Housing and Homelessness, May 2018

News Digest: Housing touches every aspect of our lives, from business and education to health and our local economy.
HousingWorks RI at RWU, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, Housing Network of Rhode Island, and the Public Housing Association of RI, joined together to communicate the latest news on housing and homelessness in Rhode Island.

Affordable Housing

R.I. Senator Reed recognized for affordable housing efforts
May 3, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Although future federal support for housing remains under threat, Rhode Island’s housing leaders met in Silver Lake Thursday afternoon to honor the efforts of their “housing champion,” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, for his leading role in the creation of the National Housing Trust Fund.

The fund uses contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to finance the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income and homeless families. It was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which led to the government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the foreclosure crisis, but it did not receive funding until years later.

To read the full article featured in the Providence Journal, click here.

The state needs a stronger affordable housing law, says R.I. Housing. Executive Director Barbara Fields isn’t waiting for it to be changed. 
April 27, 2018

R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year in a position of financial strength, says Executive Director Barbara Fields. It has created programs to assist first-time homeowners, expanded its servicing of mortgages to include those generated by MaineHousing and emerged from the Great Recession with a surplus of financial assets. But it is working against a backdrop of unaffordability.
Half of all renters and 30 percent of homeowners in Rhode Island are housing-cost burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their take-home income on rent and utilities.
What’s the best way for Rhode Island to increase access to affordable housing? “Build, build, build,” she said.
To read the complete article featured inProvidence Business News, click here.

Report: RI among the least affordable places to buy home
April 25, 2018
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has been ranked one of the country’s least affordable housing markets in March. The Rhode Island Association of Realtors released its first-quarter market report Wednesday, saying the state’s median house price rose by 10 percent. The Providence Journal reports Rhode Island — alongside Hawaii, California, Oregon, the District of Columbia and Montana — were identified as the least affordable places to live in the country.

To find the complete article featured in U.S. News, click here.


Rhode Island’s McAuley Ministries cast its net wide to help others
April 29, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Lunch won’t be served for another 15 minutes, but the line is already out the door at McAuley House on Elmwood Avenue.

Seemingly out of nowhere, dozens of people converge just after 11 o’clock. Many arrive by bus, others by foot and some by car, all knowing that during a day filled with uncertainty a meal at McAuley is something they can count on.

By 1 o’clock, volunteers and staff on this Friday during Lent will have served more than 200 plates of fish, rice, coleslaw, bread and dessert to the steady stream of “guests” — some homeless, but many who work and need help stretching a paycheck, especially at the end of the month. While breakfast and lunch are the main draw here, the staff helps with a full array of wraparound services — from securing bus passes and prescription eyewear to housing and medication — through its outreach center.

To view the full article featured in Providence Journal, click here.

My Turn: Jeffrey Machado: Harder to help R.I. people work
April 25, 2018
How gratifying to see the subject of homelessness addressed in The Providence Journal’s front-page lead (“Housing first,” news, April 18)! Even better, your article was positive, even optimistic, about finding housing solutions in our state. Crossroads, Goodwill and other social service organizations in Rhode Island are working hard to restore dignity, purpose and financial security to the many hundreds of our neighbors who struggle with housing, employment, health issues and social challenges.

Yes, great strides have been made and success stories are many, but the article included a single sentence that describes the existential threat to those of us who are working hard to improve the lives of Rhode Island residents. That single sentence describes a substantial cut in funding to Crossroads from city, state and federal government.

To view the full article featured in Providence Journal, click here.

Can free showers help the homeless?
April 20, 2018
Could the simple service of a free, hot shower be a solution to the complex issue of homelessness?

It could be if the restoration of dignity is the start of a relationship that gets someone off the streets and into a supportive environment, says House of Hope Community Development Corp.

In launching a Shower to Empower mobile navigation unit April 17, House of Hope and Providence officials expressed optimism that the mobile trailer will provide a critical link to needed services.

To read the full article featured in Providence Business News, click here.


Moderate Party of Rhode Island: RI’s 2018 Political Candidates to Present, Exchange Ideas
RICAA and HNRIPower of Community Advocacy Day 2018 

HNRI: 2018 Annual Meeting
RI Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty:2018 Interfaith Poverty Conference
Winn PR: Join Us and Celebrate the Rehabilitation of Historic Prospect Heights

In the Media:

Block Island Times: Cherry Hill Lane hearing continued
Turn to 10: Rhode Island’s eviction rate highest in New England 
Providence Business News: Omni Development Corp. names Morris executive director

Providence Journal: Housing First
Providence Journal: Housing board OKs project financing
WPRI 12: Crossroads helps more than 100 homeless men get back on their feet
Providence Journal: Towns lobby for easing of R.I.’s affordable-housing mandate
HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University
1 Empire Plaza, Suite 327
Providence, RI 02903

Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
1070 Main Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860

Housing Network of Rhode Island 
1070 Main Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860

Public Housing Association of RI
1035 West Shore Road
Warwick, RI 02889

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