News & Event
For Immediate Release
November 21, 2019
Contact: Matt Sheaff (401).490.0688, Matt.Sheaff@commerce.ri.gov
Commerce Seeking Applications for Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credits Focused on Manufacturing, Historic Rehabilitations, Mixed-Use in Opportunity Zones, and Workforce Housing
PROVIDENCE -- The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced today it is seeking applications to the Rebuild RI Tax Credit Program for projects focused on manufacturing, historic rehabilitations, and mixed-use developments in Opportunity Zones or involving workforce and affordable housing. Commerce is allocating up to $15 million in tax credits from the program for these types of projects. Commerce is also inviting new applications under its preexisting program.
“The Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit has proven catalytic, spurring new development across the state,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “These additional investments will help new developments get off the ground, put more cranes in the sky, and create more jobs for Rhode Islanders. This round of work will focus in part on smaller projects, including critical manufacturing upgrades and historic property renovations. We thank Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly for the new resources and methods through which to implement this impactful program.”
To qualify for tax credit financing under this $15 million allocation, applications must satisfy the criteria for at least one of the following categories:
Applications under this $15 million allocation should be submitted no later than January 15, 2020 but may be considered on a rolling basis. Special consideration will be given to those projects containing residential units that draw predominantly on the sales tax rebate feature of the program. Commercial development proposals under the preexisting program will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis. Rebuild RI application materials will be available online at https://commerceri.com/incentives/tax-credits-and-financing beginning Monday, November 25.
Applications will be considered for any amount permitted by statute. Applications for awards of $1 million or less and for projects involving affordable/workforce housing, historic rehabilitation, or manufacturing may use the simplified application process.
Since its creation by Governor Raimondo and approval from the General Assembly in 2016, the Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit program has catalyzed 35 projects, totaling more than 5 million square feet of new development, and spurring more than $2 billion in private investment. These projects are adding more than 1,700 residential units to the state and helping to create nearly 12,000 construction jobs.
Courtesy of Rhode Island Commerce
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.
The Senate worked with dozens of individuals and organizations to develop the legislation, including those participating in the roundtable and others who were in the audience.
The package encourages residential development by updating the building inspection process, much of which hasn’t been changed since the 1970s and 1980s. It proposes new housing options so individuals and families struggling to find suitable housing have new options, including accessory dwellings.
The legislation also proposes expanding apprenticeship opportunities in school construction contracts, and it encourages K-12 school systems to teach children of all ages that apprenticeships are among the options they can pursue as they consider careers.
It also reflects a commitment to continue researching issues that require further study, including housing, additional apprenticeship options, the seafood industry, and health care provider reimbursement rates.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the folks in this room – with business, with labor, with cities and towns, and with the public – to build a more vibrant Rhode Island,” said President Ruggerio.
The legislative initiatives are outlined on the following pages.
# # #
SENATE POLICY OFFICE
Building a More Vibrant Rhode Island
Courtesy of the State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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.
Governor Gina Raimondo, theExecutive Office of Commerce,the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and RIHousing
invite you to the
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Rhode Island Convention Center
The half-day housing forum will convene state leaders to explore how Rhode Island can position itself to meet the housing needs of Rhode Islanders while advancing the state economy. We invite stakeholders to join in a cross-sector dialogue spanning business, non-profits, government, healthcare and more. We will discuss strategies and innovations needed to help Rhode Islanders thrive.
Free and open to the public.
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
Rhode Island Convention Center
One Sabin Street
Providence, RI 02903
Courtesy of RIHousing
To achieve our mission we:
• Offer competitive and innovative single family and multi family lending programs.
• Provide housing related education to consumers and others.
• Finance development that builds healthy, vibrant communities.
• Invest housing grants and subsidies to Rhode Islanders with the greatest need.
Rhode Island Housing uses its resources to provide low-interest loans and grants to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, Rhode Island Housing is a privately funded public purpose corporation.
Rhode Island Housing requires its employees to be highly motivated and knowledgeable, have a sound understanding of the changing needs of Rhode Island's housing market, be willing to work within and toward a smoothly integrated operation, demonstrate a commitment to serve the people of Rhode Island, especially those with low and moderate incomes in need of safe and affordable homes, and possess a high level of integrity and a deep respect for all Rhode Islanders, including customers, partners and fellow employees.
Typical developments are characterized by complex, multi-source financing involving taxable or tax exempt bond financing, housing tax credits, federal HOME funds, and other debt and equity sources. Given the highly negotiated structure of this financing and the wide range of clients with whom Rhode Island Housing works, excellent communications skills and an ability to work with a variety of constituents, including non-profit sponsors, for profit developers, investors, and public organizations, is essential.
Based on his/her area(s) of expertise and Rhode Island Housing's funding policies and priorities, the incumbent is assigned specific development proposals (including production proposals, loan restructurings and transfers of physical assets) to review, underwrite and close. At any given time, the incumbent works on 7 to 10 proposals with an average total development cost of between $2.5 million and $15 million. A sampling of specific activities is as follows:
Reviews and analyzes development proposals and makes recommendations for funding based on prudent credit and underwriting standards. This includes determining the completeness of the application and its compliance with applicable regulations and program requirements; evaluating site suitability, marketability, development team capacity and overall project feasibility; coordinating review of proposals with other staff to ensure underwriting issues are identified and addressed; consulting with local project officials, regulatory agencies and others, and working with applicant to resolve issues/deficiencies in funding proposals; preparing presentations for Board approval; drafting commitment letters; and monitoring/coordinating internal processes for loan closing.
Prepares correspondence, technical reports, status reports and schedules as required to implement and complete project assignments, and documents decisions and files.
Promotes Rhode Island programs by disseminating information to Rhode Island Housing clients through correspondence, meetings, and public forums in a timely, courteous and professional manner.
Participates in the development of new loan programs and revisions of underwriting guidelines and procedures in preparation of RFP's as assigned.
Performs special assignments in various program areas such as single-family construction loan program, federal tax credit programs, housing preservation, loan restructuring or financial/database modeling as assigned.
Because of the diverse nature of this position, incumbent prioritizes assignments to meet predetermined deadlines. While ultimate decision-making on project approval rests with others, poor underwriting judgments could have significant consequences on Rhode Island Housing earnings potential, bond/credit ratings and public perception.
Performs all functions necessary to review and analyze development proposals and makes recommendations for funding based on prudent credit and underwriting standards and Rhode Island Housing’s funding policies and priorities.
Performs necessary follow-up to correct errors or deficiencies in development proposals and prepares required file documentation in an accurate and timely manner.
Responds to inquiries regarding Rhode Island Housing funding programs in a timely, courteous and professional manner to promote a positive public image of Rhode Island Housing.
Performs specialized, technical, administrative and/or reporting functions in an accurate and timely manner to ensure compliance with appropriate guidelines/policies as assigned.
Minimum five years experience in commercial real estate lending and/or real estate development with concentration in underwriting, appraisal review, documentation and closing
Working knowledge of federal and state housing subsidy programs
Excellent communications, negotiations, analytical, supervisory, organizational, and problem-solving skills
Strong computer skills, including spreadsheet and report writing applications
Bachelors degree in business administration, real estate or related field (Masters preferred)
Rhode Island Housing is an EEO/AA employer committed to a diverse workforce.
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.
To view the complete article, visit The Block Island Times
Courtesy of The Block Island Times
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.
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