News & Event
Hello, my name is Jill Stauffer and I am reaching out on behalf of DownCity Design to share an exciting call for project proposals! DownCity Design recognizes the challenges that communities are facing in this time of immense change. We are devoting our 10 years of experience in community-based design and our 2020-21 educational programs to increasing Providence’s ability for Creative Adaptation.
DownCity Design will do this through community partnerships and design interventions that promote the adaptation and reuse of existing structures and systems to meet the needs of our rapidly changing society. Potential projects could include, but are not limited to, built barriers, seating, installations, visual campaigns, PSAs, wayfinding signage, or distance markers that help your organization react and adapt to new public health protocols.
Is your organization facing a specific design challenge in adapting your structures, systems, or graphics to this ongoing crisis?
Our youth designers want to design solutions to these challenges to make a healthier, safer, and more resilient Providence.
Submit your project proposal here by June 21st in order to be considered for a Summer 2020 project. Learn more about this opportunity by visiting our website or by emailing Project Manager Devon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Outreach VISTA email@example.com
Courtesy of DownCity Design
The Providence Housing Authority (“PHA” or the “Authority”) was established in 1939, for the purpose of engaging in the development, acquisition and administrative activities of the Low-Income Housing Program and other programs with similar objectives. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) has direct responsibility for administering LIPH under the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended. HUD is authorized to enter into contracts with local housing authorities to make grants to assist the local housing authorities in financing the acquisition, construction and/or leasing of housing units and to make annual contributions (subsidies) to the local housing authorities for the purpose of maintaining the low rent character of the local housing program.
In May 2018, the PHA evaluated national best practices and Project Based Voucher housing trends and engaged our community partners and stakeholders in order to develop and adopt policies for Project Basing units using the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
The project-based voucher (PBV) program allows Public Housing Authorities that already administer a tenant-based voucher program under an annual contributions contract (ACC) with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to take up to 30 percent of its authorized units and attach the funding to specific units rather than using it for tenant-based assistance [24 CFR 983.6]. Under the PBV program, a housing authority enters into a Housing Assistance Payments (“HAP”) Contract with a property owner to pay rental subsidy on behalf of eligible tenants (defined as households earning 50% of Area Median Income or lower). The subsidy is subject to all applicable HUD regulations. The HAP contract may cover either all or a portion of the units in a development.
The PHA may attach PBV assistance for units in existing housing or for newly constructed or rehabilitated housing developed under and in accordance with an agreement to enter into a housing assistance payments contract that was executed prior to the start of construction. A housing unit is considered an existing unit for purposes of the PBV program, if, at the time of notice of PHA selection, the units substantially comply with HQS. Units for which new construction or rehabilitation began after the owner's proposal submission but prior to the execution of the HAP do not subsequently qualify as existing housing [24 CFR 983.52].
Much of the tenant-based voucher program regulations also apply to the PBV program. Consequently, many of the PHA policies related to tenant-based assistance also apply to PBV assistance. The provisions of the tenant-based voucher regulations that do not apply to the PBV program are listed at 24 CFR 983.2. Partners with units selected under this RFP will be required to follow the PHA's Approved Administrative Plan policies for all units under the HAP Contract.
In general, the PHA may not select a proposal to provide PBV assistance for units in a project or enter into an agreement to enter into a HAP or a HAP contract to provide PBV assistance for units in a project, if the total number of dwelling units in the project that will receive PBV assistance during the term of the PBV HAP contract is more than the greater of 25 units or 25 percent of the number of dwelling units (assisted or unassisted) in the project. [24 CFR 983.56]
Exceptions are allowed and PBV units are not counted against the 25 percent or 25-unit per project cap if [FR Notice 1/18/17]:
- For these projects, the project cap is the greater of 25 units or 40 percent (instead of 25 percent) of the units in the project [FR Notice 7/14/17].
The Providence Housing Authority will award Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers to eligible applicants based on the guidelines and ranking criteria as listed below.
To determine eligibility for the program, please carefully read the following information. There will be no exceptions or waivers granted.
To view the complete RFP, click here.
The State Housing Resources Commission (HRC) is pleased to announce the availability of resources under the Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI) program, a State-funded (Affordable Housing Bond) initiative. Working with RI Housing and other stakeholders, the HRC will utilize this program to create and preserve affordable housing throughout Rhode Island.
While the timeline and some of the forms are similar to those required to apply for Rhode Island Housing programs, please note BHRI is a distinct program with separate requirements, forms and procedures. Only those applications submitted through the BHRI RFP process will be considered for State BHRI funding.
