PROVIDENCE – Four programs were chosen by United Way of Rhode Island to share $155,000 from its Housing for All Fund, to put in motion safe, healthy and affordable housing programs, according to a release by the organization on Thursday.
The winning organizations, Adoption Rhode Island, Housing Network of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Center for Justice and West Elmwood Housing Development Corp., were chosen by the United Way after convening the Housing for All Summit last spring, which saw 300 Rhode Islanders brainstorm ideas and solutions to the issue of housing affordability across the state.
Anthony Maione, UWRI’s president and CEO, said too much of the population is forced to pay exorbitant amounts for housing, which, in turn, compounds additional issues.
“When working families and individuals have to make tough choices among the basic needs they can afford — such as a choice between buying groceries or paying for utilities — it affects not only their health and future well-being, but also the strength of our communities,” he added.
Summit participants generated 568 strategies to tackle the issue of housing affordability, which were published in this report.
A grant of $25,000 will be awarded to Adoption Rhode Island to fund its Taskforce for Homeless Youth Program which addresses homelessness and housing instability for those ages 13-25 through the aid of nonprofit organizations.
Housing Network of Rhode Island’s Housing Opportunities Initiative will receive $50,000 to build a cross-sector collaborative and increase the amount of affordable housing in Rhode Island over the next decade and decrease the population who cannot afford housing.
Rhode Island Center for Justice will receive $20,000 to fund staffing of its Tenant Advocacy Project, which represents clients with housing issues.
The summit’s most widely-discussed issue was education and therefore UWRI has awarded a $60,000 grant to West Elmwood Housing Development Corp. to launch Rhodes to Success, a program that will see young parents, low-income families and first generation students earn postsecondary degrees or certificates which lead to careers and self-sufficiency. The project will serve residents of Providence’s West Elmwood neighborhood.
The fund supplying the grants, which was made possible through contributions from Bank of America, UWRI, National Grid and individual community donors, was established at the spring summit.
Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island president of Bank of America, said: “Housing helps set people on a path to financial stability, and the United Way, through programs like the Housing for All Fund, is working to develop permanent solutions and make people’s lives better.”