News & Event
Published on October 21, 2016
BY MARY MACDONALD | MACDONALD@PBN.COM
When a renter or homeowner is housing-cost burdened, it means that they often do not have enough resources to meet basic needs or contribute to the local economy. … Based on 55,800 cost-burdened owner households in Rhode Island, these households spend an estimated $1.26 billion on their mortgage and housing expenses per year. If they lived in housing affordable to them, that figure would decrease to $773 million per year.
Are renters caught in a rut, paying too much rent to save toward ownership? While not the only solution, increasing the supply of housing, particularly affordable units, for renters would help… We found that by 2025, a 12-13 percent increase in the number of households will occur. Due to the demographics and housing preferences of the households. … more than 80 percent of new households are projected to live in multifamily units. Over 30,000 new housing units will be needed in multifamily properties.
HousingWorks RI envisions a state in which all communities embrace a variety of housing choices. … Developing housing close to transit or job hubs, or existing neighborhood or village centers makes good sense. In addition, affordability should play a key role in housing creation throughout our state.
Working to reduce regulatory barriers at both the local and state levels would help to reduce costs. In November Question 7, the $50 million Housing Opportunity Bond, will be presented to voters. … It is estimated that the bond will generate over 1,000 jobs and help to address our housing shortage by providing resources to preserve and build more affordable homes across the state.
Courtesy of Providence Business News.
By Mary MacDonald-October 12, 2017 4:30 am
PBN: What is the most encouraging trend in this year’s report?
CLEMENT: First of all, we did see an increase in building permits. That’s a good thing. But we still rank last, on a per capita basis, for the past six years. But we have seen some communities up their amounts. As the market is recovering, we are seeing some recovery in building and developing units. Twenty-five percent of those were for multifamily units, which is also a good trend. Our biggest need is going to be in multifamily.
PBN: What is the most discouraging trend?
CLEMENT: The most discouraging thing is if you make anything under $30,000 a year, you can’t reasonably afford to own anything or rent anything, anywhere in the state. Under $50,000, you can afford six communities, but that’s down from 11. Even more moderate-income workers are struggling in this economy.
PBN: One of the statistics in the report is that to meet future demand, the number of building permits for multifamily will have to grow at three times the current rate each year. How is that possible?
CLEMENT: It’s a steep challenge. What multifamily is, looks different in different communities. In a suburban or a more rural location, that might be duplexes or accessory dwelling units. But we clearly have to look at opportunities, particularly around transit nodes and other areas to provide more density in those locations, as part of the incentive for developers, so we can create more units. We also need to bring more units that are offline, online.
PBN: What incentives can be used to encourage towns to approve these developments, particularly those that would appeal to families of school-age children?
CLEMENT: We have to look at the school aid formula, we have to look at other ways to provide incentives. Our neighboring state, Massachusetts, has an [inclusive] law … that provides extra school aid for communities that develop additional family units and family housing. There are different incentives we can look at. It has to be the right mix of incentives. … The communities are a key partner. We want communities to be a willing partner, not one we’re going to have to keep dragging in.
PBN: We’ve had price escalation in real estate across the state, and across property types. Is it disproportionately affecting renters?
CLEMENT: Even homeowners have considerable cost burdens. Households with mortgages have a 37 percent housing cost burden, which means they’re paying more than 30 percent of their income toward housing. You can particularly see this as they age, or retire. Many seniors want to age in place, but keeping that roof over their head becomes even more of a struggle. There is no one easy solution.
Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at MacDonald@PBN.com. Follow on Twitter at MaryF_MacDonald.
Courtesy of Providence Business News
By Mary MacDonald - February 9, 2018 3:22 am
Melissa Sanzaro | Executive director, Providence Housing Authority
1. What is the Providence Housing Authority footprint for housing, and how has that changed over the past 10 years? The Providence Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in the state, managing more than 2,600 units of public housing and administering more than 2,600 Housing Choice Vouchers serving approximately 12,000 people. … In 2006, the voucher program served about 1,700 families and over an 11-year period experienced an increase of 58 percent in their program.
2. What are some of the other services the housing authority provides? Beyond the bricks and mortar, the PHA is proud of its extensive and unique resident-services department, which is staffed by 25 people that oversee more than seven core programs. The department works closely with other agencies to deliver important services to our community such as family self-sufficiency, financial literacy, homeownership counseling, employment services, case management and adult basic education, including digital literacy.
