News & Event
Position Title: Director of Coordinated Housing Placement
Supervised By: Executive Director
Position Type: Full Time; Exempt
The Director of Coordinated Housing Placement is responsible for coordinating, monitoring, and overseeing key elements of the Continuum of Care's (CoC) Coordinated Entry process to house veterans, families, and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Work will be supported and informed by the Homeless Management Information System, (HMIS), which is administered by the Coalition.
Coordinated Entry is a data-driven concept widely accepted as best practice in homeless assistance systems to achieve three goals:
Primary to the work will be operationalizing the CoC Placement Committees: Veteran, Chronic Homelessness, and Youth and Family placement, bringing together homeless service and housing providers as well as community partners. The goals of these committees are: to place individuals and families in housing; and, identify barriers to placement in housing for resolution at the policy (administrative/legislative) and inter-agency collaboration/cooperation levels.
In addition to placement committee facilitation, the Director of Coordinated Housing Placement convenes. facilitates. and advises systems and policy improvements through other forums and coordinating committees designed to achieve the goals set out above.
Responsibilities and Accountabilities:
Housing Placement Committees
Manage Continuum of Care's By Name Lists for Veterans, Families, and People experiencing Chronic Homelessness
Continuum of Care Support
Other Duties as Assigned
This position is grant funded and continuation of the position is contingent upon the continued availability of funding.
To Apply: Email resume, cover letter and list of at least three professional references with "Director of Coordinated Housing Placement" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm Wednesday, December 13th.
Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless is an equal opportunity employer.
Hiring Salary Range: $55,000 - $60,000
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
2200 Southwood Drive, Nashua, NH
We invite you to be a part of the second New England Lead Conference taking place on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Nashua, NH. Hosted by the New England Lead Coordinating Committee, the conference will include a variety of educational sessions focusing on lead prevention, policy, model programs, outreach, the EPA’s Renovation, Remodeling and Repair Rule (RRP), lead abatement, compliance, and the economics of lead poisoning.
Read more >
October 4, 2017 in Events, Local Interest
The Narragansett Times: Dziobek steps down as Welcome House director
By KENDRA GRAVELLE Sep 29, 2017
SOUTH KINGSTOWN—When Joseph Dziobek accepted the position of executive director of Welcome House of South County nearly three years ago, he had expected the job would make for a simple transition into retirement.
But what was intended as a part-time gig turned into much more than that for Dziobek, who this week left his post.
“It’s been a challenge,” said Dziobek, whose last day on the job was Monday. “And it’s been very satisfying—I feel very close to the people who have been a part of it.”
Dziobek, 66, took the job at Welcome House after retiring from his career as CEO of Fellowship Health Resources. He said he intended only to stay for two or three years.
October 4, 2017 in Local Interest
Final Days to Register: 2017 Housing Fact Book Release
Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Luncheon: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Location: Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street, Providence RI
October 3, 2017 in Events, Local Interest
Rhode Island College: The Defamation Experience
Monday, October 30, 2017
5:00PM - Doors Open
6:00PM - Performance
SPONSORED BY: THE DIVISION OF COMMUNITY EQUITY AND DIVERSITY AND THE DIVISION OF STUDENT SUCCESS
THE PLAY * THE DELIBERATION * THE DISCUSSION
September 27, 2017 in Events, Local Interest
NLIHC: Sign Letters to Support Equitable Housing Recovery after Devastating Hurricanes
Help ensure that low income people and neighborhoods are treated fairly after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. A broad coalition of national, state, and local organizations is calling on Congress, FEMA, and HUD to ensure that the federal response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria is complete and equitable for everyone, especially families and individuals with the lowest incomes who are often the hardest hit by disasters and have the fewest resources to recover afterwards.
September 27, 2017 in Local Interest, National News
Roger Williams University: Social Justice Month Events
Thursday, Oct 19
Mary Tefft White Center
How Housing Works
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Sponsored by Housing Works RI and RWU Chief Diversity Officer
Keywords: socioeconomic status, race, jobs, housing, equity
Workshop with Brenda Clement, Director of Housing Works Rhode Island and Ame Lambert, RWU Chief Diversity Officer.
An overview of housing issues in Rhode Island and connections to the larger social justice agenda.
September 25, 2017 in Local Interest
Providence Journal: People on the move for the week of Sept. 17
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at 5:34 PM
Updated Sep 13, 2017 at 5:34 PM
Rhode Island LISC
Rhode Island Local Initiatives Support Corportation has welcomed two new employees. Jeremiah O’Grady, of Lincoln, joined LISC as program officer after spending more than 12 years at ONE Neighborhood Builders as real estate project manager and director of asset management and operations.
Liz Klinkenberg, of Warwick, was hired as communications director. She brings more than 15 years of public relations experience to her new position, including work for The Miami Herald and The Providence Journal.
The Providence American: Reed Announces $300k in Community Development Grants for NeighborWorks Affiliates
WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to promote healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced an additional $300,000 in federal funding for three Rhode Island-based affiliates of NeighborWorks America (NeighborWorks). These federal funds will help NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, ONE Neighborhood Builders, and West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation to provide affordable housing opportunities, generate job growth, and enhance economic stability for working families. Earlier this year, Senator Reed also helped to secure over $750,000 in federal funding for NeighborWorks affiliates in Rhode Island, bringing total NeighborWorks investment in the state to above $1 million for fiscal year 2017.
September 21, 2017 in Federal News, Local Interest
The Providence American: Providence Unveils PVD Gives Donation Station
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined members of the City Council, public safety officials, and community leaders who have been named to the PVD Gives commission for the unveiling of the City’s first Donation Station at Kennedy Plaza. The retrofitted parking meter is one of ten stations that will be installed across the city to collect funds that will support local organizations that provide housing and services to those in need.
“PVD Gives and the new Donation Stations make it easier to give back,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Our collective generosity can make all the difference in the lives of those striving to get back on their feet. I encourage visitors and residents to chip in and be part of the solution.”
September 21, 2017 in Local Interest
Providence Journal: Report: New England losing 65 acres of forestland per day
By Steve LeBlanc / Associated Press
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM
Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM
BOSTON — New England has been losing forestland to development at a rate of 65 acres per day — a loss that comes at a time when public funding for preservation of open land, both state and federal, has also been on the decline in all six states.
That’s the conclusion of a report released Tuesday by the Harvard Forest, a research institute of Harvard University.
The study found public funding for land conservation in New England dropped by half between 2008 and 2014 to $62 million per year, slightly lower than 2004 levels.
Housing advocates in Rhode Island representing a wide coalition of housing groups including community development corporations (CDCS); public housing authorities (PHAs); homeless shelter providers and advocates issued the following statement on the tax bills passed by the House of Representatives and Senate Finance last week:
“Rhode Island already has an affordable housing crisis, but the tax bills recently passed by the US House of Representatives and under consideration in the Senate would make it a catastrophe. Without the federal tax credits and bonds that these bills weaken or eliminate, tens of thousands of affordable homes will not be built, and tens of thousands of families will be left homeless across our state and country.” said Brenda Clement, Director of HousingWorks RI. “The programs impacted by these bills are critically important affordable housing development and preservation tools, particularly in Rhode Island. We need Congress to protect these vital programs and to invest in the affordable housing resources that we rely on to meet the urgent housing needs of Rhode Islanders.” noted Melina Lodge, Executive Director of Housing Network of RI. “If a tax bill like this becomes law, it will impede our ability to create new affordable housing for years to come and will exacerbate homelessness in Rhode Island resulting in more families out on the streets irreparably harming our communities. ” said Bert Cooper, Interim Administrator of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. “This legislation would increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion which will put immense pressure on lawmakers to make massive cuts to programs that benefit low-moderate income people including federal housing programs.” noted Michael Lyckland, President of the Public Housing Association of Rhode Island.
The House tax proposal:
· Significantly weakens the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, a successful public-private partnership that has become the foundation for affordable housing development across New England and the nation. While the credit itself is retained, it would be significantly weakened due to the corporate tax rate being significantly lowered. With less of a need for tax credits, the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit would drop, greatly reducing investments in low income housing by private companies. If not addressed, over the next five years, this will result in the loss of more than $35 million that could have been used to develop or preserve 400 homes for Rhode Island families.
· Eliminates the tax exemption on Private Activity Bonds, including multifamily housing bonds. This tax exemption allows bond-financed multifamily projects to access ‘4% Housing Credits,’ which have helped produce or preserve tens of thousands of affordable homes in New England. Developments financed with 4% credits often serve households with extremely low incomes, and these credits have also been used on mixed-income developments, helping to meet overall demand for market rate housing while providing rents that households with lower incomes can afford. Tax-exempt bonds are also used for reduced interest mortgages for first time homebuyers. Rhode Island currently utilizes 4% housing credits with tax exempt bond financing to preserve about 400 units every year. In addition to preserving our stock of affordable homes, that investment results in $6 million annually in construction activity, supporting 135 construction jobs.
· Eliminates the New Markets Tax Credit, a vital resource for community revitalization efforts in distressed areas. In Rhode Island, recent projects supported by the New Markets Tax Credit include Amos House, the Boys & Girls Club in Pawtucket and the Institute for Nonviolence. Housing. Between 2003 and 2015, $412.4 million in NMTC allocation leveraged an additional $405.7 million from other sources for a total of $818.1 million in project investments to 62 Rhode Island businesses and revitalization efforts, creating 8,720 jobs.
