Town of Narragansett: Understanding and Building Support for Housing Affordability

Welcome to the Town of Narragansett’s housing affordability and public engagement website. Since November 2023, the Town has been engaged with HousingWorks RI to develop an understanding of housing opportunities and conditions. This work will be ongoing through the fall of 2024. Here you can find information about the ongoing public engagement process surrounding affordability and share your perspective to inform our work.

Information about public workshops is now available! Scroll down to learn more.


Narragansett Housing & Livability Survey

We want to hear from you! Take our survey here. HousingWorks RI, in collaboration with the Town of Narragansett, has developed a survey to support its public engagement efforts surrounding the topic of affordable housing. The survey is for those who live, work, or own property in Narragansett.


We know housing affordability is a critical issue across our town, county, and state. We see it in the decline in school enrollment and the fierce competition in our real estate market. The Town is now engaging in a public education and engagement campaign to complement the work done over the last year that informs our policies on how best to meet our community’s needs for housing.

This work has included:

  1. The adoption of a Comprehensive Plan in 2017, with support from Horsley Witten Group, which includes an affordable housing chapter.
  2. The formation of an Affordable Housing Trust Collaborative in 2021 to identify opportunities for affordable housing development.
  3. The Town Council engaged Crane Associates of Burlington, Vermont, to conduct a housing inventory study and needs assessment. Their executive summary can be viewed here.
  4. The Town Administration has implemented zoning and subdivision regulations to comply with the various housing-related bills passed by the General Assembly in 2023. The Town is also anticipating future regulatory amendments to address pending General Assembly initiatives.

Ongoing Engagement



HousingWorks RI, a community partner of Roger Williams University—known for its annual Housing Fact Book—has been contracted by the Town to coalesce the results of the various studies and zoning regulatory changes into a manageable and understandable series of public workshops targeted at alleviating public misunderstanding of the housing need in town and allay fear or confusion of how development of affordable housing may affect the Town and its neighborhoods.

This project will primarily focus on engagement of the public through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • Focus groups of planning and zoning boards, town council, and Affordable Housing Trust Collaborative
    • These focus groups sought to understand concerns around affordable housing that stakeholders feel and hear from community members.
       
    • Status: Conducted from late November to early December 2023. Read the summary report here.
  • Survey of town’s residents, workers, and investors
    • This survey seeks to gather data on resident experiences with housing and affordability.
    • Status: Help us reach our goal of hearing from at least 1,000 households. Take the survey here, and please share the link widely! The survey closes on June 30th.
  • Stakeholder engagement
    • HousingWorks RI is connecting with community stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities around affordable housing.
       
    • Status: We continue to reach out to various organizations and leaders. If you would like to contribute to these discussions, please reach out to Annette Bourne (abourne@rwu.edu) or Toby Arment (tarment@rwu.edu).
  • Community Workshops
    • In gatherings at community spaces, residents will discuss specific topics of common concern in a facilitated setting. These conversations will spark reflections about what was heard and ways of mitigating the problems that were identified.
    • Status: Six two-hour public workshops will be provided during the month of June. The scheduled dates and times of the workshops are below. All are welcome to attend. Registration is suggested, but not required. Register here!
    • Two sessions of three workshops are being offered. We highly encourage residents to attend one of each workshop as they are designed to build upon each other to help build a story of the Town of Narragansett.

  • Workshop 1: From Village Life to Suburbanization
    • Saturday, June 15th at 11 a.m. at 53 Mumford Road
    • Saturday, June 22nd at 11 a.m. at 53 Mumford Road
  • Rhode Island is often characterized by its small village centers. Yet, few villages remain the walkable centers of community life they once were. In this workshop, we will discuss the rise and fall of these villages as the central aspect of life, specifically focusing on Narragansett.

  • Workshop 2: Modern Day Challenges: 1970s to Present
    • Tuesday, June 18th at 6 p.m. at 170 Clarke Road
    • Tuesday, June 25th at 6 p.m. at 170 Clarke Road
  • Like elsewhere in the United States, the suburbanization of Rhode Island saw an explosion of neighborhoods dominated by single-family homes and the automobile, accompanied by a demographic population and economic shift away from central cities. Significant changes in the real estate market and a lack of sustained investment in housing led to skyrocketing housing prices and deepened the legacy of socio-economic segregation. Come learn about what states and municipalities are doing to encourage more diverse types of homes at price points that average incomes can afford.

  • Workshop 3: Facing the Future: Ensuring a Livable Narragansett
    • Thursday, June 20th at 6 p.m. at 170 Clarke Road
    • Thursday, June 27th at 6 p.m. at 170 Clarke Road
  • As we look toward the future, Narragansett faces a wide set of challenges. Rising sea levels. Housing affordability. Shrinking school enrollment. In order to ensure that Narragansett remains a place where future generations can live and thrive, this workshop will reflect on ways to mitigate current struggles and forge a way toward a sustainable future for all who live and work here.

  • Collecting “stories of place”
    • Though our decisions of where we live are sometimes out of our control, we often form emotional connections to those places. We are asking community members to share their "story of place"--it could be about your life now or some other time. What made it special, and why? These stories will help contribute as starting points for facilitated discussions. Please tell us your “story of place.
    • Status: Please email Annette Bourne (abourne@rwu.edu) or Toby Arment (tarment@rwu.edu) with your contributions. Alternatively, submit your story through the form below. (Stories will not be visible to others.)
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