News & Event
BY JOAN D. WARREN | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Whittaker, a fifth grade teacher at Hampden Meadows School, has rallied students and their families to collect and fill backpacks for the less fortunate.
So far, they have filled 200 backpacks with personal hygiene items, sweatshirts, socks, bottled water, snacks, and other essentials.
On Thursday night at 6 p.m., a volunteer orientation and engagement will be held at Hampden Meadows School. More than 50 volunteers – parents and students – have signed up to distribute the backpacks this Sunday morning, April 8, at the Friendship Breakfast at Mathewson Street UMC in Providence.
“It’s been amazing to see the support roll in,” said Mr. Whittaker. “I’m so excited this is actually happening. I think it’s important that these kids get to see the end game in their volunteer and donation efforts. Hopefully, it will bring more awareness to the problem of homelessness, but more importantly I hope that people will just get to learn a little about each other and share some stories over a meal.”
The entire student body has participated in this community service project.
The HMS student council donated $500 during a whole school service learning assembly and pledged all the proceeds from their used book sale at the school as well.
Another $700 in donations was raised from students and friends to buy the backpacks. Each class signed up to bring in various items.
Scott Budnick, a friend of Mr. Whittaker and one of the founders of the breakfast, is leading the workshop on Thursday night to prepare the volunteers for what to expect on Sunday – he will offer some keys to communicating with homeless folks.
“Essentially, 40 of these volunteers will be sitting down to breakfast with people, just sharing a meal, and then if they are in need, our volunteers can present them with a backpack. The other 10 volunteers will be working in the kitchen to prepare and then serve breakfast along with some of the homeless volunteers there as well,” Mr. Whittaker said.
Every Sunday morning, anywhere from 250 to 350 homeless men and women, gather for a meal at the Friendship Breakfast. Volunteers from all over the state help to procure, prepare, and serve.
The giving season always peaks during the months of November and December, however, February and March can often be difficult for many to get through.
“Last year, we personally delivered 100 backpacks to many of these folks… only to realize that we were about 100 backpacks short. This year, we have an opportunity to have an impact on an entire population of homeless men, women, and children,” Mr. Whittaker said.
Courtesy of the Barrington Times
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded a record $2 billion to support more than 7,300 local homeless assistance programs across the nation. HUD's Continuum of Care grants provide critically needed support to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
Due to the last year's devastating hurricanes, HUD extended the application deadline for communities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands until February 16, 2018.
HUD continues to challenge state and local planning organizations called "Continuums of Care" to support their highest performing local programs that have proven most effective in meeting the needs of persons experiencing homelessness in their communities. Many of these state and local planners also embraced HUD's call to shift funds from existing underperforming projects to create new ones that are based on best practices that will further their efforts to prevent and end homelessness.
"HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. "We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets."
Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness added, "Continuums of Care are critical leaders in the work to end homelessness nationwide. When communities marshal these--and other local, state, private, and philanthropic resources--behind the strongest housing-first practices, we see important progress in our collective goal to end homelessness in America."
HUD Continuum of Care grant funding supports a broad array of interventions designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness, particularly those living in places not meant for habitation, located in sheltering programs, or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Each year, HUD serves more than a million people through emergency shelter, transitional, and permanent housing programs.
Last month, HUD reported homelessness crept up in the U.S., especially among individuals experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. HUD's 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 553,742 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, an increase of .7 percent since last year. Homelessness among families with children declined 5.4 percent nationwide since 2016, local communities report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness and Veterans increased. HUD's 2017 homeless estimate points to a significant increase in the number of reported persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly in California and other high-cost rental markets experiencing a significant shortage of affordable housing.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.
You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Carson on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness coordinates and catalyzes the federal response to homelessness, working in close partnership with senior leaders across 19 federal agencies. By organizing and supporting state such as governors, mayors, and local planners. USICH drives action to achieve the goals of the federal strategic plan to prevent and homelessness, in order to ensure that homelessness in America is ended once and for all.
Courtesy of HUD
By JOSH BICKFORD | email@example.com
Steve Primiano is worried about the schools.
More specifically, the Barrington Town Council member is concerned about how Barrington’s public schools will be impacted by the new Palmer Pointe affordable housing project if the town decides to extend the development a significant tax break.
More than 10 years ago, a prior town council offered a tax abatement to the East Bay Community Development Corporation when it built the Sweetbriar affordable housing project in West Barrington. That development featured 51 rental units and brought dozens of new students to Barrington’s public schools.
Now, EBCDC is on the verge of beginning construction on the Palmer Pointe affordable housing project on Sowams Road. School officials have estimated that the development will bring more than 30 additional students to Barrington schools.
Mr. Primiano said the additional student enrollment is a good reason EBCDC should be required to pay the full property taxes. The council member said he wants to put the tax abatement issue on a future council meeting agenda.
“I would vote against giving it (the tax break) to them. I support the schools,” said Mr. Primiano. “What about the schools? That’s school money we’re talking about. It’s all about schools. That’s what drives our economy.”
The tax deal for Sweetbriar required that EBCC officials pay 8 percent of the annual rents collected at the housing development instead of the full property tax bill.
Sweetbriar has 51 rental units and the monthly rents range from $603 to $943.
In 2016, EBCDC officials collected a gross rental income of $457,428 at Sweetbriar, and their tax bill to the town of Barrington – 8 percent of the grow rental income – totaled $36,594.
In 2017, the rental income for Sweetbriar went up to $463,572. And when the tax bills go out in August, the affordable housing developer will need to pay 8 percent of the income, which equals $37,086.
So how does that compare to other property owner’s tax bills?
Barrington’s current tax rate is $20 per $1,000 of assessed value. The approximate assessed value of the Sweetbriar development is $5.2 million, meaning that without the tax deal, EBCDC would have a tax bill totaling about $104,000 this year.
Barrington resident Gary Morse believes the town is breaking the law when it forces all other property owners to pay the additional $60,000-plus in taxes that are created by EBCDC’s tax abatement.
“It’s clearly illegal,” said Mr. Morse. “Providence is not giving these tax breaks. Cases have established these are illegal for new construction… They all want affordable housing tax breaks – every Democrat on the council is dead-set on granting these developers these tax breaks. What they don’t realize is these are for-profit enterprises.
Mr. Morse is referring to the Sweetbriar Limited Partnership, which operates under the EBCDC umbrella. Mr. Morse said that shortly after a previous council extended the tax abatement to EBCDC, officials from the non-profit moved ownership rights of the affordable housing development to Sweetbriar LP, which is listed as a for-profit entity. (Council members including Michael Carroll and Steve Boyajian said that the move was a necessity for EBCDC to receive federal tax credits.)
Mr. Morse said tax documents from EBCDC show that Sweetbriar LP declared a $174,306 profit in 2016, and a $171,353 profit in 2015.
Why, Mr. Morse questions, should the town be extending a tax deal to a company that is clearing a profit, year after year?
“You have to look at Palmer Pointe the same way you look at Sweetbriar,” said Mr. Morse. “I think the same thing is going to happen with Palmer Pointe. In the case of Palmer Pointe, taxpayers would be subsidizing a waterfront development. We’re effectively enriching the EBCDC group.”
A tax document from 2011 showed that the former executive director for EBCDC was paid more than $100,000 annually. She also received a pension.
Mr. Morse said Sweetbriar LP or a similar limited partnership for Palmer Pointe stands to cash in on the project – Palmer Pointe, like Sweetbriar, will carry a 30-year deed restriction, meaning that the properties must remain “affordable” for that period of time. But before the deed-restrictions ever run out, the owners can sell the properties to real estate investment firms or other companies.
“They (investment companies) know they can hold on to these properties for a long term and then turn them into market rate units,” Mr. Morse said. “These properties become valuable to anyone before the deed restrictions even come off… There is no restriction to turn around and flip them at any time and they can make a profit. This is the scam that is affordable housing.”
Mr. Carroll and Mr. Boyajian do not believe that EBCDC officials have any plans to sell Sweetbriar or Palmer Pointe to investment firms.
Legislation is flawed
Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll said the town would be following the law if it offers EBCDC a tax deal for the Palmer Pointe development.
He said the town is obligated to offer the tax abatement and he points to a pair of state statutes as the reasons. (Mr. Morse argues that the statutes only require towns to give the tax break to rehabilitated properties and not new constructions such as Sweetbriar and Palmer Pointe.)
The council president said the bigger issue may be the affordable housing legislation, which states that each community’s housing stock include at least 10 percent that is “affordable.” A more recent estimate puts Barrington at about 4 percent, said officials.
“I believe that we want to preserve some housing in Barrington as affordable and I believe that the current act is the wrong way to do it,” Mr. Carroll said.
Mr. Carroll said Barrington offers a unique set of challenges in reaching the 10 percent goal. He said much of the town is built-out and despite a concerted effort to improve the stock of affordable housing, officials would need to build a skyscraper to close the gap. The town’s comprehensive plan would not allow that type of construction in Barrington.
Members of the council recently met with local legislators Jason Knight, Joy Hearn and Cindy Coyne to discuss the affordable housing situation.
“Barrington is not the only one struggling with this act. There are other suburban communities who would like to see some relief,” said Mr. Carroll. “One way is to give extra credit for rental properties – that would give us a boost.”
Mr. Carroll said the state could also give towns that show progress toward reaching the 10 percent mark a slight advantage when they appear before the State Housing Appeals Board.
Mr. Primiano agreed that the affordable housing legislation is a bad fit for communities such as Barrington.
How they would vote
Right now, it is not clear if or when the 8 percent tax deal will appear on a council agenda.
Council member Steve Boyajian said he believes the developer will make the request at some point in the near future, and when they do, he plan to ask for guidance from the town’s solicitor.
“I’m going to ask the town’s lawyers what to do,” he said. “And we’ll go from there.”
Mr. Primiano has already made up his mind.
“I want to make my case that we don’t have to give it to them,” Mr. Primiano said.
Mr. Primiano added that the town has already set a precedent in voting on the potential tax break when the prior council did so more than 10 years ago.
More than a year ago, Mr. Morse filed a lawsuit again the Town of Barrington over the tax abatement issue. A Superior Court judge said Mr. Morse id not have sanding to bring the suit against the town, but the Westwood Lane resident has appealed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Courtesy of Barrington Times
Posted: Sep 06, 2017 06:00 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 06, 2017 06:00 AM EDT
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) - Hundreds of Rhode Island children are starting the school year without a permanent place to live, forcing them to stay with other families, in motels or in the most dire circumstances, on the streets.
But a homeless shelter in Middletown is working to support families by assisting mothers to find jobs and affordable housing while also trying to keep children from falling off track in school.
Lucy's Hearth has been in operation for 33 years, but recently moved into a new building that gives small rooms to 15 families, according to Jennifer Barrera, the organization's program director. Barrera said most families stay in the shelter for between three and six months, although she acknowledged some end up staying longer.
"The best outcomes for us, for the families, are that they achieve permanent affordable housing, that the moms and children, actually the whole family, increases their self-sufficiency," Barrera told Eyewitness News. "So they're getting higher-paying jobs, or they're getting education or training opportunities."
More than 1,000 public school students in Rhode Island were considered homeless during the 2015-16 school year, according to the most recent available data provided to Rhode Island Kids Count, the state's leading child advocacy organization. Providence had the most homeless students (146), but Middletown was second with 117. Only eight communities in the state reported zero homeless kids.
Children who do not have a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence are considered homeless, according to the McKinney-Vento Act, a federal law passed in 1987. In Rhode Island, 64% of homeless students were "doubled up" with other families, 25% lived in shelters, 10% lived in hotels or motels and 1% were unsheltered in the 2015-16 school year, according to Kids Count.
The federal law also allows students who are considered homeless to remain in their home school districts even if they are living outside the district. In Middletown's case, many children who live at Lucy's Hearth during the spring or summer end up enrolling in the district's public schools.
Barrera said between 40 and 50 children from newborns to 18-year-olds live at Lucy's Hearth. While the facility is in excellent condition, she said the goal is limit the amount time families stay in the shelter.
"Although this is a great facility and we work really hard so that the families are healthy and safe and the children have all of their needs met, they still are experiencing an episode of homelessness," Barrera said. "And children who experience homelessness are at risk for a whole host of other issues, even into their adulthood."
Barrera said most homeless children are at risk of facing additional educational difficulties and more likely to have chronic health conditions like asthma and respiratory issues. She said the shelter works with school districts to provide transportation and tutoring to those in need.
She said many of the families that come to Lucy's Hearth have faced significant trauma, including family separation, violence and substance abuse. At the same time, the cost of housing has a continued to grow. A single parent earning the minimum wage would need to work 81 hours a week to afford the average two-bedroom apartment in Rhode Island, according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
And some of the biggest consequences from being homeless can be felt in school. Barrera said teachers see kids who are sleeping in different places every night, are hungry and aren't dressed properly, making it difficult for students to focus on classroom work.
"Homelessness affects all of us and even if you don't know what it means to be homeless or you know someone who is homeless or you see a panhandler on the street, homelessness for children is a great problem," Barrera said.
Barrera said the most important thing adults can do to help homeless families is get involved through donations to shelters or volunteering their time. Donations to Lucy's Hearth can be made here.
Courtesy of WPRI 12
Providence, RI; On Monday, October 1, 2018 the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless hosts their 30th Anniversary Awards Breakfast. The breakfast is being held at the Crowne Plaza, in Warwick, RI from 8:30 – 11:00am. Recognizing the Coalition’s 30 years of working to ameliorate homelessness in Rhode Island the theme of this years’ Awards Program is “Together We Can Change the World.”
The Coalition is thrilled to welcome keynote speaker Jeff Olivet. Jeff has worked in homelessness, behavioral, and public health for more than two decades. As a teacher, writer, and policy leader, he shapes new directions for organizations across the United States. He has worked as a street outreach worker, case manager, coalition builder, activist, and trainer, as well as an inspirational writer and speaker. From 2010 to 2018, he was CEO of the Boston-based Center for Social Innovation, a dynamic social policy company. Jeff is Principal Investigator on multiple research studies funded by National Institutes of Health, and he conceived of and leads the SPARC Initiative (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities), a multi-city effort to address racial inequity in homelessness. His blogs and his Changing the Conversation podcast are followed widely, providing thought leadership for the field. Jeff divides his time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and Washington, DC.
As part of the Coalition’s 30th anniversary celebration they will be honoring a number of organizers, educators and community leaders recognizing their work, dedication and commitment to helping end homelessness in Rhode Island. More information about the award winners will be released soon.
The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless is organized to promote and preserve the dignity and quality of life for men, women, and children by pursuing comprehensive and cooperative solutions to the problems of housing and homelessness. They accomplish this through advocacy, education, collaboration, technical assistance, and selected direct services to homeless individuals and families.
The Coalition envisions a State of Rhode Island that refuses to let any man, woman, or child be homeless. For more information about the Coalition follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rihomeless
Courtesy of Providence American
Updated Nov 11, 2018 at 10:28 PM
U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report released on Nov. 1 found that the total number of reported veterans as homeless in 2018 decreased 5.4 percent since last year and fell to nearly half the number of homeless veterans reported in 2010.
Veteran homelessness in the U.S. continues to decline, according to a national estimate.
In announcing the latest annual estimate, HUD Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said that communities are reporting fewer veterans in their shelters and on their streets. Exhibit 1.7 of the report shows that, among all states, Rhode Island is listed in the top 10, with 1,180 homeless and 69 unsheltered. See the entire report online at bit.ly/2kthLvp.
Each year, thousands of communities around the country conduct one-night “Point-in-Time” estimates of the number of people in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and unsheltered locations. This year’s estimate finds that 37,878 veterans were homeless in January 2018, compared with 40,020 reported in January 2017. HUD estimates that among the total number of reported homeless veterans in 2018, 23,312 were found in sheltered settings while volunteers counted 14,566 veterans living in places not meant for human habitation.
HUD also reports a nearly 10 percent decline among female veterans experiencing homelessness. In January 2018, communities reported 3,219 homeless female veterans, compared with 3,571 one year earlier.
The decrease in veteran homelessness can largely be attributed to the effectiveness of the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines permanent HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services from the VA. HUD-VASH is complemented by VA programs that use modern tools and technology to identify the most vulnerable veterans and rapidly connect them to the appropriate interventions to become and remain stably housed.
Last year alone, more than 4,000 veterans, many experiencing chronic homelessness, found permanent housing and critically needed support services through the HUD-VASH program. An additional 50,000 veterans found permanent housing and supportive services through VA’s homeless programs.
HUD and VA have a wide range of programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans, including health care, housing solutions, job training and education. More information about the VA’s homeless programs is available at www.VA.gov/homeless.
Veterans who are homeless or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless should contact the Providence VA Medical Center online at www.providence.va.gov/services/homeless/index.asp or call (401) 273-7100 and ask to speak to a homeless coordinator. You can also call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-VET. More information about HUD is available at www.hud.gov.
Items of interest
— The Providence VA Medical Center and the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Providence Regional Office are hosting a joint veterans’ town hall meeting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at the Providence VAMC, fifth-floor auditorium, main building, 830 Chalkstone Ave.
Benefits updates and a Q-and-A session will be held.
— The Lincoln Knights of Columbus will honor the service of veterans and first responders to the country and communities with a free breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 8 to 11 a.m., at the Columbus Club of Lincoln, at 171 Jenckes Hill Rd. They will also collect new items to support Operation ROVAC (Remembering Our Veterans at Christmas), which will be given to the men and women residents of the Bristol Rhode Island Veterans Home. Men’s and women’s clothing, winter hats, gloves, scarves, shoes, slippers and handkerchiefs are needed. Books and food are not needed, but there is a definite need for large-print word search books, DVD movies, music CDs, greeting cards, print magnifiers with lights, large-size toiletries, Dove and Irish Spring soap, stick deodorant, shaving cream, cologne and perfume.
— To assist veterans in navigating benefits and other services available to them, the Woonsocket Harris Public Library, 303 Clinton St., will host three informational sessions, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 17, Dec. 15 and Jan. 12, all Saturdays, in the library’s main program room. Tim McGorty, Woonsocket Veterans Service adviser, will answer questions and assist veterans with the benefits process. For more information, call McGorty at (401) 830-2599 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Veterans of Foreign Wars: Gatchell Post 306 Auxiliary, 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 171 Fountain St., Pawtucket; Post 916, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 155 High St., South Kingstown; Lymansville Memorial Post 10011, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 354 Fruit Hill Ave., North Providence; Kelley-Gazzerro Post 2812, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, 1418 Plainfield St., Cranston.
— Vietnam Veterans of America Greater Providence Chapter 273, 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812, 1418 Plainfield St., Cranston.
— Korean War Veterans Association Northern R.I. Chapter 3, 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Glocester Senior Center, 1210 Putnam Pike, Chepachet.
— U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: Flotilla 72, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, USCG Sector Southeastern New England office, 20 Risho Ave., East Providence; Providence Flotilla 78, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Aspray Boathouse, 2 East View St., Warwick.
— U.S. Submarine Veterans Rhode Island Base, 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, R.I. Aviation Hall of Fame building, 6854 Post Rd., North Kingstown, and all submariners are welcome.
