Unemployment, horrible housing market and economic hardship is no longer breaking news, even in hard hit areas such as Rhode Island. What may shock you however is the fact that there are millions of dollars in financial aid for homeowners at risk for foreclosures that is not being spent! Rhode Island foreclosures are the highest in New England and one of the highest in the United States as well.
Rhode Island has access to $79 million dollars in aid for struggling homeowners, of which only $25 million has been allocated. The state and several other “hardest hit” areas have received federal aid but Rhode Island seems to be slower than most at dispensing the funds.
With high bank foreclosures in Rhode Island coupled with a nearly 11% unemployment rate, you may be wondering why more people are not receiving this much needed aid. There are several factors at play apparently, including the reticence of some to accept government help. Apparently, the main hold up is a slow roll out of the program and very little information in the general public.
There is also the reluctance of national lenders to work within the guidelines of the program in Rhode Island, citing issues with operational details throughout the 19 different jurisdictions.
Rhode Island has struggled to put the hardest hit funds to good use, as have several other recipient states. Each state had to build programs from scratch that would utilize the money appropriately. Thankfully, the tide appears to be turning and more homeowners will be able to save their homes in the coming years. Requests for assistance are up approximately 40% and the funds will be available through 2017.