· Eliminates the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which has had a great impact in Rhode Island attracting developers to invest in once vacant, deteriorated, and underutilized structures, such as old mills, schools, and hospitals, and transforms them into much needed housing and commercial space. Hundreds of historic and iconic buildings in Rhode Island have been returned to use, creating homes resulting in tens of millions in new local tax revenues. Based on Grow Smart RI's analysis of data from the US. Census Bureau and a 2017 Rutgers University report, Rhode Island ranks first in the country on a per capita basis for its volume of recent historic rehab expenditures associated with the federal credit.
· Reforms the Mortgage Interest Deduction, which has been a long-standing effort of housing advocates and would ordinarily be a major step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the tax proposal uses the resulting savings to pay for tax cuts, not to fund new investments in affordable housing.
· Increases the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion, putting immense pressure on lawmakers in future years to make massive cuts to programs benefiting low- and moderate-income people, include federal housing programs.
HousingWorks RI at RWU is a clearinghouse of information about housing in Rhode Island. We conduct research and analyze data to inform public policy and promote dialogue about the relationship between housing and the state’s economic future and our residents’ well-being.
Public Housing Association of Rhode Island (PHARI) is an association of twenty-five public housing authorities throughout the state dedicated to providing safe, affordable and decent housing.
The Housing Network of Rhode Island is the state association of non-profit community development corporations. Our members have developed and build thousands of units of affordable housing throughout the state and initiated numerous revitalization efforts in neighborhoods across Rhode Island.
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.
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, email@example.com.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
By: Cassius Shuman, Friday, 10/20/17
With the current travails of Edward Roberge, the Town Council appointed Town Manager, whose negotiations are on hold until he finds housing on Block Island, the Town of New Shoreham is facing what Town Councilor Chris Willi says is a “critical issue” that should be addressed by providing a “housing stipend.” (Roberge told The Block Island Times on Wednesday that he feels he’s getting closer to finding housing.)
“Securing any credentialed employee, or employees in general, for any position in the private or public sector requires housing,” said Willi. “It’s obviously much harder here, so it is critical to retain someone. Case in point; look at the (Block Island) Medical Center and Dr. (Mark) Clark — no different.”
The Town Council appointed Roberge by unanimous vote as its new Town Manager on Sept. 25. The problem is Roberge has been unable to conclude negotiations with the town and move into office at Town Hall because he has not secured housing; a dilemma that the town and many of its hires have been burdened with in the past.
Roberge, who will be relocating from Bow, New Hampshire, travelled to the island on Oct. 12 to look for housing. Willi said Councilor André Boudreau has been assisting Roberge with his search. “André has been shepherding this part along and I believe it’s very close to being resolved.”
“Obviously Mr. Roberge cannot commit to a contract without housing — call it part of a salary or assistance,” said Willi. “Any Town Manager would consider housing costs before agreeing to a salary.” Willi said “availability” and “cost” are the main issues impacting Roberge’s housing search.
Willi said the town shouldn’t necessarily be in this position, and the wounds may be self-inflicted. “The reality is the entire Town Council voted (during an April 6, 2016 meeting) to have the Large Capital Asset Strategy group look at an approach for employee housing, and did not endorse Mr. Warfel’s suggestion,” which included offering a housing stipend. Chris Warfel served as Councilor on the previous Town Council.
The minutes from that meeting reflect Willi’s assertions, and note that First Warden Ken Lacoste believed at the time that “the existing compensation and benefit line are adequate to cover salary and housing.”
Second Warden Norris Pike, who also served on the previous Town Council and voted no on a housing stipend, said he feels that providing a stipend would open Pandora’s Box. “I was opposed to the housing stipend,” he said. “If we were to propose a housing stipend for every town employee we would have to take it to the Financial Town Meeting. Providing a housing stipend doesn’t make a lot of sense. The money could be negotiated into the Town Manager’s contract instead of providing a stipend.”
When asked her response to Willi’s comments, Councilor Martha Ball said, “Thank you for providing me the opportunity, but I will not dignify a totally inappropriate Facebook post with a response. We are in negotiations, it is beyond irresponsible to play that out in the press. Bringing those negotiations to a positive conclusion is my priority right now.”
Willi said that it’s water under the bridge. “We need to consider our town budget and compare mainland costs to island costs, taking into consideration availability as a factor and determine the (housing) stipend. I couldn’t possibly suggest a number until I see the numbers.”
“The compensation and benefit line would obviously give consideration to housing costs. We needed to go the extra step, in my opinion, and actually have the housing options available before we advertise or hire someone,” said Willi. “This could have been done through the bid process in advance. Mr. Warfel’s suggestion was a good one.”
Willi noted that the town has “programs in place that need enforcement. Then we can assess moving forward” on this housing issue. “Seasonal housing is as big an issue as year round housing. We have done an excellent job with affordable home projects like the one I live in, but more is clearly needed.”
Pike said the town needs to come up with a way to provide “year-round apartments, first for teachers, then police officers, and town employees, if needed.” The housing the town provides “should be secure and affordable. I think we have the land and the ability to do something like that. The rent would offset the cost.”
Update from Roberge
Roberge told The Times that he and his wife had a “short, but productive visit” on Block Island on Thursday, Oct. 12. “While options are limited, we do feel we are getting closer to some possibilities that could work,” said Roberge, who noted that he took the 9 a.m. ferry to the island and departed at 3 p.m. “We’re still working out the length of term of the rental with the property owners.”
“We looked at three properties, as well as quick ride-bys on several possibilities,” said Roberge. “First Warden Lacoste and Councilor Boudreau joined us in visiting the properties. Councilor Ball met us at the ferry to say hello and welcome my wife to the island. That was very nice.”
Pike said there appears to be “some possibilities” for housing for the new Town Manager. “I think Ken and André have located a couple of houses, so it’s not a crisis.”
As for the boat ride during what were adverse conditions last Thursday, Roberge said, “The boat ride was a little bumpy, but we made it out and back just fine. It ended up being a beautiful day. We love to be out on the water.”
Courtesy of The Block Island Times
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at 12:01 AM
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For families with household incomes below $50,000, the improving housing market in 2016 meant rising prices, and fewer homes and apartments they can afford to rent or buy, according to a new report from HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University.
The report found that in 2016, only two communities, Central Falls and Providence (not counting the East Side) offered “homes for sale that fit a household budget of under $50,000.”
For renters, there was no municipality in the state where the average cost of a two-bedroom rental apartment was affordable on a household income of $30,934, the median income for Rhode Island renters.
Even for renters earning less than $50,000, there were just six communities where the average rent price was “affordable:” Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence (without the East Side) and Woonsocket.
Housing is deemed “affordable” if housing costs consume no more than 30 percent of a household’s gross income.
“Simply put, Rhode Island needs more housing,” said Barbara Fields, executive director of Rhode Island Housing. “The real estate market is booming right now, and that means housing prices are rising — which puts pressure on families who are already struggling to get by. The good news is that we have already begun taking steps to increase production, and the $50 million housing bond that passed last year is a start.”
As the “affordability gap” grew, there was also a jump in the number of foreclosures last year. There were 1,561 foreclosure deeds issued in the Ocean State in 2016, an increase of 32 percent compared with 2015, according to the 2017 Housing Fact Book.
In addition, “Rhode Island’s rate of seriously delinquent loans is still among the highest in the United States, ranking ninth in the fourth quarter of 2016,” the report added.
The Fact Book, an annual report from HousingWorks RI, tracks affordability and other housing issues across the state. It was scheduled for release Wednesday at HousingWorks’ annual luncheon, which this year includes a morning panel discussion “offering an in-depth look at the numbers.” HousingWorks RI is a nonprofit research group that became part of Roger Williams University in 2014.
The Fact Book also tracked an increase in 2016 in building permits, which rose by 23 percent to 1,226 permits. But this level is still far below projected needs.
“As noted in the Projecting Future Housing Needs Report (2016), commissioned by Rhode Island Housing, over the next 10 years there is an anticipated need for more than 34,000 new homes,” the Fact Book added, and “demand is for more than 27,000 of those to be multifamily and able to serve households with incomes less than 80 percent of area median income ($40,400 to $68,000 for households of one to four across the state).”
But many communities still have far to go in reaching the state-mandated goal of having 10 percent of their housing stock be long-term, deed-restricted affordable housing, the report added. Just five communities have met the goal: Central Falls, Newport, New Shoreham, Providence and Woonsocket.
Communities with less than 3 percent include: Barrington (2.66), Charlestown (2.86), Exeter (2.36), Foster (2.05), Glocester (2.23), Little Compton (0.56 percent), Portsmouth (2.83), Richmond (1.89), Scituate (0.85), and West Greenwich (1.41). However, statewide, the average is up to 8.29 percent.
Rhode Island continues to have an exceptionally low homeownership rate, particularly for communities of color.
“At 60 percent, Rhode Island has the lowest rate of homeownership among the six New England states, and ranks 46th nationally,” the report added. “Across race and ethnicity, homeownership rates in Rhode Island show great disparity. White residents have a homeownership rate of 65 percent, while Latino, Black and Asian household rates are 28 percent, 31 percent and 50 percent, respectively.”
On Twitter: @ChristineMDunn
R.I. housing costs, 2016
Median house price: $239,900
Income needed to afford this: $68,065
Average two-bedroom rent: $1,288
Income needed to afford this: $51,520
SOURCE: 2017 HOUSING FACT BOOK
Courtesy of Providence Journal
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