WhatsUpNewp: After nearly three decades since mandating affordable housing minimums, only five of Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns achieve standards
September 18, 2018 | Frank Prosnitz(Note: Over the next few weeks, WhatsUpNewp will explore affordable housing issues. We'll define the problem, speak with leading politicians and housing officials, listen to the homeless, and explore successful programs elsewhere.)
The headline reads: “It's the New Form of Affordable Housing … more people are living in their cars.”
Or, as Russ Partridge at Westerly's Warm Center suggests, it's campgrounds during the summer, and panic as summer ends and families scramble for more permanent homes, as the school year approaches.
The lack of affordable housing is a critical problem in Rhode Island, according to those working at agencies that provide services to some of the state's most at-risk residents. A 2016 study by Housing Works for Rhode Island Housing said the state would need to add more than 30,000 housing units over the next nine years to meet projected needs.
The lack of affordable housing, including rents that have spiked recently, means that some of the state's poor are paying as much as 60 percent of their income on housing, according to Kids Count, often cutting back on other essentials, such as food or medications.