R.I. Housing approves $4.7M for blighted and vacant property revitalization

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. board of commissioners has approved $4.7 million via the state Acquisition and Revitalization Program to fund seven projects, R.I. Housing announced Tuesday.

The ARP-funded projects will build and restore a combined 92 homes and five new public facilities with 110,222 square feet of commercial space.

The ARP program was funded by $10 million from a voter-approved $50 million Housing Opportunity Bond. It was created by the R.I. Commerce Corp, which tasked R.I. Housing to oversee the program.

This was the last round of funding for the Acquisition and Revitalization Program.

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The program targets foreclosed and/or blighted properties and vacant lots in need of redevelopment. Homes in the redeveloped properties will be limited to homes making up to 120% of the area median income.

“Creating homes, spurring economic growth and supporting jobs are three of the outcomes of these funding awards,” said Carol Ventura, interim executive director at R.I. Housing. “But they will also help to support our communities and nonprofit partners, provide opportunities for families and local businesses to thrive, and positively impact neighborhoods in our urban core.”

This year’s ARP-funded projects are:

The Composition: The project will receive $1 million to create eight new apartments and to preserve 76 existing affordable apartments in the South Providence neighborhood in Providence, as well as to develop commercial and community space.

Farm Fresh RI Food Hub: The project will receive $1 million to revitalize a 3.2-acre former brownfield site in the Olneyville neighborhood in Providence for a year-round farmers market, space for related businesses and to accommodate expanded program needs and growth for Farm Fresh Rhode Island.

Roger Williams Park Broad Street Gateway: The project will receive $1 million for the city of Providence and the Providence Redevelopment Agency to redevelop three vacant lots along Broad Street adjacent to Roger Williams Park to create a multipurpose welcome center.

404 Broad Street: The project will receive $755,000 for the Southside Community Land Trust to renovate a Providence property to expand the SCLT’s Youth Employment and Youth Education programs.

390 Pine St. LLC: The project will receive $694,000 for Shri Studio Inc. and the Pawtucket Central Falls Development to rehabilitate a historic mill with commercial use and apartments in Pawtucket.

134 Collaborative/Mathewson Street Church: The project will receive $152,040 to renovate the Mathewson Street Church building in Providence to preserve and expand its social service and community arts programs. The renovation will be conducted by 134 Collaborative.

Althea Revitalization Project: The project will receive $135,392 for the renovation of the Asa Messer Annex public school building in the West End neighborhood in Providence to a full-day/full-year Head Start program. The project is sponsored by Children’s Friend.