The application forms developed (and attached below) include a great deal of information necessary for the HRC and RI Housing staff to properly score your proposals in accordance with the RFP. The intent of this detailed RFP/Scoring system is to enable potential applicants to more fully understand how they might potentially rank against other proposals. At the conclusion of this application process, HRC staff will consult with applicants and stakeholders to assure the process was effective and efficient. Changes in the process may occur based upon this reexamination. Your input into this process is very much appreciated.
Full and complete applications are due to Raymond Neirinckx, HRC staff, no later than 3:00pm on Friday - December 15, 2017. Please assure two hard copies and an electronic version of the application are delivered by the due date. Late applications will not be considered.
Thank you for interest in helping to address the State’s affordable housing needs. We look forward to working with you and community stakeholders to best utilize resources made available.
Questions regarding the applications must be submitted to Raymond Neirinckx at Raymond.Neirinckx@doa.ri.gov. Responses to questions will be made available through the office’s website at http://www.ohcd.ri.gov
Michael Tondra, Chief
RI Office of Housing & Community Development & Housing Resources Commission
For more information, and to find application attachments, click here.
Please contact Jeremiah O’Grady at JOGrady@lisc.org for a complete application and reporting forms.
Courtesy of LISC Rhode Island
Application Deadline: 5 p.m. on Friday August 24, 2018
Non-profit and for-profit organizations, public housing authorities, cities and towns, faith-based organizations and community housing development organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants may submit more than one proposal.
A committee comprised of RIHousing staff and external partners will review all submissions.
Proposals will be ranked based upon the following criteria:
Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018. One original and two hard copies must be submitted to RIHousing, 44 Washington Street, Providence, R.I. 02903, Attn. Carol Ventura, Deputy Director. In addition, one electronic copy of the proposal must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Homes Rhode Island Progress Report
In November 2016, voters approved Question 7, Housing Opportunity Bonds - $50 million.
These funds will support the construction and preservation of affordable housing, support urban revitalization and blight remediation. The State will use $40,000,000 to develop and implement affordable housing opportunity programs through the redevelopment of existing structures and/or new construction. The remaining $10,000,000 will be used to provide funding to develop and implement programs for the improvement of properties that are blighted or in need of revitalization, including residential and commercial properties and public and community spaces.
Funding from past affordable housing bonds has been used to create over 1,900 affordable homes and apartments for families, seniors and veterans in 31 communities across Rhode Island.
In 2012, the State’s voters approved a resolution allowing for “Rhode Island to issue general obligations bonds, refunding bonds and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) for affordable housing”. The HRC is now working on updated regulations for the Building Home Rhode Island program to begin accepting applications for the new $25,000,000 bond.
2006 – 2011 Overview
In 2006, the State's voters overwhelmingly approved a resolution allowing "for the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed $50,000,000 for affordable housing". The program developed under this resolution would be known as Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI).
$12,500,000 was available per year, over a four year period, to support affordable housing. $40,000,000 (80%) of the funds were used to create apartments (rental) that are affordable to most Rhode Islanders; and $10,000,000 (20%) of the funds were used to create homeownership opportunities.
Program regulations were promulgated pursuant to Chapter 128.1, Title 42, in accordance with 42-35, Administrative Procedures, of the Rhode Island General Laws of 1956, as amended. The process solicited input from a wide variety of stakeholders. Regulations detailed the process to be used in the application, evaluation and allocation of funds. Funding priorities and project threshold criteria were also outlined.
At this time, all BHRI funds have been allocated to specific projects in accordance with these regulations.
Below is a description of the distribution process used and summary program accomplishments from the BHRI program during the period 2006-2011.
2006-2011 Distribution Process
The Housing Resources Commission prides itself on the fair and open competitive process it used to distribute the available funds. The State held 8 highly-competitive funding rounds over a four year period.
Once applications were received, Rhode Island Housing and Office of Housing and Community Development, Housing Resources Commission staff reviewed proposals for compliance with program requirements and in accordance with threshold criteria established by the regulations. Rhode Island Housing staff completed underwriting of projects and prepared recommendations, summary sheets and presentation materials for use by a Distribution Committee.
All proposals, accompanied by a review/scoring guidance materials, were provided to this funding Distribution Committee comprised of individuals and agencies with expertise in housing and community development. The Chair of this Distribution Committee was appointed by the HRC Chair. The broad membership of the funding committee reflected the inclusive policies of the BHRI program, as promoted by the HRC. The Committee contained representation from banking institutions, realtors, community development corporation representatives, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and other community stakeholders.
The Committee reviewed each project in detail and developed award recommendations which were made to the full Housing Resources Commission (HRC). The HRC reviewed projects and determined if approval or revision of recommendations was necessary.
It should be noted the distribution process for BHRI funds was coordinated with State Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP) and other resources to maximize efficiency and impact.
The program assisted in the rehabilitation of existing, substandard units (rehabilitation and/or conversion) as well as development of additional housing structures (new construction). Funds were focused on the rehabilitation of foreclosed and/or abandoned properties. Projects were developed for general populations, as well as specialized populations such as veterans, elderly and those experiencing homelessness.
Summary Accomplishments-2006 to 2011
To date, this program has created affordable homes for 1261 households throughout the State. All units are guaranteed to remain affordable for a minimum of 30 years.
Funds were used in conjunction with various other State and federal resources to maximize its effectiveness. Matched funds were expected to generate approximately $450,000,000 in additional investment. The State met this target with each State dollar invested being matched/leveraged by approximately $9 of federal, private and other sources.
A recent analysis of residential building permits, conducted by HousingWorksRI, revealed that construction activities supported by BHRI accounted for more than half (53%) of the total estimated cost of residential construction permitted in Rhode Island from 2007-2010.
The specific number of jobs impacted by the BHRI program is uncertain. However, based upon data outlined above, a significant impact on the residential construction industry was realized. In addition, those persons employed by Community Development Corporation, housing developers/managers, real estate professionals and others involved in these projects were also positively impacted.
For a Distribution of Communities, visit the Office of Housing and Community Development website.
Courtesy of Office of Housing and Community Development
JOB OPENING: COMMUNITY ORGANIZER - LEAD POISONING (PROVIDENCE, CENTRAL FALLS)
FULL TIME (35 hrs/wk)
SALARY: $36,000-$40,000/yr, depending on experience
The Childhood Lead Action Project is looking for a full-time Community Organizer to coordinate grassroots advocacy campaigns aimed at eliminating lead poisoning in Rhode Island. The new organizer will take primary responsibility for staffing our existing activist coalition based in Providence and assisting with related community education and outreach activities. They will also play a supporting role with similar work in Central Falls and other areas of the state.
This is an exciting job for someone who believes that it is possible to change deeply entrenched social problems when groups of people directly affected by injustice come together to hold those in power accountable and demand meaningful reforms. The Childhood Lead Action Project is a great fit for someone who cares deeply about social justice, believes in sharing power and responsibility with others, and who wants to work on system change that will bring wide- reaching benefits to local families.
The Childhood Lead Action Project believes that every child deserves a safe place to play, learn, and grow, and that includes safety from lead. Although our state has made tremendous progress reducing childhood lead poisoning rates over the last few decades, far too many children are still at risk of exposure. Low-income families, people of color, and refugees unfairly face a higher risk of lead exposure, on top of other challenges and forms of discrimination. Lead is all around us - in paint on old houses, contaminated soil, and pipes scattered throughout the drinking water delivery system. However, lead poisoning can be prevented if these sources are removed or covered up properly. We believe this can happen for our whole community if people have access to information, technical training, and financial assistance - and if landlords are required to keep homes lead safe.
In the past, we have won significant victories in all four of these areas. We are proud of these accomplishments, but know this is not enough. We are now working to make the most of current laws and resources and shine a light on the gaps that still remain, such as the clearly unmet needs of undocumented immigrants and others fearful of interaction with the legal system. In general, we are working to increase the supply of safe, affordable housing and build the political and social power of families affected by lead poisoning.
Specific campaign goals currently include:
• Systematic, fair, and effective enforcement of lead safety requirements for rental housing, with steps taken to support tenants in the process and protect them from landlord retaliation, and to ensure that lower-income landlords receive extra help. General landlord accountability to tenants, especially in cases where tenants are uncomfortable requesting or accepting help from government agencies is important. (Campaign steps could include: working w/ tenants to investigate and expose serious cases of retaliation and negligence to the media)
• More financial resources to help low-income homeowners (including landlords) afford repair work needed to keep their properties safe (state and federal policy)
• Systems and practices that will connect existing lead safety resources (e.g., homeowner grants, legal consultation for tenants, free lead safety training for painters and others) to people and communities who need help the most have faced an unfair proportion of the problem in the past
• Regular coordination and stronger partnerships between agencies with enforcement responsibilities and those providing lead abatement assistance (and related services), and systems that will connect these agencies’ resources
The organizer will be responsible for a variety of activities to support campaign and organizational goals. Major advocacy campaign decisions will be made together by coalition members and staff.
• Recruit and provide initial orientation and training to volunteer activists, with special effort made to engage families affected by lead poisoning/lead hazards
• Drive campaign momentum by providing staff support for coalition meetings and activities (scheduling, reminders/turnout, agenda prep, facilitation, etc.)