3. How has the profile of the person living in Providence Housing changed? How many families are seeking apartments? On average, women represent about 62 percent of our head of households, while nearly 60 percent of head of households identify as Hispanic. Twenty-one percent of residents served by the housing authority are disabled, the majority of which reside in one of our six high-rises. The average income for our residents remains steady at approximately $12,600 per year. In 2016, for the first time in 17 years, the PHA opened its waiting list for the voucher program, receiving 5,000 applications. In public housing, the waitlist has another 5,400 applicants.
4. What would you like to see the authority champion? This is an exciting time for the agency; a time to build on our past successes, re-energize community relationships and develop innovative and comprehensive approaches to provide viable and healthy housing and life-changing opportunities.
5. You previously were deputy director. What was your most challenging experience in that role? My biggest challenge was that of most leaders in public service: wanting to be everything to everyone who needs your help. It is difficult to face the inability to provide housing to everyone in need. … Our low- and extremely low-income families’ need for affordable housing far exceeds what is available to them.
Courtesy of Providence Business News
The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH) is a statewide organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Rhode Island. Formed in 1988, RICH’s mission is to seek comprehensive and cooperative solutions to homelessness in Rhode Island. This is accomplished through data collection and analysis, advocacy, training and education, collaboration, technical assistance, constituent services, and strategic communications. RICH works to build the public and political will to support the right for safe, affordable housing for every Rhode Islander. The organization works to ensure and support local, state and federal commitments to establish a continuum of affordable housing and homeless prevention programs. This work involves maintaining a broad base of key stakeholders to support and advocate for the organization’s vision, including homeless people, service providers, politicians, affordable housing allies, advocates, public and philanthropic funders, businesses, city and state officials, developers, faith communities and concerned citizens.
As the lead agency responsible for Rhode Island’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), RICH is in the unique position to use data and information to catalyze and inform change within the homelessness services system. RICH collects, analyzes, and disseminates data and information that is fundamental to the health and efficient operations of the State of Rhode Island’s Continuum of Care (CoC), which is comprised of state agencies, community partners, and individuals that guide the state’s homelessness policies and administer federal and state homeless funds as they work to build a statewide system to prevent and end homelessness. Building off the organization’s role as HMIS Administrator for the CoC, RICH’s next Executive Director will work with staff, consultants, partner organizations, funders, and researchers to advance data and evidence informed practices and strategies, including and especially coordinated assessment and housing placement, to rapidly and permanently end homelessness among individuals and families.
The Executive Director is accountable for the overall leadership, direction and management of the organization’s resources to accomplish the goals and mission of the organization. The Executive Director should have experience in financial management, community relations, program delivery, organizational development, strategic planning, and experience using data and information to strengthen both practice and systems. The Executive Director must have empowering leadership skills to work with staff, Coalition partners, Board and community stakeholders. The Executive Director exemplifies RICH’s values and nurtures its organizational culture by supporting a learning community of staff, Board, homeless constituents, community stakeholders, government and political leaders. The ED reports to the Board of Directors and will work with the Board, RICH’s membership, funders and other constituents to develop a new Strategic Plan for the organization during his/her first year in the position.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Program Development and Management
Resource Development and Fundraising
Personnel and Operations Management
Community Collaboration and Movement Building
Strategic Communications and Public Relations
The preferred candidate has knowledge and experience in homelessness prevention and system-change work, is an energetic leader with demonstrated financial and organizational management skills, who can engage others in RICH’s mission, embraces and encourages coalition and movement building and is comfortable working with low income and marginalized populations.
The ideal candidate possesses the following attributes:
This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic leader who is truly committed to making a positive contribution to the community. Compensation between $70,000-$80,000. Relocation assistance is not provided for this position.
Application deadline: 5pm EDT Monday, November 20, 2017
Candidates should submit a resume and cover letter describing their interest in this position via:
• Email – email@example.com, please include, “ED Search” in the subject line.
