RI receives $80 million to curb foreclosures

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island has received $80 million from the federal treasury to help homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

The program, called the "Hardest Hit Fund," is now available in Providence and by December 1 will be available statewide.

The Hardest Hit Fund is expected to spare 5,000 to 10,000 Rhode Island families the indignity of foreclosure. It's a zero percent loan program with one important caveat: the loan is forgivable after five years provided the homeowner meets certain requirements.

The Fund will be managed by Rhode Island Housing whose executive director, Richard Godfrey, expects a flood of applications.

"There's a huge need in Rhode Island," Godfrey says. "There were 6,000 foreclosures started last year and more than 1,000 so far in the first six months of this year have actually been completed."

Rhode Island was one of 10 states initially chosen for the program because of its high unemployment rate.

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