30 renovated apartments completed for families threatened by homelessness

A RENOVATED HISTORICAL home on Webster Avenue in Providence is among 14 newly rehabilitated buildings that will provide apartments for 30 families as part of Crossroads Family Housing. / COURTESY RI HOUSING
A RENOVATED HISTORICAL home on Webster Avenue in Providence is among 14 newly rehabilitated buildings that will provide apartments for 30 families as part of Crossroads Family Housing. / COURTESY RI HOUSING

PROVIDENCE — Thirty newly renovated apartments will be leased to families who were either homeless or at risk of being homeless, following the completion of a scattered-site affordable housing project by Crossroads Rhode Island, the Providence Housing Authority and RI Housing.

The completion of the units was celebrated Friday with a ribbon cutting in front of one of the buildings, on Webster Avenue.

The apartments are located in a variety of neighborhoods in 14 buildings, all owned by Crossroads, said Karen Santilli, the organization’s CEO and president.

The families that lease the apartments, called Crossroads Family Housing, will continue to receive supportive services after moving in, she said.

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In a news release, she said the completed project comes as the state is experiencing an upsurge in homelessness. The number of families without an apartment or home increased 12% over the past year, she said.

The Providence area has among the nation’s largest gaps in supply of apartments affordable for people with very low incomes who earn less than 30% of the area median income, according to a recent report by the Urban Land Institute.

“There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a child have to pick up the school bus outside of a homeless shelter because of a housing shortage,” Santilli said.

All of the units will be reserved for people whose incomes are less than 30% of the area median income, or $29,950 for a family of four.

The rents will be capped at 30% of family incomes, a price considered affordable. Funding for the renovations came through federal and state sources.

Federal sources included $4 million from the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund.

State sources included $2.5 million from a state bond program, Building Homes Rhode Island, and $627,378 from the Preservation Revitalization Deferred Loan Program, which provides funds for capital repairs.

Additional assistance came from the Providence Housing Authority, which has provided project-based vouchers to 19 units, through its Section 8 program funding.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.

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