PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and nonprofit developers are answering the call to create and preserve hundreds more safe, healthy and affordable homes across the state. Inadequate stock of rentals and homes for sale is driving high sales prices and increased rents felt by most Rhode Islanders. Rhode Island lawmakers have responded by emphasizing housing as a top priority, and in June 2022 allocated $250 million towards housing production and homeless services from available American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. In November 2022, RIHousing issued a Request for Proposals to developers, funded by these ARPA dollars and other existing housing resources. The application closed on Jan. 12, and RIHousing received $223 million in funding requests – more than $50 million over the total $163.6 million available. More than 20 projects were proposed by members of the Housing Network of Rhode Island, collectively seeking over $100 million in funding to construct or preserve 800-plus homes across R.I. from Westerly to Woonsocket. More than 87 percent of the rental homes, if funded and produced, would be accessible to households earning less than $60,000 per year (based on a household of four). The development cost of these homes includes a subsidy that ensures the homes can be rented or sold at below market rates to low and moderate income households. Last year’s investment in housing production is a step in the right direction, aiding nonprofit developers in their effort to build stronger communities with equitable access to affordable homes. The response from the development community to this most recent round of available funding shows that there is capacity to build more homes – and the State could do even more with additional investments. “CDCs and nonprofit affordable developers have been driving meaningful change in our communities for decades. We’re part of the solution to meeting Rhode Islanders’ housing and economic needs. It’s crucial that State leaders continue to invest in affordable housing and community development to keep R.I. moving forward,” said Sharon Morris, HNRI Board Director and Executive Director of Omni Development Corporation. Collectively, HNRI members have produced more than 10,000 long-term affordable homes in R.I. They are mission-driven community anchors for resident-centered economic empowerment and neighborhood revitalization. HNRI members host childcare facilities and commercial spaces, support community gardens and food enterprises, provide job training, homebuyer counseling, landlord education, home repair, and offer personal and small business micro loans or grants. These organizations are a critical piece of R.I.’s housing development sector and essential to ensuring every Rhode Islander has a safe, healthy, affordable home in a thriving community. “I’m inspired by the efforts of our membership who are at the forefront of creating more equitable housing and economic opportunities for Rhode Islanders. Continued investment in the sector will foster a more prosperous future for us as a state,” said Melina Lodge, Executive Director of HNRI.