Affordable homes are going up in North Kingstown. The North Cove development is a collection of 38 affordable rental homes just outside Wickford Village. Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing, said there’s a demand for affordable housing outside the state’s urban core.
Roger Williams University is bringing HousingWorks RI into its fold. HousingWorks is a local nonprofit that studies affordable housing and economic development.
Associate Vice President for University Relations, Pete Wilbur, said HousingWorks RI already operates out of the university’s facility in Providence, and faculty members are on the board. He said making the nonprofit part of the university gives students hands on opportunities.
A new national report shows Rhode Island has some of the highest rental costs in the country. The Ocean State has the 17th highest rental costs according to the report published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In Rhode Island the fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment is $945. In order to afford this level of rent without paying more than 30 percent on housing, a household must earn $37,000 a year or $18 dollars for a full time worker. A minimum wage worker would have to work 94 hours a week all year long.
It took seven years and $21 million, but a large affordable housing complex in the west end of Providence is finally ready for occupancy.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee joined with other dignitaries to celebrate the completion with a ribbon cutting. The apartments are scattered in 23 buildings. Rhode Island Housing director Richard Godfrey says the buildings were in pretty rough shape.
"They were all vacant. Some of them were burned out. All boarded," says Godfrey. "It was a very, very distressed neighborhood."
The dream of owning your own home is out of reach to most Rhode Island Latinos, according to a new report published by the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. Many struggle just to afford an apartment.
The organization Housingworks RI will receive a $60,000 grant from the National Mortgage Settlement, a state and federal settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage companies over alleged foreclosure practices. The Rhode Island Attorney General's office also distributed a $155,000 grant for Progresso Latino.
Housingworks RI is a coalition dedicated to affordable improving housing opportunities in the state. Executive Director Nellie Gorbea says that the grant will help fund research on RI housing problems.