"Some of the big changes are that we're raising the amount of money people can qualify for," said Godfrey. "We've significantly increased the amount of money you can get."

As an example, the fund's unemployment assistance program has expanded the amount of aid available from $6,000 to $12,500 per homeowner.

Other changes include raising the amount of money a borrower can have in savings, from $5,000 to $15,000, and still qualify for help.

People who own more than one property will now be eligible for help, too. And people serving overseas in the military, who lose income as a result, also qualify, Godfrey said.

Godfrey said officials changed the qualifications in part to expand the pool of applicants and in part to address concerns that some of the qualifications were excluding people who deserved help from the program.

Information on the fund can be found at http://www.hhfri.org or by calling Rhode Island Housing at 457-1130.

© 2006 Jeffrey C. Blake, Attorney at Law, 1143 Main Street, PO Box 782, Wyoming, Rhode Island 02898

Telephone: 401.539.8712  Fax:  401.753.6648 eMail: