Rhode Island

  • State Data Overview

    Across Rhode Island, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

    K
    e
    y
    F
    a
    c
    t
    s
    47,968
    Or
    31%
    Renter households that are extremely low income
    $25,290
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    -23,302
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    $44,023
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    55%
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Tori Bourret

    Tori Bourret

    202.662.1530 x244 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    Housing Network of Rhode Island

    1070 Main Street

    Pawtucket, RI 02860

    P 401-721-5680

    www.housingnetworkri.org

    Melina Lodge, Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Katie West, Manager, Homes RI

    [email protected]

    Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless

    1070 Main Street, Suite 304

    Pawtucket, RI 02860

    P 401-721-5685

    www.rihomeless.org

    Caitlin Frumerie, LCSW, Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Kristina Contreras Fox, Policy Analyst

    [email protected]

    Become an NLIHC State Partner

    NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.

    Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF Implementation Information

    NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Tori Bourret with any questions.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Bert Cooper

    Interim Manager

    Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless

    401-721-5685

    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Carol Ventura

    Deputy Director

    Rhode Island Housing

    401-457-1129

    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Belinda Lill

    401-429-1425

    [email protected]


    Eric Alexander

    401-457-1236

    [email protected]


    Eric Rollins

    Manager of Research & Evaluation

    401-457-1214

    [email protected]


    State Entity Webpage

    Rhode Island Housing


    NHTF-specific page

    Builders and Developers

  • Resources
    Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Rhode Island (PDF)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: Rhode Island (PDF)

    Research and Data

    National Housing Preservation Database

    The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.

    Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Rhode Island and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Rhode Island and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Strong Support for Affordable Housing Programs
    Tell Congress that Opportunity Zones Must Benefit Low Income People and Long-Term Residents
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    Many cities and states are establishing rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. This tracker links to news reports of various city, state and philanthropic rental assistance programs that are being established during the pandemic. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of rental assistance.


    A $7 million rental assistance initiative is being launched for Rhode Island residents struggling to pay their rent amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Gina Raimondo announced during a news conference that the state is teaming up with the United Way to help up to 7,000 tenants in helping to pay back rent. https://tinyurl.com/y3wj9dbp

    Updated on July 16, 2020.

     

    This initiative is designed to provide short-term financial assistance to eligible Rhode Island residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-19 will have impacted most applicants, that is not a requirement to receive funds. Households can apply for assistance through a RIHousing approved Participating Agency serving the city or town in which the Household is located or moving to. https://tinyurl.com/ybvxyg5x


    Rhode Island has made $1.5 million in emergency rental assistance available to low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Those who qualify can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other fees. Requirement information and details are available at www.HousingHelpRI.com or by calling 211. https://tinyurl.com/ya6836kb


    Updated on July 24, 2020.

    ProvidenceThe State has set up Housing Help RI as a centralized location for Rhode Islanders to apply for emergency housing assistance. In addition to the $6.5 million the state has made available for assistance to low-income Rhode Islanders, the City of Providence has allocated an additional $769,000 for assistance to Providence residents.https://tinyurl.com/y4jyrjoz

    Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.

    Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:


    No information at this time.

    Rhode Island launched its Safe Harbor Housing Program, an eviction diversion initiative designed to help landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. 

    Updated on August 4, 2020.


    Providence announced nearly $1 million for eviction legal defense and emergency housing assistance. The program will be funded through $769,756 of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG-CV), $170,000 in Community Development Block Grant - Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds, and $300,000 from the Providence Housing Trust Fund.

    Updated on July 7, 2020.


    Rhode Island advocates are concerned about a rise in evictions and homelessness as a result of COVID-19, noting that the demand for rental assistance is far exceeding the supply. While the looming housing crisis is a threat to the entire state, it is also a reminder that disasters have a disparate impact on certain groups. “COVID is far from being the greater equalizer. It’s exacerbated so many inequalities and disparities, and that comes through in stark light when you look at access to basic, secure affordable housing,” said Kristina Contreras Fox of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, an NLIHC state partner.

    Governor Gina Raimondo announced that Rhode Island will allocate $500,000 to provide financial incentives for landlords to rent to people experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. Landlords will receive a $2,000 signing bonus for the first unit that they rent to people experiencing homelessness and $500 for each additional unit.

    Updated on June 22, 2020.


    Governor Gina Raimondo announced on May 28 that the state will make available an additional $5 million in funding for the Housing Help RI emergency rental assistance fund.


    Housing advocates in Rhode Island urged state legislators to include affordable housing in their recovery plans. Advocates also urged Governor Gina Raimondo to protect the dedicated revenue stream to produce affordable housing that she pledged to include in her budget earlier this year.

    Governor Gina Raimondo announced that her administration is seeking permission to use $5.1 million in federal Medicaid funds to pay for food, rent, and mobile phone numbers for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. 


    An interactive model from researchers at Boston University School of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA projects that at any given point in time, nearly 800 Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness will require emergency COVID-19 accommodations.

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.


    Courts will resume evictions on June 2.  Eviction hearings are being conducted remotely. 

    Updated: July 31.


    In the third week of July, 1 in 4 adults in Rhode Island reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 28,978 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.

    Updated: July 29


    As of early July, 4,512 people have filed for rental assistance through the state’s Housing Help RI rental assistance program. Due to its significant restrictions and high barrier application process, many are excluded. So far, the program has only distributed funds to 25 applicants. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a report in May that suggests 13% of renters and 33% of homeowners in Rhode Island are at risk of missing housing payments when federal unemployment aid expires at the end of July. According to a weekly survey by the Census, nearly 1 in 4 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d

    Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb