News & Event
RIHousing and the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) are hosting the second round of public meetings to solicit input on proposed recommendations related to housing and community development in Rhode Island.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Click here to learn more.
Monday, February 24, 2020
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Auditorium, Westerly Public Library
44 W Broad St, Westerly
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Dining Hall, Amos House
460 Pine St, Providence
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Ballroom, Edward King Housing
35 King St, Newport
Please share this email with your contacts and help us spread the word.
Visit our website to learn more about the process and stay up-to-date!
Courtesy of RIHousing
By Stephen J. O’Rourke & Thomas Zampa
Public housing remains a valuable program that has assisted millions of low-income Americans in meeting their basic housing needs.
Created by the Housing Act of 1937, public housing has been the primary housing program of the federal government. At the height of the program, there were 1.4 million units of public housing. Now, for a variety of reasons, there are approximately 1.1 million units serving families, the elderly and disabled.
Public housing has gone through several iterations since its creation. Soon after the program was created, the Second World War started, and newly constructed public housing became home to war industry workers. The Chad Brown development in Providence – the first public housing build in Rhode Island – housed hundreds of workers producing war materials at the American Screw Company. At the other end of Providence, Roger Williams Housing sheltered workers from the Kaiser Shipyard that built freighters that delivered troops and ferried material to the war zones in Europe and the Pacific.
Public housing during that era was short-term housing. Many returning war veterans started their families in public housing. Once they obtained a job and were settled financially, they moved on. Public housing gave them an opportunity to get settled and move on.
In the mid-1960s, the housing program changed dramatically. No longer was public housing occupied by extended families with at least one employed adult. Public housing became home to the very low-income, mostly single parent households – almost all female – receiving some type of public assistance. It was during this period that public housing changed from a well-liked and well-respected program to one that was disfavored for what it now represented: the warehousing of the poor with a myriad of behavioral problems.
The sixties also saw the constructions of housing for low-income elderly. The first public housing in West Warwick – West Warwick Manor – was constructed during this period. It is home to 126 elderly and disabled individuals and families. Clyde Tower followed some years later with an additional 124 units of affordable housing.
Many of the problems at the family public housing developments were the result of well-meaning, but misguided public policy decisions. The creation of programs that discouraged work and family formation enabled young women to raise children without spousal support and at the taxpayer’s expense. Rules that forbade the enforcement of rules of behavior also was a contributing factor to the low image of the program.
Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal agency responsible for public housing, have over the years created supportive services to assist persons in public housing achieve self-sufficiency. Its purpose was to go beyond entitlement.
HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program provided numerous incentives for public housing residents to help themselves by achieving a life of independence by assisting in job skill training and employment opportunities.
There are many myths about public housing. Much has been written about the welfare queen with four or five kids on public assistance. This is the exception, not the rule. The average size of a public housing household has shrunk substantially and now averages the household sixe of other non-subsidized households. Their tenure in public housing has decreased as well. Very few families live their entire lifetimes in public housing. Approximately 50 percent of public housing is home to elderly and disabled individuals and families.
No greater source than the Bible states that the poor will always be with us. With housing markets increasingly more expensive and out of reach for lower-income families and the elderly, public housing remains a cost-effective means to house our low-income population and should continue to receive our support.
O’Rourke is executive director of the West Warwick Housing Authority, and Zampa is its chairman.
Courtesy of The Kent County Daily Times
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.
These changes could help offset the impact of the lowered corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, which effectively reduces the value of Housing Credits to corporate investors. Some experts estimate that the lowered corporate tax rate will significantly reduce investor demand for the Housing Credit and could result in 20,000 fewer homes being built under the program annually.
