RIH allocates $3.5M in affordable housing funds

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Housing’s board of commissioners approved the allocation of $3.5 million in Housing Trust Fund resources for two projects that will revitalize homes for 145 Rhode Island families, RIH announced Tuesday.

This is the first allocation from the state’s HTF resources.

“Today in Rhode Island, the demand for homes is outpacing supply and driving up the cost of housing – families at all income levels are feeling the burden of these rising home costs,” said Barbara Fields, executive director of RIH, in a statement. “Now more than ever it is critically important that we utilize every available resource at our disposal. We are thrilled to utilize the Housing Trust Fund for the first time in our state to increase the production of homes for Rhode Islanders.”

A total of $2.5 million was approved for Prospect Heights II in Pawtucket, the second phase of a three-phase $16.9 million initiative to renovate a historic public housing campus that was built in 1942. In phase II, 95 existing apartments will be renovated and 20 new affordable apartments will be built. Of the apartments, 47 will be HTF-assisted units for individuals and families with an income level at or below 30 percent of the area median income.

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A total of $1 million was designated for Crossroads Family Housing in Providence, a development comprised of 14 buildings spread across multiple properties. The HTF funding will be used to provide safe and comfortable housing for homeless and extremely low-income families from throughout Rhode Island. The Crossroads Family Housing project costs $6.8 million in total.

The HTF fund was established in 2008 by Sen. Jack F. Reed, D-R.I. Last year, the Rhode Island delegation announced $3 million in federal funding of Rhode Island’s HTF.

“Our most successful workers and students often have at least one thing in common, and that’s a safe and decent place to call home,” said Reed in a statement. “I created the Housing Trust Fund to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing so that more workers and students could focus even more on their jobs and studies. In addition, I made sure that Rhode Island and other small states received a fair amount of funding by including a small state minimum of $3 million in the authorizing legislation.”

After the allocation, $1.9 million remains in Rhode Island’s HTF, according to a spokesman for RIH.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.