Governor Gina Raimondo has garnered praise from homeless advocates for including a $40 million affordable housing bond in the budget that she presented to the General Assembly last night.
Jim Ryczek, executive director of the RI Coalition for the Homeless released a statement saying, “we appreciate that the Governor recognizes the need for more affordable housing in our state. An affordable housing bond is most certainly one piece of the puzzle and is a good interim step towards our long-term goal of a state where all Rhode Islanders have access to safe, decent housing they can afford. The funding for a housing bond is also a positive step in the right direction to ensure full implementation of Opening Doors RI, the State’s Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.”
Melina Lodge, Director of Programs for the Housing Network of RI, thanked the Governor “for recognizing the importance of state investment in housing opportunities for low and moderate income Rhode Islanders… Governor Raimondo’s inclusion of an affordable housing bond in her FY 17 budget will not only stimulate the creation of new housing and boost economic growth by creating jobs in the construction, retail and service industries, but will also bring substantial additional outside financial resources into our state.”
According to Lodge, “Data shows that many Rhode Island households continue to struggle to find housing options that are affordable to them. According to HousingWorks RI, two in every five Rhode Island households are cost burdened, spending more than thirty percent of their income on housing.”