Courtesy of NLIHC
Public Notice/Public Comment Period: State of Rhode Island Consolidated Plan and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
Suspended: Public Notices published in the Providence Journal (March 16, 2020) and the Spanish-language newspaper Nuevos Horizontes (March 13, 2020) stated that the State of Rhode Island’s Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice would be posted to RIHousing's Website starting March 23, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, the posting of these documents has been suspended until further notice. Additionally, the Public Hearing originally scheduled for April 8, 2020, is also suspended until further notice.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Ben Carson, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
HUD No. 19-013
HUD Public Affairs
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
14-day advance notice designed to encourage year-round maintenance
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it is dramatically reducing the advance notice it provides to public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment developments before their housing is inspected to ensure it is decent, safe and healthy. HUD’s new standard provides PHAs and private owners of HUD-assisted housing 14 calendar days’ notice before an inspection, a dramatic reduction from the current notice which can frequently extend up to four months. Read HUD’s notice [hud.gov].
In addition, HUD is launching a series of listening sessions around the nation to gather input from the public and HUD stakeholders about a planned pilot program to test innovative new approaches to inspecting HUD-assisted properties. Initial listening sessions are planned in Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle.
Currently, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) provides advance notice before a scheduled inspection which frequently extends up to 120 days. This amount of lead time allows certain public housing authorities and property owners to undertake cosmetic, ‘just-in-time’ repairs to their properties rather than adopting year-round maintenance practices.
“It’s become painfully clear to us that too many public housing authorities and private landlords whom we contract with were using the weeks before their inspection to make quick fixes, essentially gaming the system,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The action we take today is part of a broader review of our inspections so we can be true to the promise of providing housing that’s decent, safe and healthy to the millions of families we serve.”
Today’s notice is part of a wholesale reexamination of REAC’s inspection process that Secretary Carson launched shortly after taking office. HUD will be consulting with PHAs and property owners over the next several months to discuss other improvements to REAC’s process.
REAC is responsible for inspecting properties owned and operated by approximately 3,700 local public housing authorities nationwide. In addition, REAC-contracted inspectors evaluate approximately 23,000 privately owned apartment buildings. Combined, approximately 96 percent of these properties pass their inspections.
Still, it has been HUD’s observation that many public housing authorities and private owners of HUD-subsidized housing have grown accustomed to REAC’s 20-year-old inspection regime and, in some cases, invest more resources in passing minimal inspection requirements rather than satisfying their obligation to provide quality housing.
Beginning 30 days after publication of this notice, HUD employees and contract inspectors acting on behalf of HUD shall provide property owners and their agents 14 calendar days of notice prior to their inspection. If an owner/agent declines, cancels or refuses entry for an inspection, a presumptive score of “0” (zero) will be recorded. If the second attempt results in a successful inspection within seven calendar days, the resulting score will be recorded.
Read more about how HUD works to ensure taxpayer-supported housing is decent, safe and sanitary [hud.gov].
Washington, DC – A diverse range of organizations from various sectors announced a new campaign today to increase affordable housing for America’s most vulnerable communities.
The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign launched today at the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC’s) Housing Policy Forum in Washington, DC. With financial support from the Funders for Housing and Opportunity, NLIHC launched this new multi-sector affordable homes campaign together with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Children’s HealthWatch, Make Room, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and with a steering committee that includes Catholic Charities USA, Children’s Defense Fund, Community Catalyst, Food Research and Action Center, NAACP, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Education Association, and UnidosUS.
Stakeholders from multiple sectors are increasingly recognizing the importance of affordable housing to their own priorities and goals. The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign seeks to mobilize powerful new constituencies beyond housing to ensure that people with the lowest incomes have access to safe, decent, affordable housing in neighborhoods where everyone has equitable opportunities to thrive.
Recent NLIHC research shows the U.S. has a shortage of 7.2 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income (ELI) renters, and 11 million ELI renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on housing. There are only 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 ELI households nationwide, and no state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters. Just one out of four eligible low income households receives federal housing assistance.
The consequences of America’s affordable housing crisis are spilling over into many other areas like the education, health care, civil rights, anti-hunger, homelessness, and anti-poverty sectors. By combining voices and expertise, leading organizations from these sectors seek to build a broad national movement that promotes federal policies that protect and expand affordable housing.
The long-term goals of the campaign are to promote federal policies that:
The campaign will also act to defend against funding cuts and harmful policy changes in existing low income housing programs.
