housing

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has set himself an ambitious goal: to rid the city of all housing blight in the next six years. If the city reaches that goal, Elorza said it would be the first city of its size to do so.

On Tuesday, the mayor unveiled his initiative to deal with hundreds of vacant and abandoned homes in the state capital. The project, called EveryHome Providence, offers what the administration calls a suite of tools for taking on these properties.

RIPR file photo

In an effort to retain a young, educated workforce, the state has announced a program to help recent graduates buy homes in the state. The “Ocean State Grad Grant,” as its being called, is being offered to people buying a home in-state within three years of graduating from college or graduate school.

Grants, of up to seven thousand dollars will be awarded to help with a mortgage down payment. The program is being run by the quasi-government agency, Rhode Island Housing, which has set aside 350-thousand dollars for the program.

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Home sales in Rhode Island held steady last month.  July was the eight month of increased year over year sales.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island falls short providing adequate affordable housing to its lower-income residents.  The report comes from the advocacy non-profit National Low Income Housing Coalition.

According to the study, Rhode Islanders must earn at least $18.49 an hour to afford an average two-bedroom apartment. The minimum wage is currently nine dollars an hour, though efforts are underway to raise that to $10.10.

County Health Rankings 2015 / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released its annual County Health Rankings, and Rhode Island's counties (Providence in particular) seem to be faring worse than the national average on a few measures, and much better on a few, too.

John Bender / RIPR

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.

Homeownership rates for Latinos in Rhode Island are well below the national average.  New data show 25 percent of the of the state’s Latinos own their own home, compared the national average of 45 percent. That’s according to study by the Latino Policy Institute, and Housing Works RI.  From 2007 to 2013, the cost of home ownership far outpaced incomes for Latinos in the state.

What’s more, the number of Latinos grew by more than 50 percent since 2000, making them the fastest growing population in the state.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The two front runners in the race for mayor of Providence swept out to different corners of the city Tuesday in their quest for votes.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says home sales dropped again in August. 

The average price for a single family home was $218,ooo, down 3 percent from last year.  Condominium sales also slowed, but multi-family homes were a bright spot.  Prices have climbed 25 percent from last August.  Realtors Association President Robert Martin says foreclosures, and short sales have dropped significantly from a year ago.  He says that's likely to drive home prices higher in the long term.

Bart Everson / Flickr

A law aimed at protecting children from unsafe levels of lead in their homes is working, according to a new study. But only when landlords comply with it.

July Was a Good Month for Rhode Island Realtors

Aug 22, 2013

Rhode Island real estate agents had a good July.  Both median prices and sales are up significantly from where they were a year ago.

Sales of existing single family homes rose 22 percent from July of 2012 until this July, according to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. During the same time frame, the median price rose four percent --  from $207,000 to $216,000.  July was the 10th straight month of increase in the median price.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says the state has reached a critical milestone.

After years of excess supply, Rhode Island now has a six-month inventory of homes on the market, which is considered a balanced alignment between supply and demand.  Rhode  Island Association of Realtors president Victoria Doran said homeowners can expect to see prices rise as the supply dwindles.

Roger Williams University Law School professor Jorge Elorza, a Housing Court judge in Providence, joins us on Bonus Q+A to talk about housing, economic development, Latino politics, and his own future plans.

Good Signs for Ocean State Housing Market

Mar 29, 2013

Rhode Island’s real estate market is roaring back to life. Home prices rose by double digits in February.

If you’ve been holding back putting your home on the market because of depressed prices, it might be time to re-think that decision. The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says home prices rose 12 percent between February 2011 and February 2012.  The median price increased from $170,000 to nearly $190,000. It was the fifth consecutive month of price gains.

Better News on Rhode Island Foreclosure Front

Mar 14, 2013
Phoenix Affordable Housing
Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island still has the highest foreclosure rate in New England but the numbers are coming down. According to Housing Works RI, foreclosure filings fell 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.   Filings have fallen 36 percent since 2009, when data was first available.
The Mortgage Bankers Association says Rhode Island continues to lead New England in foreclosures and is tied for 7th nationwide.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

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