$90M in state funding available for affordable housing programs

MORE THAN $90 MILLION in state funding is being made available for affordable housing projects, state officials have announced. PBN FILE PHOTO/PAM BHATIA

PROVIDENCE – State officials say they are making more than $90 million available for projects that support the development, preservation and operation of affordable housing in Rhode Island. 

The round of funding is being made available through 13 housing programs and also includes more than $65 million in State Fiscal Recovery Funds, according to a news release from Gov. Daniel J. McKee, the R.I. Department of Housing and Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. 

“We’re doubling down on our efforts to invest in affordable housing across Rhode Island,” McKee said. “These dollars will not only help us build new units of housing and create good-paying construction jobs, but they will also help our state continue to be an attractive place to live, work and raise a family.” 

The 13 programs fund a range of affordable housing development and preservation activities. Most of them focus on housing for households with income at or below 80% of the area median income, including supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. 

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Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp., known as RIHousing, in partnership with the R.I. Department of Housing, adopted a consolidated funding application that interested development partners can use to apply for multiple funding sources. Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Jan. 16 

“This set of investments will further catalyze housing production in Rhode Island, helping spur the creation of affordable homes across our state,” said R.I. Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor. “This funding round will allocate the last of the American Rescue Plan dollars that are earmarked for housing production in Rhode Island, putting these remaining federal resources into action.” 

“We look forward to awarding an additional $90 million in funding for affordable housing efforts in Rhode Island,” said Carol Ventura, CEO of RIHousing. “The consolidated funding RFP has streamlined the application process for our partners. This has allowed us to get critical dollars more quickly to development partners, expediting the construction and preservation of affordable homes in our state.” 

The 13 programs providing funding are:

  • 2024 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: $3.3. million in funding has been allocated, though no single development may be awarded more than 40% of Rhode Island’s annual small-state minimum allocation.
  • Tax Exempt Bonds and 4% LIHTC: RIHousing has traditionally accepted applications for bond financing on a rolling basis and will continue to do so. Completion of the consolidated application will be considered an application for tax-exempt bonds. For proposals seeking tax-exempt bonds and 4% LIHTC, applicants are encouraged to review the 2024 Qualified Allocation Plan to ensure familiarity with program requirements and priorities. Funding is available for rental housing only. RIHousing reserves the right to limit tax-exempt allocations to approximately 55% of eligible bond basis and fund the balance of the construction loan with taxable debt.
  • Development of Affordable Housing: Approximately $18 million of this funding is available for new production or rehabilitation of income-eligible rental and homeownership units for households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income.
  • HOME Program Investment Funds: Approximately $3 million of HOME Funds. Awards will be limited to $1 million per project. HOME funds will be prioritized for 9% LIHTC applications.
  • Housing Trust Funds: Approximately $3 million of HTF Funds. Awards will be limited to $1 million per project. HTF funds will be prioritized for 9% LIHTC applications.
  • Community Revitalization Program: Approximately $3.6 million in CRP funds is available to finance the acquisition and redevelopment of blighted properties in qualified census tracts to increase the development of affordable housing.
  • Acquisition Revitalization Program: Approximately $3.6 million in funds is available.is available for residential, commercial, and public facility projects to redevelop blighted properties.
  • Capital Magnet Fund: Approximately $8.6 million in funds is available. Funding is available for rental housing only.
  • Middle Income Loan Program: Approximately $12.5 million in funds is available for this program that finances innovative proposals that seek to develop housing affordable to households with incomes between 80%-120% of the area median income. The source for this funding is through the American Rescue Plan Act.
  • Priority Projects Fund: A total of $27 million has been allocated to the PPF, which has the purpose of providing funding for the development of new supportive housing and multifamily units for extremely low-income and vulnerable Rhode Islanders.
  • Transportation Oriented Development Fund: A total of $4 million has been allocated for the development of housing in an existing TOD district at a density of no less than 10 units per acre, and where at least 10% of the units are deed restricted as affordable for households earning at or below 80% of the area median income.
  • HOME-ARP Supportive Service: Approximately $3 million is available to provide supportive services to developments providing housing for Qualifying Populations. QPs are defined as (i) individuals or households who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as defined under McKinney Vento, [ii] are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking, as defined by HUD, [iii] Other Populations where providing supportive services or assistance under section 212[a] of NAHA [42 U.S.C. 12742[a]] would prevent the family’s homelessness or would serve those with the greatest risk of housing instability.
  • Housing Production Fund: Approximately $3.8 million is available for operating support for households either exiting homelessness or earning less than 30% of the area median income.

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