the state’s housing needs. With people waiting longer to buy their first home and a growing senior population, the need for adequate rental opportunities has never been greater. But accessing quality, affordable rental opportunities remains a challenge for Rhode Islanders. Nearly 40% of Rhode Island households are renters, about half of whom are considered cost burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their annual household income on housing costs.

    Rental vacancy rates are at their lowest level since 2000. This tight rental market means more Rhode Island renters are feeling the squeeze of stretching their incomes to meet housing payments. Beyond the need for more rental homes, Rhode Island renters also need services and programs to help them with high rental costs.

    2018 Highlights:



    $183 million in federal rental assistance 


    15,487 apartments

    and an additional 

    1,741 Section 8 vouchers


    First state to join

    ConnectHome Initiative, 

    a national initiative committed to

    ending the digital divide 

    by providing internet access to residents of public housing


    Worked with

    186 individuals 

    in the


    FSS program

    to build financial assets through coaching and support services.



    138 households 

    in jeopardy of losing their rental subsidy or housing
    through the

    Housing Stabilization Program


    Building Homes, creating jobs
    and strengthening communities

    Today in Rhode Island, the demand for homes is outpacing supply and driving up the cost of housing – families at all income levels are feeling the burden of these rising home costs. Rhode Island’s housing needs are also significantly outpacing the state’s level of investment. Our state’s per capita funding of affordable homes remains the lowest in New England*. The issue is further exacerbated as Rhode Island lags behind all other states in housing production. Prices for both renters and homebuyers are rising faster than incomes and both groups are being squeezed out of the market. Despite these challenges, RIHousing continues to invest public, private and our own funds to create and preserve existing affordable rental homes.

    Now more than ever it is critically important we utilize every available resource at our disposal. The market isn’t producing new affordable homes because the cost of development is greater than what low- and middle-income renters can pay. Federal and State subsidies combined with RIHousing’s investments help to fill that gap. In 2018, we made a $139 million investment in housing development and preservation, which supported 1,261 jobs and helped families access quality, affordable homes throughout the state.

    * New Hampshire is not included in this analysis as the lack of a sales tax makes a meaningful comparison of the state budget difficult.

    Housing is a driver of economic growth. RIHousing investments create jobs while building the kinds of vibrant communities where people want to live.


    2018 Highlights:


    Developed or preserved a total of

    773 homes, 

    representing a $139 million investment in RI communities and supporting 1,261 jobs


    Financed the development and rehabilitation/preservation of

    648 homes with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits


    Through the 

    Federal Financing Bank Risk-Sharing program,
    199 homes

     were rehabilitated and preserved



    HOME program 

    helped to finance 

    112 homes 


    $3 million in Housing Trust Fund 

    was awarded to 

    190 homes



    $1.5 million in Capital Magnet Funding

    toward the development and preservation of 273 homes


    Underwrote and closed over 

    $86 million in 1st mortgage debt

    Along with elected officials, lending and community partners, RIHousing participated in seven ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings, celebrating investments in

     affordable apartments.

    We closed out 2018 awarding funding to five non-profit partners in support of six programs in Pawtucket/Central Falls, Providence and Woonsocket. The $200,000 in Community Development Program funding will have a profound impact on the surrounding communities: from “greening and cleaning” efforts along the Woonasquatucket, to engaging students and young adults in environmental stewardship efforts, to ensuring Rhode Islanders are fiscally fit.

    With this recent round of awards, RIHousing has provided over $1.2 million to 30 programs in seven Rhode Island municipalities – as well as several statewide efforts – since 2015.

    Our work doesn’t stop once the construction ends. RIHousing works to ensure the developments we finance remain viable for the long term. From property inspections, to guidance and support to property managers, RIHousing’s commitment to the housing we develop remains long after the ribbon has been cut.

    RIHousing sells bonds and other debt instruments to support our activities. Our financial strength enables us to access capital at a lower cost and transfer the savings to homeowners and developers in the form of lower interest rates.

    Our strong fiscal management led to improved bond ratings of Aa2 to Aa1 from Moody’s Investors. In 2018, we sold $105 million of single-family tax-exempt bonds and received a clean financial audit.

    We invite all readers to view our official financial disclosures on our website at

    In 2018, we committed to make it easier for partners, renters, homebuyers and the general public to do business with us! From our recently launched LenderConnect web portal for Participating Lenders, to online applications for the RIHousing Loan Center, and online scheduling and recertifications for renters, these upgrades illustrate our firm commitment to customer service and providing “ease-of-use” systems for Rhode Islanders.

    These efforts helped us improve operational efficiencies, launch new products and streamline the customer experience.


    About RIHousing

    RIHousing provides loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Services include mortgage origination, homebuyer counseling, homeowner and rental assistance, lead hazard remediation, development financing and the preservation of affordable housing.


    Board of Commissioners

    We are thankful for the service of our board members for their dedication and support, providing oversight, strong fiscal management and goals setting to the agency.



    Nic R
    Barry39 (2)
    Maria F. Barry
    National Community Development Banking Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    Seth Magaziner
    General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island (ex officio)
    McAllister head shot
    Stephen P. McAllister
    Manager, Eastern Region - US Chamber of Commerce
    Headshots_Liz Tanner
    Elizabeth M. Tanner
    Director, RI Department of Business Regulation (ex officio)
    Kevin Orth
    Manager, Atlantic American Partners
    Michael DiBiase
    Director, RI Department of Administration (ex officio)

    Powerful words. A bold statement.

    Yup…that’s the point.

    There’s not a city or town in Rhode Island that we haven’t in some way touched. Look around. Whether it’s new rental homes, a mixed-use development in your downtown, or your new neighbors across the street. We’ve played a part and we want to continue to help define the housing landscape in the state.

    From building homes, to helping buyers put down roots and homeowners stay in their homes, we’ve been here for Rhode Island families for over 45 years. We created thousands of jobs, pumped billions into the economy and supported Rhode Islanders on their path to homeownership. Our new online annual report illustrates just some of the highlights from 2018. We have many more stories to tell and are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. So, stay tuned while we continue to Invest. Build. Believe. in Rhode Island!