PROVIDENCE – Gov. Daniel J. McKee announced on Wednesday that the state’s Housing Resources Commission is awarding $31 million to support 23 affordable housing projects.
The funding, provided through the Building Homes Rhode Island program aimed at distributing housing bonds to support affordable housing initiatives, will produce or preserve more than 600 units in 13 cities and towns.
The first $50 million housing bond was approved by Rhode Island voters in 2006 and supported development of over 1,300 long-term affordable homes in 30 communities over four years. Voters approved a $25 million housing bond in 2012 and a $50 million housing bond in 2016.
BHRI is a state-funded initiative of the Housing Resources Commission focused on creating and preserving rental units for those making up to 80% Area Median Income; and homeownership projects for those who make up to 120% AMI.
Projects announced on Wednesday are funded from a $50 million allocation from the housing and community revitalization bond approved by voters in March.
The governor’s award of $31 million is the largest round of awards made through the program since its inception in 2006.
“Addressing the housing crisis in Rhode Island is one of the top priorities of the McKee-Matos administration,” said McKee. “These awards represent historic funding to tackle our housing crisis and keep Rhode Islanders in safe, affordable and stable housing. This investment has never been more crucial. I am grateful to Rhode Islanders for approving this bond funding and for the work that the Housing Resources Commission has done through the Building Homes Rhode Island program to invest in our families, children and the future of Rhode Island.”
R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said the announcement “represents the largest single-year state affordable housing investment in memory. Across Rhode Island, these developments will produce hundreds of units for our residents.”
Carol Ventura, executive director of RIHousing, said the awards “are an important step in ensuring Rhode Islanders have the kind of quality, safe and affordable homes they need. BHRI funds have played a critical role in expanding housing opportunities for Rhode Islanders, while also creating good jobs and revitalizing our economy. Each dollar of BHRI funds invested leverages additional investments, which create significant economic benefits for the state and serve as an engine for growth, employment and spending on local goods and services.”
The projects supported by these funds include:
• Brisa Ventures, Bernon Mills Residence in Woonsocket: $4 million to rehabilitate a blighted historic mill property to include three multifamily apartment buildings, for a total of 60 affordable units.
• One Neighborhood Builders, Villas Above the River in Providence: $3.45 million to produce and preserve 85 units of affordable and workforce housing.
• Coventry Housing Associates, Riverside Landing in Coventry: $2.7 million to renovate two historic dilapidated buildings to create eight new affordable units.
• Housing Authority of the City of Newport, Park Holm IV in Newport: $2.55 million to preserve 51 affordable units.
• Armory Revival’s Bourne Mill III project in Tiverton: $2 million to produce 59 affordable and workforce housing units. Project involves new construction of a net-zero development and is designed for passive house certification.
• Crossroads Rhode Island, Summer St. I in Providence: $2 million to produce 87 units reserved for homeless individuals at or below 30% of AMI.
• Crossroads Rhode Island, Summer St. II in Providence: $2 million to produce 89 units reserved for homeless individuals at or below 30% of AMI.
• Marathon Development, Copley Chambers in Providence: $1.95 million to convert a vacant historic building into a mixed-use property including a total of 26 affordable units.
• Looking Upwards / SWAP, Looking Upwards in Jamestown: $1.8 million to create 12 affordable apartments for use by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
• One Neighborhood Builders, Residences at Riverside in East Providence: $1.7 million to create 16 new affordable rental units, including three to be reserved for youth aging out of foster care.
• Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley, The Millrace in Woonsocket: $1.3 million to produce 70 units of affordable and workforce housing.
• Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley, Constitution Hill II & III in Woonsocket: $976,650 to update and preserve 65 affordable apartments in the Constitution Hill neighborhood of Woonsocket.
• SWAP, Portland Homes in Providence: $839,915 to construct four homeownership units each with a rental unit on vacant lots.
• Church Community Housing, Fifty Washington Square in Newport: $800,000 to update and rehab 93 apartments, all of which are affordable.
• Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley, Ivy Place in East Providence: $578,397 to develop 13 affordable homeownership units on a vacant infill lot.
• Crossroads Rhode Island, 165 Beach in Warwick: $448,529 to convert the former homeless shelter rooms located on the first floor into four units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless families.
• Dakota Partners, Brookside Terrace II in East Greenwich: $402,000 to produce 48 new affordable rental units.
• Church Community Housing, Cottrell Farms in Tiverton: $355,086 to build three new two-bedroom, net zero energy homes.
• South County Habitat for Humanity, Cardinal Ln. in Hopkinton: $336,204 to build three single-family affordable homeownership units on a vacant piece of land.
• Smith Hill CDC for 171 & 175 Admiral Street in Providence: $280,748 to provide two affordable homeownership opportunities in the Smith Hill neighborhood.
• Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley, Fernwood IV in Burrillville: $265,000 to construct eight new homes on vacant land.
• Church Community Housing, 12 & 15 Bloom Court in Middletown: $184,179 to build two new single-family, net zero energy homeownership units to replace two blighted and structurally unsound houses that will be demolished.
• South County Habitat for Humanity, Mooresfield in Charlestown: $88,000 to construct a single-family affordable homeownership unit on a vacant gifted lot.
Cassius Shuman is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Shuman@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @CassiusShuman.
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