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Infographic: Women and Housing in RI

Published on December 13, 2012

As Rhode Island families get ready for the holiday season many families headed by women are feeling the pinch. The gendered housing cost burden is outlined in a new infographic jointly released by Women’s Fund of Rhode Island and HousingWorks RI, looking specifically at women and housing in Rhode Island.

”The majority of families headed by women in Rhode Island are renters and one in three of those families is spending 50 percent or more of their income on housing expenses,” said Jessica Cigna, the research and policy associate at HousingWorks RI. “It’s not surprising to see that 44 percent of those families are also living in poverty.”

The infographic points to newly released data from the Department of Labor and Training which shows that women working full-time in the Ocean State earn 81 percent of what men working full-time earn. U.S. Census data released in September also shows that 66 percent of female-headed families have children under the age of 18 present.

"In Rhode Island, the median income of families headed by women with children under 18 is just $22,700,” said Marcia Coné, CEO of Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. "This is significantly less than the income needed to afford average rents in the state, let alone to afford to purchase the median priced single-family home."

The severe housing cost burden is not limited to the rental market. The infographic also shows that nearly one in four female-headed families who own their home spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing expenses.

“The data released in this infographic clearly show that women are disproportionately affected by the lack of affordable housing in Rhode Island,” Coné said. “We encourage policymakers to develop and implement strategies that will ease the severe housing cost burden facing so many women in our state.”

Women and Housing in Rhode Island Infographic

About Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

The mission of Women’s Fund of Rhode Island is to invest in women and girls in our community through research, advocacy and grant making designed to eliminate gender inequality through systematic change. Women’s Fund is committed to social change grant making that focuses on long-term solutions to societal problems. Women’s Fund believes in making strategic grants, sometimes for only one or two years, with the intent of addressing immediate social change. It has narrowed its focus to the key areas of civic engagement, economic justice and political representation. Over the past 10 years, the Fund has awarded 55 grants to 27 organizations, founded a Women’s Policy Institute and started a campaign to ensure the number of women in governor-appointed cabinet-level positions doubled.


About HousingWorks RI

HousingWorks RI is a coalition working to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have a quality, affordable home – an essential component of our state’s economy.  HousingWorks RI taps the talents, experience, information, influence, networks, and energies of more than 140 member organizations, institutions, corporations, agencies, and advocates. HousingWorks RI members include banks, builders, chambers of commerce, colleges, community-based agencies and advocates, faith groups, manufacturers, preservationists, realtors, municipal officials, and unions.

HousingWorks RI’s vision is a state with communities that embrace a variety of housing choices so Rhode Islanders, regardless of income, can live in quality, affordable homes in vibrant and thriving neighborhoods.