• Regular mail - Search Committee
RI Coalition for the Homeless
1070 Main St
Pawtucket, RI 02860
For more information about RI Coalition for the Homeless visit http://rihomeless.org
MassNAHRO, the leading housing and community development advocate for the provision and preservation of adequate and affordable housing for those with low and moderate incomes, is seeking a dynamic new Executive Director. Based in Boston, MassNAHRO serves members comprising approximately 240 public housing agencies and more than 1,300 publicly elected and appointed officials throughout the Commonwealth.
The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (MassNAHRO) was established in 1972. It parallels and complements the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) as an official state chapter. MassNAHRO is primarily concerned with the policies of State agencies and State programs and the implications of national policies at the state and local levels. Members own or manage almost 50,000 state-funded public housing units, more than 33,000 federally-funded public housing units, 4,200 state-funded rental assistance units and 55,000 federal Section 8 units. The MassNAHRO Code of Conduct emphasizes adherence to the highest degree of professionalism and promotion of the public interest by all members. Please see www.massnahro.org.
MassNAHRO’s services include:
§ Monthly information concerning pertinent Federal and State legislation, issues impacting housing and community development programs, policy changes and other matters of importance to members.
§ Professional development opportunities including educational and technical workshops, seminars and conferences utilizing expert trainers and leaders in the field. MassNAHRO offers both the Massachusetts Public Housing Administrator and Board Member Certification Programs at various locations across the state on a continual basis.
§ Representation at the State Legislature, the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Members also have access to publications, an awards program, discounts on products and services, networking opportunities and service on standing committees. MassNAHRO also administers an insurance plan that offers worker’s compensation coverage to members.
MassNAHRO was instrumental in public housing reform and the passage of Chapter 235 of the Acts of 2014 - An Act Relative to Local Housing Authorities: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2014/Chapter235. Chapter 235 provides innovative strategies designed to assist Authorities with capital improvement, purchasing, unit turn over, wait list management and interagency collaborations. MassNAHRO worked closely with the Joint Committee on Housing, State Senators and Representatives, local housing authority staff, residents and other local officials to achieve the positive sweeping changes to the oversight, governance and operation of local housing authorities brought about by this blueprint for the future.
MassNAHRO is governed by a Board of Directors of approximately 20 housing authority Executive Directors/Commissioners. The new Executive Director will succeed long-time well-respected leader Tom Connelly who has recently retired.
The Executive Director reports directly to the MassNAHRO Board of Directors and serves as the spokesperson, liaison and coordinator with all major stakeholders of the Association. S/he is accountable for the Association’s financial performance and is responsible for daily management of all operations of MassNAHRO. We seek a leader with intellect, initiative, integrity and flexibility to work with an active membership; respect and humility to honor the impressive work done to date; and creativity to lead the Association to new levels of service.
§ External Leadership: Advocate on behalf of MassNAHRO members for needed affordable housing and community development laws and policies and involve members as appropriate. Develop relationships with legislators, other public officials, federal and state agencies such as HUD and DHCD, peer membership organizations, and local, state and national leaders. Serve as spokesperson concerning the business and governmental affairs of the Association as directed by the Board and manage the Association’s media relations.
§ Financial Oversight: Prepare an annual budget and manage financial affairs within the approved budget. Present transparent financial reports and immediately communicate any financial or fiduciary issues to the Board. Explore new and innovative avenues for revenue generation.
§ Association Management: Manage the Association on an ongoing basis including provision of all services promised to members as part of their Association dues. Oversee provision of professional development services and programs for members, and advocate on behalf of the membership.
§ Personnel Management: Maintain and follow appropriate policies for hiring, discipline and termination of staff. Provide day-to-day direction, delegation and control for the staff, maintaining a high performing and productive environment of talented and enthusiastic employees.
§ Interaction with the Board: Report to and confer with the Board of Directors, providing information to help the Board in strategic planning and formulating effective policies. Support the board in effective governance, ensure the effectiveness of the committee structure, and provide staff support to committees. Facilitate monthly board meetings. Implement policies of the Association as determined by the Board, reporting to the Board on progress and completion of assigned tasks and goals. Execute, secure and maintain corporate documents and commitments as authorized by the Board.
§ Member communication: Encourage membership in the Association and maintain active, supportive relationships with members. Regularly provide members with up-to-date and accurate information pertinent to the goals and decisions of the Association as well as legislative updates. Attend meetings of related organizations to provide updates on Association activities and generate support of Association priorities. Generate informative articles for monthly newsletters and take an active role at related conferences and events.
