ProJo: R.I. facing a crisis in affordable housing

North Kingstown duplex illustrates the regulatory battles developers face; state's housing crisis will rival those in Boston, New York and San Francisco, where costs have escalated to the point where only the wealthy can buy homes

NORTH KINGSTOWN — A new duplex on Elm Drive, a quiet, dead-end street near Wickford village, is ready for occupancy. Each of the two apartments will be rented to tenants who are 55 or older at prices of $1,155 per month, all utilities included.

The two market-rate apartments next door rent for $2,000 a month, in a suburban neighborhood that also includes single-family houses and the Wickford Condominiums. The tenants in the new, energy efficient units must have annual incomes at or below 80 percent of area median income, which means $40,400 for one person, or $46,200 for two.

Developer David Caldwell Jr. said the duplex cost $296,586, including $62,474 for site work, and it was built without any public subsidy. Instead, the town gave Caldwell a density bonus that allowed him to build next to an existing duplex by subdividing a lot.

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Courtesy of Providence Journal

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