Providence RI


Municipality of Providence RI

Figuring largely in U.S. history, Providence was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, who was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his belief in the separation of church and state. It is the only region that is a municipality.

As the state’s capital, it is often referred to as the Capital City. Having undergone a massive transformation in the 1980s, the city has become increasingly known for its arts scene and food, and now consistently ranks among the top tourist destinations by Travel + Leisure. Providence is comprised of 25 distinct neighborhoods that reflect its history and diversity.

The State’s Capitol Building in Smith Hill is steps away from Downtown and Federal Hill, with their multitude of theatres and restaurants. From there, the city encompasses the East Side’s six neighborhoods, known for its academic institutions and historic homes; its northern neighborhoods include many single-family communities as well as two additional colleges; its western neighborhoods, which were key to the City’s manufacturing base, is now home to multiple cultures and languages; and the southern neighborhoods that feature much of the City’s traditional triple-decker multi-family housing stock, numerous ethnic markets and is anchored by the 427-acre Roger Williams Park.

Housing Needs of Providence RI

As both a single municipality and a region, the housing needs of Providence is primarily reflected in its affordability challenges as two distinct real estate markets with two very disparate populations: one on the “East Side” and the other being the rest of the city.  Providence is not only the state’s capital, but its largest municipality—nearly double the size of the next two largest municipalities.  According to the 2016 Projecting Future Housing Needs Report, the region comprises more than half of the need of the state as a whole. Fifty-six percent of the renters in the region are considered cost burdened, or pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing costs. Fifty-two percent of the region’s households, or 36,665, fall below 80 percent of area median income. Unlike the other regions, the majority of household growth is projected to be households between the ages of 25-44.

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Region's Housing and Range of Costs & Types

  • Total Households 64,191
  • Projected Need of Additional Housing by 2025  -0,882 - 22,201 (87% multifamily)
  • Median Single Family Home Price $300,000
    • % Owners 38%
  • Average 2-Bedroom Rent $1,846
    • % Renters 62%

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  • Train Lines - 2 (MBTA & Amtrak)
  • Express Lines - 13
  • Local Bus - 20
  • Key Corridor - 9
  • Park-n-Rides - 1
  • Rapid Line - 1

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The Providence Region has a total of 112,138 Total Private & Government Jobs, with a private sector wage of $55,868. Its Top Industry Jobs are:

  • Healthcare - 27,173
  • Education - 16,087
  • Leisure & Hospitality - 10,562
  • Administrative & Waste Services - 8,162
  • Retail Trade - 6,951

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  • Colleges - Brown University, CCRI-Liston Campus & Shepard Building, Johnson & Wales University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University-Metro Campus, University of Rhode Island-Shepard Building
  • Public High Schools - Birch Vocational, Central, Classical (application required), Hope, Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex (William B. Cooley HS & Providence Academy of International Studies), Mount Pleasant, Providence Career & Technical Academy
  • Public Charter & State Operated High Schools - Academy for Career Exploration, Metropolitan Regional Career & Technical Center, Rhode Island School for the Deaf (PK-12), Times2 Academy
  • Private High Schools - La Salle Academy, Lincoln School (Girls', Gr 1 -12), Moses Brown School (PK-12), School One, Wheeler School (PK-12)

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  • Hospitals - Butler (behavioral health), Hasbro Children's, Rhode Island, Roger Williams Medical Center, The Miriam, Women & Infants'
  • Urgent Care Centers - 3

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One Empire Plaza
Providence, RI 02903

RI Alliance for Healthy Homes

A project of
HousingWorks RI