PROVIDENCE – Housing, social service and defense industry leaders will join Rhode Island’s U.S. Senate delegation Wednesday for a roundtable discussion on the local impacts of federal spending cuts known as sequestration.
The 10 a.m. event will take place at the Providence offices of Rhode Island Housing, the public lender and housing assistance agency that recently announced it will lay off 30 employees at least in part because of federal spending cuts.
Organized by Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, the roundtable will include Richard Godfrey, executive director of Rhode Island Housing; Molly Magee, executive director of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance; Amber Champlin, New England Head Start Association parent representative; and Pam Cipriano, a Johnston resident affected by cuts to unemployment insurance.
“For several years the federal government has been cutting back on its financial support of affordable housing programs, including elimination of programs that created affordable homes for the elderly and for people with disabilities,” Godfrey said. “These cutbacks have been exacerbated this year by the federal sequestration. Rhode Island Housing has also been negatively impacted by the long-term disruption of capital markets especially as it relates to tax-exempt bond yields versus the lending rates offered pursuant to the federal government’s takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
“As they travel around the state, Sens. Reed and Whitehouse have heard many stories about how the sequester is negatively affecting Rhode Island, and tomorrow representatives from institutions and agencies that have been particularly affected, as well as individuals who have been directly hurt by the cuts, will join the senators to share their experiences,” a news release from the two senators said.