WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday awarded nearly $1.8 billion to improve and preserve public housing in all 50 states including Rhode Island, which received $12.6 million.
The grants are funded through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which awards annual funding to approximately 3,100 public housing authorities in the United States to build, repair, renovate or modernize public housing in their communities.
“This funding is critically important to public housing agencies as they work to provide the best housing possible for their residents,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a statement. “While the funding we announce today will never be enough to meet the tremendous backlog of capital needs, HUD will be working closely with the Congress to expand efforts to generate approximately $6 billion in private investment for the recapitalization of public housing.”
According to HUD, roughly 10,000 public housing units become unlivable each year, mainly due to disrepair. A study released in 2011 found that the 1.1 million total public housing units in the country – which provide housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities – require an estimated $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs such as replacing roofs or upgrading plumbing and electrical systems to improve energy efficiency.
In Rhode Island, housing authorities in 25 communities will share about $12.6 million in HUD grants. The Providence Housing Authority received the largest allotment, nearly $3.7 million, followed by the Woonsocket Housing Authority with $1.78 million, the Newport Housing Authority with $1.77 million and the Pawtucket Housing Authority with $1.4 million.
The complete list of Rhode Island housing authorities receiving grants is as follows: