Monday, October 6, 2014

Rhode Island tackling housing affordability and healthy housing

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference



September was a busy month for housing in Rhode Island as two NHC members worked to maintain healthy and affordable housing for residents. NHC member, Green & Health Homes Initiative (GHHI) announced the launch of Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes (RIAHH), while member HousingWorks RI hosted its 10th annual Housing Fact Book Luncheon.

RIAHH is the newest of GHHI’s 17 sites nationwide and its first expansion to a statewide model. RIAHH’s goal is to improve healthy housing standards by keeping Rhode Island residents and housing developers aware of the negative impacts unhealthy housing can have by providing a coordination of services, resources and education through its alliance of state, local and community-based organizations.

“Through this collaboration, we will significantly increase the stock of healthy, safe and energy efficient homes for families across Rhode Island and ensure far better outcomes for its children and families,” GHHI President & CEO Ruth Ann Norton said in a press release.

Formation of RIAHH began in 2013 and is made possible by grants from GHHI and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.

Meanwhile, HousingWorks RI’s luncheon marked the unveiling of the year’s Housing Fact Book, which looks back on affordable housing trends in Rhode Island over the last decade. The luncheon was hosted by former HUD Regional Administrator Barbara Fields and featured conversations with two Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates, Mayor Allan Fung and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, on solutions the state’s next governor can use to address housing affordability.

With nearly 90 percent of the state’s working households severely cost burdened, RIAHH and HousingWorks RI, through advocacy, coordination and promotion of housing services, will help make available affordable, healthy homes to the families that need them most. These efforts will help to assist the 23 percent of low- and moderate-income households in Rhode Island that spend at least half of their income on housing needs.

Housing Works RI’s Director, Nicole Lagace, will chronicle the luncheon in more detail in an upcoming guest post on our Open House Blog.

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