First Down - Down Payment Assistance

Thank you for your interest in the First Down Program. The First Down Program has been temporarily suspended. It is expected that funds will be secured in the near future in order to continue offering the program. Please explore our website to learn about our program offerings and how we help homebuyers become successful homeowners.

RIHousing’s new Down Payment Assistance Program – the First Down Program – is designed to help strengthen housing demand and increase homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers. The down payment assistance is structured as a forgivable loan secured by a second mortgage. Buyers who remain in homes purchased with the assistance for at least 5 years are not required to repay the loan. If the buyer sells, refinances, or no longer uses the home as their primary residence within the first 5 years after closing, a portion of the loan would need to be repaid.

Property must be located in one of the six communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis: Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, Woonsocket


To qualify for the First Down Program you must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer purchasing a 1-4 family home or condominium
  • Meet RIHousing loan and income limits (see below)
  • Obtain a RIHousing-funded first mortgage through a Participating Lender or RIHousing
  • Occupy the home as a primary residence

Loan Limits

The down payment assistance of $7,500 is forgivable after 5 years of owning the home, and you must maintain it as your primary residence. The maximum loan limit allowed is $431,250 for a one- to four-family home or eligible condominium.

Income limits

To be eligible for the First Down Program, your total annual household income must be less than $93,623 (for a 1-2 person household) or $107,667 (for a 3+ person household).


The First Down Program is only available in conjunction with a RIHousing first mortgage, available through our network of Participating Lenders and the RIHousing Loan Center.

Limited Funds - Act Now


Contact one of our Participating Lenders or Mortgage Originators today to find out more about other program offerings such as the FirstHomes Tax Credit, a great option to help new homebuyers save a little extra money.

Take a Homebuyer Education class
Our Homebuyer Education classes are a perfect resource to help first-time homebuyers learn everything there is to know about buying a home. We offer both in-person and online classes to meet the unique needs of each homebuyer. You can register online or contact us for more information.

Contact a Participating Lender or one of our Mortgage Originators
Once you have taken some time to look through the options available to you as a first-time homebuyer, and are ready to discuss the next step on your path to homeownership, contact one of our Participating Lenders or Mortgage Originators today.