Both the Narragansett and South Kingstown housing authorities will soon benefit from additional funding that will be used to supplement its affordable housing programs.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed recently announced that 25 Rhode Island cities and towns will receive a total of $11.7 million in federal funding to develop, finance, and modernize public housing in their communities. The grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Public Housing Capital Fund Program.
Through the program, the Narragansett Housing Authority will receive $13,758 and the South Kingstown Housing Authority will receive $102,250. The funds will allow for improvements and updates to the growing number of affordable public and multi-family housing developments within the two coastal communities.
“This federal funding will help Rhode Island housing authorities preserve affordable housing, build stronger neighborhoods, and put more contractors to work making needed repairs,” said Reed, a senior member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.
The Public Housing Capital Fund Program provides local housing authorities with funding for capital and management activities, including modernization and development of public housing. Local agencies can use the funding for a broad array of improvements to address from deferred maintenance needs and the replacement of obsolete utility systems and dwelling equipment to capital expenditures to improve the security and safety of residents.
Public housing is essential, serving millions of low-income, disabled, senior citizens and families while stabilizing neighborhoods throughout America. There are approximately 9,500 public housing units in Rhode Island.
Last month, Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, helped advance the 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill, which contained $2 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund Program out of subcommittee, an increase of $129 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Although the full Senate voted 54 to 43 in favor of the bill, Republicans used procedural tactics to filibuster the bill and prevent it from moving forward.
“Public housing capital needs are in excess of $26 billion nationally, and continued delay of maintenance just for the sake of politics only increases costs in the future," said Reed. "I will continue working to ensure all Rhode Islanders have access to a safe, secure, and decent place to live and an opportunity to build a better life. It is important that we do everything we can to reduce poverty and homelessness and help local housing agencies make much-needed improvements to their aging housing stock."
According to Sen. Reed, funding will be provided to public housing agencies in 23 other towns, including Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Jamestown, Johnston, Lincoln, Newport, North Providence, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Providence, Smithfield, Tiverton, Warren, Warwick, West Warwick, Westerly and Woonsocket.