§ Commitment to the mission and dedication to affordable housing, public housing and/or community development
§ Experience in affordable housing, public housing and/or community development administration
§ Up-to-date knowledge of programs and policies governing affordable housing, public housing and/or community development
§ Experience in legislative and policy advocacy/government relations and outstanding advocacy skills
§ Proven experience successfully managing an organization including financial and staff management
§ Experience working with a board of directors
§ Proven ability to successfully manage critical, strategic relationships with partners
§ Strong team orientation and evidence of collaborative and respectful work style
§ Ability and experience as a dynamic and compelling spokesperson
§ Exceptional oral, written, listening and interpersonal communications skills
§ Association management experience/certification a plus.
To Apply in confidence, please send cover letter and resume to Susan Egmont, Egmont Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NLIHC and a group of other leading national organizations seeks a campaign director to lead the building and implementation of a new, long-term multi-sector campaign that will address the housing needs of the nation’s most vulnerable households.
Background: After a year-long planning process and with the input from education, health, children’s, anti-poverty, faith-based, and civil rights organizations, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Make Room, and Children’s Health Watch have initiated a dynamic, long-term, multisector Campaign to meet the housing needs of the lowest-income people.
This is a critical moment in federal housing policy. Support for addressing rental affordability has gained momentum over the past several years. Potentially powerful new constituencies -- in the health care, education, veterans, aging, child welfare, child poverty, faith, and other communities -- are recognizing the impact the inability to afford decent housing has on the wellbeing of the people they serve. At the same time, there are unprecedented threats to federal housing assistance.
In the face of these opportunities and challenges, multi-sector advocates have come together to launch a long-term Campaign to address the entrenched shortage of housing affordable for the lowest income people. Together, strengthened and expanded coalitions nationally and in priority states will pursue a coordinated strategy to educate policymakers, the media, and the public about the problem and its practical solutions and the impact the solutions will have on the quality of life not only of low-income people, but of the country more broadly.
The Campaign will be a long-term, multi-faceted effort to create a new national multisector coalition that works closely with strengthened state-based organizations to impact federal policy. It will deploy policy analysis and development, communications, and informing to impact opinion leaders and policymakers. It will be staffed and operated out of NLIHC. The Campaign’s steering committee will represent education, civil rights, anti-poverty, children’s issues, faith based, disability, seniors, veterans, city/state government associations and veterans, and resident leaders, among others. The goals of the Campaign will be to:
1. Fill the gap between rents and incomes for the most vulnerable households through a variety of rental assistance strategies that include rental subsidies to landlords and tax credits.
2. Prevent destabilizing housing crises through the creation of flexible short-term tools for low-income homeowners and renters for whom short-term crises like the loss of a job or a health emergency can jeopardize housing stability.
3. Create more housing affordable to the lowest income people through deeply income-targeted production programs such as the national Housing Trust Fund.
4. Defend against funding cuts and harmful policy changes in existing low-income housing programs.
Job Description: The Campaign director will have a leadership role in building a long-term national, multi-sector Campaign to meet the rental housing needs of the nation’s most vulnerable households. The director will work closely with the Campaign’s five principal partners and Steering Committee members to create a robust national movement around the Campaign’s goals and plan. With the principals and the Steering committee, the director will create a national Campaign structure, reach out to potential partners, develop and implement communications strategies, coordinate state grantee partners, undertake national policy informing efforts, coordinate events, and act as a principal spokesperson. In addition, the director will administer the Campaign, supervise Campaign staff, coordinate the work of the principal partners, and lead fundraising efforts (with strong support of the principal partners). The Campaign director will be a national voice for affordable housing for the most vulnerable people and a leader capable of developing and sustaining a national movement.
Responsibilities: The Campaign director will provide day-to-day direction and oversight of the Campaign, including the following responsibilities.
