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Learn about RIHousing, including Featured News, Key Projects, and The Team.
RIHousing is a self-supporting public agency created by the General Assembly in 1973 to provide financing to increase the supply of affordable housing for families with low or moderate incomes.
Pursuant to its enabling legislation, RIHousing is authorized to issue bonds and other obligations to fulfill its corporate purpose. In addition to its bond programs, the corporation administers the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program, the HOME Investments Partnership Program, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, as well as other state and federal programs.
The corporation supports its staff and operating expenses through bond fund earnings, federal grant administration fees and interest income. RIHousing does not receive state appropriations for its operating budget.
Providence, RI – RIHousing has approved awards for the creation of workforce housing under the agency’s Workforce Housing Innovation Challenge (WHIC) program at its June Board meeting. The awards will help build or preserve 301 rental units, of which 74 will be workforce-assisted units, at developments in Providence and West Warwick.
“Creating more housing options at a range of price points that Rhode Island families can afford is essential to economic growth and development throughout the state,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I’m pleased these awards will help build and preserve 300 units of much needed housing in our state.”
RIHousing’s Workforce Housing Innovation Challenge (WHIC) program seeks to expand the range of housing options available in Rhode Island through the creation of rental homes for households earning up to 120% area median income (AMI), or $103,800 for a family of four in Providence. In many cities across the country, it is increasingly difficult for middle-income workers (teachers, healthcare professionals, municipal employees, etc.) to buy or rent housing in the areas in which they work. This is due to both a lack of available housing options and wages not keeping up with the increased costs of living.
“The term ‘workforce housing’ is most often used to indicate a program targeted at households that earn too much to qualify for traditional affordable housing subsidies typically limited to households at 60% or 80% of AMI” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “The WHIC financing addresses the affordable housing needs of a segment of the state’s workforce, who are increasingly caught in the gap between rising market rents and ineligibility for other affordably assisted housing.”
Currently, the state’s housing stock and building activity aren’t adequately addressing the 80% – 120% AMI housing market. Like many states, in Rhode Island most new unrestricted housing has been built in the ‘luxury’ segment of the market and housing targeted to people who cannot afford ‘luxury’ rents has typically only been built when subsidies were available. However, subsidies are almost always reserved for units that serve families with incomes below 60% of AMI, about $43,260 for a family of four in Providence. Households who need workforce housing may not always qualify for subsidized housing.
In January of 2021, RIHousing issued a Request for Proposals for WHIC Program funds, the second round of funding for the program. The initial round provided $3.4 million in funds to two developments in Providence to assist the construction of 93 rental units, 38 of which are workforce assisted. The second round provides $5.9 million to four proposals.
Funded developments include:
Providence, RI – RIHousing today announced the launch of a new pilot program that provides a pathway to sustainable homeownership for first-time buyers. RIHousing’s HomeSecure Grant program offers educational and financial resources to support new homeowners and is offered in conjunction with a RIHousing mortgage. The program features a robust financial literacy program via a network of partner agencies as well as access to an emergency fund reserve to assist borrowers in the first three years of owning a home.
“RIHousing doesn’t just help people buy a home, we also provide the tools and resources to help buyers keep the home they worked so hard to obtain,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “New homeowners can have unexpected emergencies that make it difficult to make their mortgage payments. This new program helps prepare buyers to become successful homeowners and also acts as a ‘safety net’ if needed.”
The intent of the grant program is to encourage homeownership for first-time homebuyers and ensure that Rhode Islanders have access to credit and a stable and affordable primary residence. The grant provides an emergency fund reserve in the amount of three months of mortgage payments (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) for a period of three years from the closing on the first mortgage loan. Homeowners can access the reserve funds to make their mortgage payment(s) if they experience an emergency and/or temporary short-term event during the term of the grant.
“The grant program provides emergency funds to ensure homeowners have adequate money available in the event of an unforeseen financial outlay,” said Peter Pagonis, RIHousing’s Director of Homeownership. “Coupled with an extensive homebuyer and financial literacy curriculum, the reserve funds are a critical resource in helping homeowners avoid mortgage delinquency.”
The program is being rolled out in partnership with a network of partners who provide pre-purchase homebuyer education and financial literacy courses. Grant recipients must meet certain eligibility requirements and income limits in order to qualify for a mortgage loan via the RIHousing Loan Center.
Grant recipients must also:
“Financial literacy is key to successful homeownership,” said Ventura. “Partner agencies will help prospective buyers understand the importance of budgeting, examining their spending habits, how to purchase and finance a home, and how to plan for their financial future.”
Interested homebuyers should begin by reaching out to one of the partner agencies offering the homebuyer education/financial literacy courses: Community Action Partnership of Providence County; Financial Opportunity Center in Providence; Pawtucket Central Falls Development; Providence Housing Authority; SWAP, Inc. and West Elmwood Housing Development Corp.
Program details and contact information for each partner agency can be found online at www.RIHousing.com/Home-Secure.
Providence, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed, U.S. Congressman David Cicilline, Governor Daniel McKee, and Smithfield Town Manager Randy Rossi joined leaders from Smithfield Housing Authority, Coventry Housing Associates, RIHousing and funding and community partners today to celebrate the completion of new rental homes in Smithfield.