Opportunity Starts at Home is also working to strengthen the capacities of multi-sector state coalitions that share the campaign’s goals. The campaign has already issued capacity-building grants to partners in seven states: California, Idaho, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah.
“The time to act is now,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO. “The housing affordability problem has reached historic heights. Federal housing assistance is chronically underfunded and faces increasing threats. It’s time for those who believe that everyone in America deserves a safe and affordable home to join in a movement that will ensure fundamental opportunities for people most in need.”
“UnidosUS is dedicated to improving opportunities for Latinos and we’re especially proud of our work over the past 50 years to empower Latinos to contribute and to share in the nation’s economic opportunities,” said Eric Rodriguez, UnidosUS vice president for policy and advocacy. “A good home is the foundation for many of those opportunities: a better education for our children, enhanced employment opportunities, and a safe and stable place for families to live. We joined Opportunity Starts at Home because too many hardworking families struggle to keep a roof over their heads and it will take all sectors of society to make progress and ensure that more Americans, including Latinos, have a place to call home.”
“The United States cannot say we cherish our children when millions of extremely poor children each year suffer through homelessness or are denied access to safe and affordable housing,” said Richard Hooks Wayman, national executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund. “Research shows that half of our intelligence potential is developed by age four. Positive child development is linked to a sense of safety, predictability, and routines. We must do our part to ensure that children have housing stability during a critical stage of development. We must do our part to ensure that housing in this nation is affordable and accessible. And we must do our part to ensure that investments in affordable housing production that keep children safe and secure is continued.”
“NAMI is proud to be a part of this multi-sector housing campaign because access to decent, safe and affordable housing is a critical need for people living with a mental illness,” said Andrew Sperling, director of legislative and policy advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “It is simply not possible to achieve recovery and a full life in the community without stable housing. Given the current threats to rental assistance programs it is critical that NAMI joins with our partners across so many diverse sectors to fight for policies and future investments in affordable rental housing programs.”
“NEA is committed to the three million members and the 50 million students we serve and are pleased to support programs, campaigns and initiatives that are in support of students, educators and families,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association. “We understand and know firsthand the impacts affordable and stable housing have on student success. We also know that given the wages and income of some of our members, it impacts where they work as well as their own families.”
“The NAACP is proud to join this multi-sector housing campaign as it aligns with our goal of economic equality in housing,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “The research is increasingly clear that housing affects all aspects of a quality life; therefore, federal housing policy is very important for the people we serve. We find that threats to federal housing assistance are unprecedented and this campaign will indeed shed a brighter light on the needs of all people.”
“Housing affordability is one of the greatest challenges facing our nation. It limits economic mobility, reinforces racial inequities, reduces health and education outcomes, and is a primary driver of homelessness in the United States,” said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign brings together an unprecedented multi-sector coalition, focused on increasing critically needed federal investments in affordable housing. We are honored to be part of this important effort.”
“No one should be without a safe and stable home, which is why the Opportunity Starts at Homecampaign is so critical, especially now,” said Ali Solis, president and CEO of Make Room Inc. “By partnering with organizations from the healthcare, housing and education sectors who share our mission, Make Room hopes to accelerate our goal of creating a country where everyone has a home that they can afford. We are honored to be part of this important campaign.”
“Too often, the issues of housing, health, education and income security are considered in silos, separate from one another,” said Doug Rice, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “But a home is much more than just four walls and a roof; it’s the pathway to a healthier, more prosperous, and more secure life, and something that far too many Americans cannot attain. We are excited to join forces with leaders in so many fields to advance effective solutions to help our nation’s most vulnerable.”
“A stable, affordable home is a prescription for good health,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, principal investigator with Children’s HealthWatch. “Children’s HealthWatch is excited to join our colleagues on the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign to identify solutions that provide access to safe, decent, affordable housing in neighborhoods where everyone has equitable opportunities to thrive.”
Learn more about the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign at: www.OpportunityHome.org
Opportunity Starts at Home is a new national multi-sector campaign to generate widespread support for federal policies that protect and expand affordable housing.
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
Courtesy of Opportunity Starts at Home, NLIHC
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