BHRI: Request for Proposal Round 2 Application

To potential BHRI III applicants: If you plan to submit multiple proposals for BHRI III funding in this round, please attach a cover letter prioritizing applications, for our consideration. Thank You

Building Homes Rhode Island Progress Report

2016 Status

In November 2016, voters approved Question 7, Housing Opportunity Bonds - $50 million.

These funds will support the construction and preservation of affordable housing, support urban revitalization and blight remediation. The State will use $40,000,000 to develop and implement affordable housing opportunity programs through the redevelopment of existing structures and/or new construction. The remaining $10,000,000 will be used to provide funding to develop and implement programs for the improvement of properties that are blighted or in need of revitalization, including residential and commercial properties and public and community spaces.

Funding from past affordable housing bonds has been used to create over 1,900 affordable homes and apartments for families, seniors and veterans in 31 communities across Rhode Island.

2012 Status

In 2012, the State's voters approved a resolution allowing for “Rhode Island to issue general obligations bonds, refunding bonds and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) for affordable housing”. The HRC is now working on updated regulations for the Building Home Rhode Island program to begin accepting applications for the new $25,000,000 bond.

2006 - 2011 Overview

In 2006, the State's voters overwhelmingly approved a resolution allowing "for the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed $50,000,000 for affordable housing". The program developed under this resolution would be known as Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI).

$12,500,000 was available per year, over a four year period, to support affordable housing. $40,000,000 (80%) of the funds were used to create apartments (rental) that are affordable to most Rhode Islanders; and $10,000,000 (20%) of the funds were used to create homeownership opportunities.

Program regulations were promulgated pursuant to Chapter 128.1, Title 42, in accordance with 42-35, Administrative Procedures, of the Rhode Island General Laws of 1956, as amended. The process solicited input from a wide variety of stakeholders. Regulations detailed the process to be used in the application, evaluation and allocation of funds. Funding priorities and project threshold criteria were also outlined.

At this time, all BHRI funds have been allocated to specific projects in accordance with these regulations.

Below is a description of the distribution process used and summary program accomplishments from the BHRI program during the period 2006-2011.

2006-2011 Distribution Process

The Housing Resources Commission prides itself on the fair and open competitive process it used to distribute the available funds. The State held 8 highly-competitive funding rounds over a four year period.

Once applications were received, Rhode Island Housing and Office of Housing and Community Development, Housing Resources Commission staff reviewed proposals for compliance with program requirements and in accordance with threshold criteria established by the regulations. Rhode Island Housing staff completed underwriting of projects and prepared recommendations, summary sheets and presentation materials for use by a Distribution Committee.

All proposals, accompanied by a review/scoring guidance materials, were provided to this funding Distribution Committee comprised of individuals and agencies with expertise in housing and community development. The Chair of this Distribution Committee was appointed by the HRC Chair. The broad membership of the funding committee reflected the inclusive policies of the BHRI program, as promoted by the HRC. The Committee contained representation from banking institutions, realtors, community development corporation representatives, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and other community stakeholders.

The Committee reviewed each project in detail and developed award recommendations which were made to the full Housing Resources Commission (HRC). The HRC reviewed projects and determined if approval or revision of recommendations was necessary.

It should be noted the distribution process for BHRI funds was coordinated with State Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP) and other resources to maximize efficiency and impact.

The program assisted in the rehabilitation of existing, substandard units (rehabilitation and/or conversion) as well as development of additional housing structures (new construction). Funds were focused on the rehabilitation of foreclosed and/or abandoned properties. Projects were developed for general populations, as well as specialized populations such as veterans, elderly and those experiencing homelessness.

Summary Accomplishments-2006 to 2011

To date, this program has created affordable homes for 1261 households throughout the State. All units are guaranteed to remain affordable for a minimum of 30 years.

Funds were used in conjunction with various other State and federal resources to maximize its effectiveness. Matched funds were expected to generate approximately $450,000,000 in additional investment. The State met this target with each State dollar invested being matched/leveraged by approximately $9 of federal, private and other sources.

A recent analysis of residential building permits, conducted by HousingWorksRI, revealed that construction activities supported by BHRI accounted for more than half (53%) of the total estimated cost of residential construction permitted in Rhode Island from 2007-2010.

The specific number of jobs impacted by the BHRI program is uncertain. However, based upon data outlined above, a significant impact on the residential construction industry was realized. In addition, those persons employed by Community Development Corporation, housing developers/managers, real estate professionals and others involved in these projects were also positively impacted.

For a Distribution of Communities, visit the Office of Housing and Community Development website.

Courtesy of Office of Housing and Community Development

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RI Alliance for Healthy Homes

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