Five Questions With: Bob DaSilva

The city of East Providence is recognizing both veterans and the high cost of housing and has made available an affordable rental house for one family or individual. The “affordable home lottery” involves a property at 47 Payette St., a centrally located one-bedroom house, which is newly renovated.

Prospective applicants can look at the property at an open house on Nov. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. Submissions for lottery consideration must be made by 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Visit the city’s website at for more details. In a question and response with the PBN, Mayor Bob DaSilva explained how the program works.

PBN: Is this program for only one house or is the intention to start a program that would include more houses in the future?

DASILVA: Should the city of East Providence come into possession of a home in the future that is suitable for this lottery, we’d certainly do it again.

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PBN: How did the city find the house?

DASILVA: The home existed as a small part of a much larger lot of the Providence Country Day School property back in the early 1990s. The city purchased it for the senior center and became the landlord. Community Development Block Grant funds were used to cover the debt service on the loan for the acquisition. As part of the requirements for the CDBG program, we maintained the home as an affordable rental.

PBN: Why has the city decided to focus on a military veteran for preference?

DASILVA: This is only a small token of what we can do to honor veterans in our community who have sacrificed so much to protect our way of life.

PBN: How is the choice made, assuming many people apply?

DASILVA: We will pick a total of three names from a lottery. The first name will be pulled from a veteran pool and the next two names will come from the non-veteran pool. The order that they are picked from the pools is the order of the potential winners. If the first name falls through, then the second name pulled has the next chance, etc. Only if all three fall through will we hold another lottery.

PBN: Is the program based on another city’s program, or is this something that East Providence developed?

DASILVA: We are unaware of any other city holding a veteran-preference lottery for affordable rent. However, we thought it was something we should do to ultimately help a veteran in need.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at