Workforce-housing units to be created in 4 mill, office building conversions

THE STUDLEY BUILDING, at 86 Weybosset St. in Providence, is among the buildings that will be renovated into apartments, with a portion reserved for workforce-housing rates. / COURTESY PAOLINO PROPERTIES LP

PROVIDENCE – Four projects in Providence and West Warwick will receive funding from the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. to help create workforce-priced housing.

The projects were selected by the R.I. Housing board at a recent meeting. They will include a combined 301 units, of which 74 will be priced for families who earn up to 120% of area median income.

The program is called the Workforce Housing Innovation Challenge and it is aimed at expanding the range of housing options in the state for middle-income earners. In Providence, a family of four that earns a total of up to $103,800 is eligible for workforce housing.

In the second round of the grant funds, R.I. Housing will make $5.9 million available to:

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  1. Studley Building, 86 Weybosset St., Providence. The project involves the substantial rehabilitation of an office building into a residential building. There will be 65 apartments on the second through the sixth floors, with 14 workforce-housing units. The workforce units will include 12 studios and two one-bedroom apartments.
  2. Arctic Mill, West Warwick. Two of the buildings at the historic textile mill will be converted to mixed-use, with residential apartments and commercial space. The mix of units will include 105 market-rate apartments and 31 workforce-rate apartments.
  3. Strive Lofts, 556 Atwells Ave., Providence. An existing mill will be renovated into 56 residential apartments and two commercial suites with a ground-floor parking garage. Twenty units will be leased at workforce-housing rates and 36 units will be market rate.
  4. Case-Mead Building, 76 Dorrance St., Providence. Nine of the existing market-rate units will be restricted and leased to people at workforce-housing rates. The building was rehabbed in 2018 into mixed-use, with commercial on the ground floor and residential units on the upper floors. Seven studios and two one-bedroom units will be designated as the eligible workforce-housing units.

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

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