A public informational meeting on the foreclosure-prevention program Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) will be held on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School, 160 Foster Center Road in Foster. Among the new criteria, homeowners who are unemployed, and believe they may qualify, can now contact the HHFRI Center directly at 401-277-1500 to get an appointment to begin the HHFRI application process. Under the original program, all applicants needed to go through a HUD-approved and HHFRI-certified counselor.
Homeowners with hardships other than unemployment will continue to seek out assistance from a HUD-approved and HHFRI-certified counseling agency such as the Rhode Island Housing Help Center at 401-457-1130.
Other changes to the program include homeowners who own more than one property can qualify for this assistance. (The requirement that homeowners could not own other property has been eliminated.) The amount families can have in savings and still qualify for assistance has been increased to $15,000. (You can have any amount in a retirement account such as a 401k or an IRA.)
Struggling homeowners may qualify for this program if they have a documented financial hardship such as a sudden loss of a job, underemployment, unforeseen medical expenses and disability of a family’s key wage earner or costly home repairs as a result of the flooding in Rhode Island during the spring of 2010. Also, members of the U.S. armed forces who have experienced a drop in income due to deployment are qualified for assistance, including those who have been discharged in the past 12 months.
The HHFRI free meeting will be in English. For more information on HHFRI and the list of all community meetings, visit www.HHFRI.org, e-mail info@HHFRI.org or call 401-277-1500.