— U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans of America Island X-1 Davisville, 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Seabee Museum, 21 Iafrate Way, North Kingstown.
— Fleet Reserve Branch 42, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Seabee Museum, 21 Iafrate Way, North Kingstown.
— Jewish War Veterans of the USA Post 23, 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, Tamarisk Assisted Living Community, 3 Shalom Drive, Warwick, business meeting; for more information call Steven Musen at (401) 463-5159 or send an email to email@example.com.
— American Legion Smithfield’s Balfour-Cole Post 64, Christmas party, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, 170 Pleasant View Ave.
Send veterans’ meeting and news items to George W. Reilly at VeteransColumn@gmail.com.
Pleased by the favorable reception the Planning Board gave the Cherry Hill Lane affordable housing development on May 9, the members of the Block Island Housing Board turned toward implementing that project and others at their May 15 meeting.
“We were thrilled with the Planning Board's support, and look forward to their decision,” Housing Board Chair Cindy Pappas said. The five-home subdivision off Cooneymus Road has been the target of neighbors' objections throughout the permitting process.
Once the Planning Board issues a decision — expected at its June meeting — the next pending issue will be preparing Requests for Proposals for construction, Pappas told the Housing Board. She added that Town Manager Ed Roberge has volunteered to help, drawing on his expertise in developing RFPs.
An infrastructure RFP comes first, and will include the access road, drainage and septic systems, wells, water lines and other underground utilities.
“We know the road standards,” Pappas continued, referring to engineering protocols for the right of way that will serve the new homes and provide a throughway to abutting properties. The septic system design is done and awaiting approval by the state. Member John Spier advised including the final landscaping in the infrastructure RFP, to ensure that the first site work will not have to be redone at the end. Landscape design has been one of the sticking points with the abutting property owners.
Whether the new homes will use modular or stick-built construction is also yet to be determined. Pappas said she will follow up with a modular home builder in Connecticut, and Spier said he will keep in contact with the project's architect, Frank Karpowicz.
Consulting on Merck project
The Housing Board is working with island property owner Josie Merck on the sale of two existing homes, converting them to affordable housing units in the process. Kim Gaffett represented Merck at the meeting to discuss agreements and covenants that will apply to those homes. The homes will be occupied by the current tenants.
“It's well in Joe [Priestley]'s hands,” Gaffett said, referring to Merck's attorney; “he has all the templates.” Gaffett said some “site-specific” conditions may be added, such as limiting mowing of open space and agreements to share maintenance costs of a well and an access road.
Other provisions could establish precedents for future affordable housing projects on the island: Requiring a homeowners' association be created — even for a two-unit development — with a member of the Housing Board serving as an “arbitrator” between the owners, in Spier's phrase; and allowing the owners' children to inherit the property, with the original covenants and conditions continuing to apply.
“We will say the kids can inherit unless told otherwise,” said Gaffett.
Pappas replied that while the Housing Board hasn't taken a position on inheritance policies, “The point is to keep the house in the affordable pool in perpetuity.”
“That's what we're striving for,” Gaffett said. “We're still optimistic that the details will all work out.” Merck's proposal will go before the Planning Board in June.
The Housing Board commented briefly on two other housing matters. Spier said of a parcel recently acquired from the Ball-O'Brien families, “We'll decide what we want to do, and then find out what we can do.”
Pappas replied that she was “still hoping for a mix of homeownership and rental housing” on that parcel, which is adjacent to the E. Searles Ball rental apartments on West Side Road. Spier noted that “homeownership tends to produce a better neighborhood than just rental.”
Pappas also reported that Town Manager Roberge had recently convened a meeting to talk about housing. “Obviously, the town is very interested in housing issues,” she said, noting the vote at the Financial Town Meeting to issue bonds to construct housing for town employees on the Thomas property across High Street from the Block Island School.
However, the Thomas property is not an affordable housing project as described now, she said.
Courtesy of The Block Island Times
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