• Provide structure for focused, inclusive, and fun process as coalition members work to set goals, choose effective organizing tactics, and evaluate/celebrate progress as a group
• Arrange for formal and informal educational opportunities for coalition members, as needs arise (for example, skill-sharing among group members, presentations/Q&A sessions by staff members, etc.)
• Communicate effectively with decision-makers and partner agencies on behalf of the organization, and support coalition members in doing the same
• Participate in meetings, protests, hearings, and other activities planned by coalition, and help coalition members prepare, participate, and reflect on their experiences
• Participate in community outreach and education regarding tenants’ rights, financial assistance for lead abatement for homeowners, and other specific topics related to lead poisoning prevention and safe, affordable housing access (could include: door knocking, house parties, community group presentations, more)
• Maintain organized, accurate records and assist supervisor with reporting on activities and accomplishments to various audiences
• Other tasks, as needed, interested, and assigned by Executive Director
We value learning and growth highly at the Childhood Lead Action Project. The Community Organizer will receive ongoing training and supervision from our Executive Director, with additional support from coworkers. Initial training will include assigned readings, discussions, in-person classes, online tutorials, research assignments, and opportunities to shadow or interview a variety of lead professionals and other contacts. Ongoing training will include occasional opportunities to attend conferences and workshops. Depending on the new staff member’s experience, training topics will include: Childhood Lead Action Project resources, rules, culture, and history; causes and effects of lead poisoning; organizing tactics and strategy; environmental justice/health equity; history of lead poisoning policy and activism; state and local government; short and long-term lead poisoning prevention methods; lead poisoning prevention law and policy; and relevant research methods. We encourage all staff to reflect on their own personal learning styles and goals and share this with the Executive Director so that assignments can be tailored to needs and strengths.
Generous benefits package, reflecting our strong commitment to providing a sustainable work/life balance, includes:
• Health and dental insurance (premiums covered 100% by employer for full-time employees)
• Paid vacation, holiday, sick, and personal days after 3-month trial period, with vacation time increase after 2 and 4 years employment
• Opportunity to participate in a retirement plan, with employer contribution after 2 years employment
• Reimbursement for miles driven for required work activities at standard (federal) rate
Our office is in a beautiful restored Victorian in the West End of Providence, right on several bus lines. Each staff member has a desk, computer, phone, and office supplies. We share a mini kitchen w/ refrigerator, microwave, and toaster. There are also several tasty, reasonably affordable places to grab lunch within walking distance (diner, coffee shop, Guyanese restaurant, Guatemalan restaurant, fruit stand, pizza). Staff are not required to set identical schedules, but we do plan our time so that everyone will be here together on as regular a basis as possible within general office hours. This gives us the opportunity to teach and learn from each other, build trust and community, and work together towards shared goals. It makes it possible for a small staff to be widely accessible and responsive to community members and organizational partners, as a group. Of our 5 current staff members, 3 have worked for the Childhood Lead Action Project for over 10 years.
• Community organizing experience (paid or unpaid) strongly preferred
• Bilingual (Spanish/English) fluency strongly preferred
• Excellent verbal and interpersonal skills
• Highly organized and dependable
• Able and willing to work nights and weekends to accommodate community member schedules and needs
• Driver’s license and regular access to a car (for meeting families in different areas of the state, providing rides to
meetings, actions, etc.)
• Able to help others identify and address patterns of racism, classism, and similar problems
• Able to facilitate respectful and genuine community-building and decision-making within diverse groups
• Comfortable with public speaking, media interviews, door-to-door canvassing, and meeting lots of new people on a regular basis
• Computer skills (ability to use common office programs, troubleshoot typical office hardware and software problems, and learn to use technology that is new to you)
• Basic research skills, including the ability to identify the most important questions to be answered for a project and and evaluate quality of information sources
• Experience teaching adults (in any context) preferred
• Familiarity with Rhode Island/Rhode Island communities very helpful, especially Providence and Central Falls
• Knowledge of the following topics helpful (gained from school, work, or other life experiences):
• Environmental justice/environmental health/health equity
• Housing safety, tenants’ rights
• RI state and municipal government
• Lead poisoning/lead poisoning prevention law & policy
• Refugee resettlement and immigration system in U.S.
• Health and social services available to low-income families in RI
The Childhood Lead Action Project is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, and LGBT individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.
Send cover letter and resume to email@example.com. Application period open until position is filled.
Courtesy of Childhood Lead Action Project
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One Empire Plaza
Providence, RI 02903
A project of HousingWorks RI