Eight years since the height of the national foreclosure crisis, Providence faces a plague of vacant houses, blighting neighborhoods. Now the capital city’s new mayor is ramping up efforts to combat the issue. One home on the city's West Side is a success story; it's part of the ambitious plan to create many more in the state capital.
On a cold, sunny morning in March a massive front end loader tears into a tan, two-story home, on Marshall St. on the West Side of Providence. A group of neighbors and passersby watch from across the street.
The state’s unemployment rate ticked down in January, compared to the same month a year ago. The rate is now 6.5 percent; the state’s lowest since the start of the recession.
That’s down more than two percentage points since January of last year (when it stood at 8.6). It’s been seven years since the state’s unemployment rate has been this low, back in February of 2008. Despite the good news, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, of 5.7 percent.