“I’m proud to have been part of the public-private partnership that revitalized this former iron foundry site into beautiful, affordable homes. From planning to development to remediation work to infrastructure upgrades and construction, this project was a true team effort that was many years in the making and will be a tremendous community asset for many years to come. I salute the Town of Smithfield, the Smithfield Housing Authority, Coventry Housing Associates, Gemini Housing Corporation, RIHousing, and many others who made this project a reality. There is a real need for quality, affordable housing and this development offers so much for residents who call it home as well as a blueprint for successful revitalization and building stronger, healthier communities,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “I also want to salute the development architect for this project, the late John Robinson, whose vision was realized here and whose legacy of service includes many contributions, including as a member of the United States Air Force.”
“These beautiful new homes are providing more Rhode Islanders with safe and affordable housing and a great place to raise a family. Affordable housing is key for expanding opportunity and economic growth,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “These new units are helping more Rhode Island families achieve that important goal.”
Located in the heart of the historic village of Georgiaville, a mill village along the Woonasquatucket River in Smithfield, Georgiaville Village Green has successfully remediated a brownfield site while introducing much-needed affordable, family housing into the northern part of the state. A joint venture between Gemini Housing Corporation and Coventry Housing Associates Corporation, the development includes 42 new rental homes and has been recognized by Grow Smart RI and the RI Chapter of the American Planning Association.
“Providing safe, affordable housing to families in Rhode Island is a top priority, and it takes a team effort to make it happen,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The Georgiaville Village Green not only gives 42 families a place to call home, but it also plays an important role in the revitalization of historic Georgiaville. I am thankful to our congressional delegation as well as our housing and funding partners for coming together to complete this project.”
The 42 apartments are available to individuals and families earning less than 60% of the area median income (AMI), approximately $51,900 for a family of four. Five of the units are reserved for individuals and families earning less than 30% of the area median income.
“The Town of Smithfield is proud to be a part of the Georgiaville Village Green Project, having been awarded ‘Outstanding Smart Growth Project’ by Grow Smart RI,” said Randy Rossi, Smithfield Town Manager. “With the help of project partners Coventry Housing Associates Corporation and Gemini Housing Corporation, this neighborhood revitalization project has strengthened the community by providing affordable housing in the heart of the historic village of Georgiaville.”
The property was formerly the Narragansett Gray Iron Foundry mill site, which was demolished by the previous owner and was designated a brownfield site by the State. Site remediation was completed as part of the development.
“Affordable housing is our mission, but moving families into a place they can call home, is our passion,” said Clare Fortin, Executive Director of the Smithfield Housing Authority.
Funding for Georgiaville Village Green came from a variety of funding sources, including $7.95 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, $750,000 in Thresholds funding, a $650,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a $200,000 grant from RIDEM, a construction loan from Citizens Bank, a first mortgage from RIHousing, and $906,000 from the state-funded Acquisition and Revitalization Program (ARP). Georgiaville Village Green was one of the first projects to make use of funds from Rhode Island’s ARP, funded via state bond funding approved by Rhode Island voters in November 2016.
“Projects such as Georgiaville Village Green provide important affordable housing options for Rhode Island residents,” said Keith Kelly, Rhode Island President, Citizens. “As a funding partner, Citizens sees this project as a great way to support the community and put the bank’s capital to good use. We would like to welcome the residents to their new homes.”
“Today we are celebrating more than the completion of 42 new rental homes,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “We are celebrating a community and the families who live here. Georgiaville is the kind of development we need more of in the state. Fortunately, we have the support from our federal, state and local leaders to make these kinds of developments a reality for more Rhode Islanders. Our families and our state will be made stronger with each new development.”
The event also included a flag raising ceremony and dedication in honor of the late John Robinson of Robinson Design, who served as the development architect for the project. Robinson passed away in February 2021 at the age of 73. He honorably served in the U.S. Airforce and was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Members of the Robinson family were in attendance at the dedication ceremony.
Developed by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, Greenridge Commons features 96 rental homes in the village of Pascoag, helping the town meet the state goal of 10% affordable housing stock. The total development cost, coupled with over 10,000 sq ft of commercial/community space, equates to $28.5 million dollars; 88% of which derived from private/equity sources.
Developed by Trinity Financial, 60 King represents the successful rehabilitation and reuse of a former industrial building into 60 units of much-needed housing across a range of income levels. With a total development cost of approx. $22.5 million, 60 King was financed with a blend of Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, RIHousing and City HOME funds, state and Brownfields Funding as well as construction financing.
Developed by PCF Development, this 46-unit project has breathed new life into the community with the creation of 29 new apartments and the preservation of 17 existing homes. The development includes properties located on 6 sites in Pawtucket and Central Falls. Funding sources included Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which leveraged more than $9 million in private equity.
A joint venture between Gemini Housing Corporation and Coventry Housing Associates has developed 42 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on a former mill site. With a total development cost of $11 million, funding came from a variety of sources, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity, construction and mortgage financing and state housing bond funding for the acquisition and revitalization of blighted properties.