The state agency charged with helping people buy affordable homes is facing a financial crisis of its own. Rhode Island Housing is laying off 30 people; 15 percent of its workforce.
Rhode Island Housing director Richard Godfrey says the reasons are twofold. There’s been a cutback in federal support and many of the 12,000 mortgages they have outstanding are delinquent.
"Right now we have about 12,000 outstanding first time home buyer loans. About seven percent of them are in default. So that’s about 840 households," said Godfrey. "Even when those folks don’t make their payments to us we still make our payments to our bondholders. So that has created a cash flow shortage which means we have less money to employ the people to do our work."
Rhode Island Housing was founded 40 years ago. It has provided funds to help over 60,000 Rhode Islanders buy their first home and each year provides oversight over 25,000 affordable apartments.
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