· Coordinate and oversee the work of the Campaign staff;
· Help to build and maintain a cooperative, productive coalition structure, including close coordination with the Campaign’s partners, the Steering Committee, and a larger network of cooperating organizations;
· Refine and carry out the Campaign plan in coordination with the Campaign’s partners;
· Develop creative and effective communications and policy Campaign plans and take oversight responsibility for implementing those plans;
· Ensure the effective integration of a state-based Campaign infrastructure into national efforts;
· Ensure effective partner sub-grants management: ensure sub-grantees are carrying out the terms of their grants and are effectively and appropriately using the grants provided to achieve intended deliverables and outcomes;
· Assist in, and provide strategic guidance for, ongoing fundraising efforts (including the development of proposals) that enable the Campaign to grow;
· Provide periodic reports to the Campaign’s partners, Steering Committee members, and relevant others about the Campaign’s progress, including comprehensive donor reports;
· Engage in public speaking in support of the Campaign and represent the Campaign with the media, as needed;
· Manage the Campaign’s budget and expenditures; and
· Other duties as assigned.
· A bachelor’s degree in a pertinent field, advanced degree preferred;
· A minimum of five years previous experience leading, or playing a critical role in, one or more campaigns;
· Proven experience building or leading a large, diverse coalition of cooperating organizations;
· Significant experience in building partnerships between organizations with different substantive priorities;
· Substantial experience developing and implementing integrated strategies involving coalition-building, grassroots infrastructure deployment, creative communications, and political mobilization;
· A demonstrated capacity as a strategic thinker as well as a creative formulator of ongoing tactics pursuant to an overall strategy;
· An effective communicator, both orally and in writing;
· Experience in leading, or significantly assisting in, philanthropic fundraising;
· Previous experience harmonizing substantive ideals with the practical pursuit of achievable, incremental opportunities; and
· An ability to work in a diverse, high-speed environment.
Compensation and Benefits: An equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, NLIHC offers a competitive salary and benefits package. This is a full-time position located in Washington, DC. It is a contract position with the possibility of extension.
Status: Full-time (exempt) contract position
Reports to: President and CEO of NLIHC
Job Application Process: Candidates for the Campaign director position should send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to: Paul Kealey, Chief Operating Officer, NLIHC, 1000 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005 at email@example.com. The cover letter should describe the candidate’s interest in, and relevant experiences for, the position, and it should include salary requirements and the names and contact information for at least three people serving as candidate references. (NLIHC will not contact references before consulting with the candidate.)
By Mary MacDonald - January 25, 2018 4:30 am
Rhode Island has an aging population and one of the oldest housing stocks in the country. To help the physically disabled and seniors remain in their homes, Rep. Joseph M. McNamara, D-Warwick, has introduced a bill that would provide a tax credit for improvements meant to make houses accessible.
His bill (2018-H 7142) would provide a credit against state personal income tax worth 50 percent of the renovation cost, up to a maximum of $5,000. The bill would apply to retrofits of existing houses and new homes that have accessible features.
McNamara, who was first elected in 1994, argues the loss of state tax revenue will be more than made up by lessened state expenditures on nursing home care. He spoke to the Providence Business News this week about his bill.
PBN: You first introduced the bill last session. What is the feeling this year on its passage?
MCNAMARA: We got the bill in and it was very well-received. This year, we have a lot of momentum going forward with it. The most important aspect of it is when you look at seniors who are living in our communities, it’s an increasing demographic in this state. It is much more cost-effective for government to keep people in their homes as long as possible. You make up for it at the other end, in less nursing home placements. Plus, you are building an inventory of homes that have already been modified.
PBN: Can you describe some of the modifications that would qualify for a tax credit?
MCNAMARA: Zero-step entrances, either no steps or a ramp leading up. Also, 32-inch-wide doors [to accommodate wheelchairs], and accessible bathrooms.
PBN: Explain how the tax credit is applied.
MCNAMARA: It’s 50 percent of the cost of an approved modification, which is spelled out in other statutes relating to accessibility. It goes through the qualified tax credit and would be reviewed by the Governor’s Office on Disabilities.
PBN: How much would this cost the state in revenue?
MCNAMARA: The total amount granted, in any fiscal year, would be no more than $250,000.
PBN: Is that going to be a hard sell in this current fiscal climate, when the state budget is expected to include cuts to many programs?
MCNAMARA: When we look at funding, when people are moving out of their homes, it’s an investment in the future going forward. And $250,000 may seem like a lot, but when you’re building a group of homes that will be accessible for many years in the future, you’re really building an asset that’s going to pay back in reduced payments for those nursing homes.
Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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