affordable housing

Rhode Island Foundation

Two Rhode Island women, Ditra Edwards and Donna Childs, are the recipients of $300,000 in grants from the Rhode Island Foundation to help improve civic engagement.

RIPR File Photo

The Providence Housing Authority will no longer automatically disqualify housing applicants with criminal convictions. Advocates say the longstanding policy hurt people trying to reenter society.

Under the new policy applicants for housing with a criminal history will be considered on a case by case basis. Old policy denied people with criminal histories up to ten years prior outright. The look-back period into an applicant’s background is now reduced from 10 years to five.

Victor Casale / Creative Commons License via flickr

The Providence Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meets Thursday. The group is expected to consider changes to policy that bars housing applicants with criminal convictions. Advocates say current policy is unfair.

RIPR FILE

Affordable housing programs could see their federal support drastically reduced, if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget passes. That would mean millions of dollars in aid lost for the Ocean State.

Matt Sledge / RIPR FILE

Affordable housing advocates are worried President Donald Trump’s promises to reduce corporate taxes could affect their ability to finance new projects. Their concern is the future of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Housing has approved nearly $35 million dollars in federal loans and financing, mainly to fix up and subsidize some 200 affordable units. Most of the housing is in Warwick and Providence, and some dates to the 1970s. Head of Rhode Island Housing, Barbara Fields, says many of the units serve elderly residents, and the housing needs upgrades.

RIPR FILE

A new national report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development finds chronic homelessness on the rise in Rhode Island. The state is bucking a slight national decline.

The report found the number of Rhode Island homeless on a given night increased by more than 4 percent over the last year. But the number of families and veterans experiencing homelessness dropped by about 25 and 15 percent respectively.

RIPR file photo

More than 9,000 people have signed up for subsidized housing vouchers through a waitlist that opened just a few days ago. The Providence Housing Authority waitlist last opened in 1998.

The Providence Housing Authority is opening the wait list for Section 8 housing for the first timesince 1998. The list typically holds thousands of people.

The Section 8 voucher program allows residents to find their own rental housing and get a portion of the cost paid by the Providence Housing Authority.

RIPR FILE

  Rhode Island has received $36 million in federal funding to help residents avoid foreclosure on their homes. The grant comes from the Hardest Hit Fund, a national program for areas most affected by the 2008 housing crash.

Barbara Fields, the director of Rhode Island Housing, says that includes cities like Providence and Central Falls and many suburban communities.

“Whether one lives in Coventry, Cumberland or Tiverton, there’s assistance,” said Fields. “And we will work with them to see what we may be able to provide them.”

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island has received more than $2 million in federal funding to pay for affordable housing. The money will fund projects in East Providence and Woonsocket.

The money will go towards the construction and rehabbing of affordable housing. It will also provide help for residents with immediate housing problems… such as rental assistance, and emergency shelter funding.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Islanders continue to struggle with access to affordable housing. That’s according to the latest report from non-profit Housingworks RI. About half of all renters, and about a third of homeowners with mortgages spend more than a third of their incomes on housing.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line. 

This week Dave and Mark sit down with RI Housing Executive Director Barbara Fields to talk about the departure of the agency's board chair, the ongoing HUD probe and efforts to improve access to affordable housing.

When to listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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.

RI Department of Administration / Division of Planning

Rhode Island housing officials are unable to justify how they spent some federal funds meant for low income housing. That’s one of the findings of a U.S Housing and Urban Development agency audit of the program.

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